State Champs Crowned In 2023 MIAA State Finals Competitions
The high school fall golf season in Massachusetts came to an exciting conclusion over the final two days of October. Separate divisional championships were held in different regions of the state, with three teams and three individuals earning state championship titles.
Division 1 (At GreatHorse, Hampden)
Ryan Downes, a senior bound for Vanderbilt, celebrated his 18th birthday by capturing the Division I individual title for the second consecutive year. Downes, who had previously won the Mass Amateur Championship, finished his senior year in style with a 4-under-par 68, securing a three-stroke victory on Tuesday. Ilan Rashdan of Westford Academy (71) and Carson Erick of Hingham (75), the winner of the Mass Junior Amateur Championship at GreatHorse this past summer, finished as the runners-up.
St. John’s (Shrewsbury) dominated the team competition, winning the title with a score of 303, a remarkable 11 strokes better than the rest of the field. The Pioneers showcased their depth with strong performances from Nic Gebhardt (75), Ronan Mooney (75), Savar Bhasin (76), and Cael Duggan & Curtis McDonald (77). Saint John’s Prep (Danvers) finished as the runner-up with a team score of 314.
Division 2 (At Thorny Lea GC, Brockton)
Charlie Potter, a sophomore from Dover-Sherborn, led his team to a state championship while also claiming the medalist honors. Potter shot a solid 1-over-par 71 on Tuesday at Thorny Lea Golf Club, including a pair of birdies, including one on the 17th hole. His performance allowed him to surpass Brandon Vitarsi of Reading, who finished as the runner-up with a score of 72.
Dover-Sherborn secured the team victory with a total of 314 strokes, narrowly defeating Bishop Stang by two strokes. Tim Hill (75), Grant Meyer (83), and Griffin Sipp (85) contributed to the Raiders’ success.
Division 3 (At Sterling National CC, Sterling)
The Weston High School boys’ team successfully defended their title, securing a second consecutive championship with a one-stroke victory over St. John Paul II. Zach Pelzar, a standout senior who will attend Emory University next year, led the Wildcats with a 4-over-par 75. William Balz (79), William Goldstein (83), Teddy Dreyer (85), Andrew Goldstein (91), and Rob Morsilli (95) also played crucial roles in the team’s triumph.
Despite a challenging start that included a triple bogey on the opening hole, Jack Carstensen of St. John Paul II recovered well and played solid golf to shoot 3-over 74, earning him the individual title.