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Sophomore Southpaws Spark BVT Golf

The Blackstone Valley Tech golf team has two top players who both happen to be sophomores, an unusual trait for a varsity team. Even more unusual, both talented youngsters happen to be left handed. J.J. Newcombe and Nathan Charron have lead the Beavers to a 9-4-1 run though their first 13 matches of the year, including an 8-2-1 mark good enough for a tie for second place in the Colonial Athletic League.
"Either one can be the top guy on any day," head coach Matt Connors said. "They are competitive and help each other read putts. And they are both lefties, so that's unique."
Connors said both of his top players have complete games, long off the tee with a good short game and an ability to think their way around the course. "They know every shot matters," he said.
Connors has been preaching the "every shot matters" mantra all season after Valley Tech lost out on the outright league title last season by a single stroke. The Beavers ended up sharing the CAL championship with two other teams, but that one shot made all the difference.
"It's a message they took to heart this year," Connors said. "They grind. They treat each shot with equal importance. They are not out there playing low percentage shots."
Newcombe and Charron have averaged around 40 for a nine-hole round this year, but Connors points out they aren't the only two young players who have stood out so far. Sophomore Noah Charron, Nathan's twin brother, has also been a key cog in the Beaver wheel and is routinely among the lower numbers in each match. Junior Thomas Morin has been no stranger to medalist honors, and senior captain Zachary Oliva rounds out the strong core of a deep Valley Tech squad.
"They are a good three or four strokes better than the rest of the team, but the rest of the team isn't far behind," Connors said. "They are shooting in the mid to upper 40s."
Valley Tech was scheduled to play in the league championship tournament this week and Connors said besting the first-place group from Advanced Math and Science would be a challenge.
"They are a tremendous team," he said. "It will be difficult to leapfrog them, but as long as our guys play smart and honestly, we will be okay. That has been a mainstay of the year. I am trying to set an example and show this young team how to be great competitors and be young gentlemen on the course. Effort, etiquette, and honesty are paramount."
BVT has already qualified for the district tournament, set for October 19 at Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge. Connors said getting into the top two - the position needed to make the state tournament - will be difficult, but he thinks Newcombe and Nathan Charron have a chance to qualify for states as individuals as the cream of this talented, albeit young, crop.
"I don't know what it is, but we have had a tremendous amount of students and younger students trying out for golf," Connors said. "We are a strong, young team and we are only going to get better. The future is bright."




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