Golden Hawks Struggle on Green, Keep Heads High

Carolyn Kowal-Safron, Editor

The putting greens have been mowed, the colored flags have been put up, and the stakes have been raised as the Hopkins Academy golf team tees off its 2017 season. Returning after a particularly successful season last fall, the team knows it has a challenging road ahead after losing invaluable seniors Caleb Farnham, Jordan Jekanowski, and Kishan Patel.  All played a vital role in capturing a regional title in the Western Mass D-III tournament. However, the team still holds their heads high, despite only having four returning players: Jack Ter Doest (‘18), Justin Butterfield (‘18), Alvin Li (‘20), and London Cannon-Eckerle (‘21). Ter Doest is coming off a successful season himself, scoring a spot on the Western Mass Golf D-III First Team, thanks to a particularly strong performance in the Western Mass D-III tournament where he tied for second place. The Hopkins team welcomes newcomers Benson Li (‘23) and Connor Asselin (‘22), an eighth grader from Granby Junior/Senior High

School. The players are beginning to feel the effects of the dwindling numbers; “It’s really hard to win right now because we don’t have enough players anymore,” says Alvin Li (‘20). After the loss of three seniors last season, the team is suiting up with underclassmen Liam Higgins (‘19) and Macy Ring (‘21), both of whom made contributions to last season’s efforts and ultimately the regional win. The team is still working hard and hoping for another chance at a title; London Cannon-Eckerle (‘21) says, “We have had a slow start, but the team has remained positive. We have had several matches, and the outcomes are getting better, match by match! We have good players on our team, so hopefully we can make it to the championships and win!” The team will depend on the leadership of Jack Ter Doest, as well as veterans Justin Butterfield,  Alvin Li and London Cannon-Eckerle in hopes of reclaiming its rightful titles. Recent matches have produced scores of Palmer 19-Hopkins Academy 5 (9/20, loss), Pioneer Valley 18.5-Hopkins Academy 5.5 (9/25, loss), and Southwick 22.5-Hopkins Academy 1.5 (9/26, loss). Currently this season, Hopkins is looking at a record of 0-7 (0-5 in their class), but still loads up their van before every meet ready to come out swinging.