The George Mason varsity golf team (2-7) did not see all the victories they wanted to see, only winning two matches this season against Madison County High School 206-204 on Monday August 28, and 207-186 on Monday September 18. However the leadership and team dynamic is what set this season apart from others.
“We were a lot closer this year. We didn’t go on [as many] team dinners and bondings in past,” senior golf captain George Gilligan said.
Gilligan is one of five upperclassmen on the team. This season depended largely on the guidance of the older golf players, as the golf squad included players who played little golf prior to the season.
“We had a lot more new players on the team this year. The older players had to ty to be more [of a] mentor for the youngers on the team,” junior Nick Wells said.
The underclassmen made their biggest sighting on the September 21 match up against Flint Hill. Sophomore Grace Games led the team with 44 strokes, and was followed by freshman Ryan Fletchall (45), sophomore Sophia Chavez (51), freshman Parker Anderson (53), freshman Otto Dorschner (58), and sophomore Rose Tombul (60).
The Mustangs placed fourth place in the Conference Tournament on Monday September 25, with 378 strokes overall, 36 strokes behind Central Woodstock and two places from qualifying for the Region Tournament.
Individual scores from this match include Gilligan (87), Wells (89), senior Will Gaskins (99), sophomore Tucker Gaskins (103), senior Claire Trundle (124) and freshman Ryan Fletchall (125).
Despite the short season for the Mustangs, both Gilligan and Wells were able to qualify individually for the Region Tournament in Harrisonburg, where they faced off against 36 other golf players. The score to qualify for the State Tournament was 75; Gilligan fell just short of this with 79 strokes, while Wells finished with 95.
Gilligan made Second Team All-Region.
“I felt as if I could have done better at Regionals if I had a better start to the day,” Gilligan said. “I loved the season, it was the best season I’ve had all of high school.”
The departure of five seniors next year calls for even more emphasis on support and team unity. A few golf players will be seeing trainers in the off-season, but the direction of next year’s season is all dependent on how the older players step up as leaders next season.
“I think it’s probably going to be more of a building year. We have a bunch of sophomores, so if I can help them get competitive while being competitive myself I think we can do well,” Wells said.
Coach Carrico could not be reached for comment.
(GMHS Class of '18; Lasso Staff 2014-18)
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