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Dominant Nipmuc Golf Rolls to District Title

In the end, it wasn't even close. The Nipmuc Regional High School golf team, buoyed by the contributions of three veterans and three youngsters, breezed past the competition to earn a 24-shot win at the Division 2 Central Mass district tournament at Highfields Golf Club in Grafton.
"The kids played well, they knew the course and it was nice to have a tournament close to home," said head coach Ryan Cody. "They really turned it on at the end and all their hard work paid off. There were no egos on this team at all, they were very easy to coach."
The Warriors posted a perfect 6-0 record in Dual Valley play and finished 13-3-2 overall. Cody's squad bounced back after losing two matches down the stretch - a match play loss against Leicester and a narrow, one shot defeat against Grafton.
"Leicester has a very good team and that was kind of a blessing in disguise. They had not tasted defeat in awhile," Cody said. "It was a wakeup call."
The message came through loud and clear. Nipmuc turned it on for the districts, led by a four-over-par 76 from sophomore Cole Alibozek. 
"To shoot 76 was pretty impressive considering it was in the mid 40s with high wind gusts," Cody said.
Following Alibozek was sophomore Kyle Downing, who shot 79, and senior Justin DiAntonio, who shot an 80. Kyle's twin brother, Sean Downing, also performed well, carding an 88. Seniors John Kossuth and Jake Osgood were consistent contributors both in the postseason and during the regular season.
"The one thing with this team, there is a lot of depth one through six, kids who can shoot in the low 40s or high 30s and you are not going to find that kind of depth across the board," Cody said. "We had three seniors who anchored the team and three sophomores who really stepped up." 
Nipmuc's season came to an end with in the Division 2 states in a tournament where Cody said the squad "didn't play their best." Even so, the head coach said the experience of competing in the states, held at Crumpin Fox Golf Club in Bernardston, was one upon which the program can build.
"It was probably the toughest course they played all year, if not ever," Cody said. "This is the best Division 2 teams in the state from each district. It was good for them to see the caliber of the other players to know what is really out there. We didn't play our best, but we certainly did enough to put ourselves in that strong position going into the states."
With the end of the season also comes the end of the high school careers of the team's three senior starters - DiAntonio, Kossuth, and Osgood.
"The three of them are exemplary students, good kids, they don't get in trouble...basically they are the example for the young kids to emulate," Cody said. "Justin was our number one going into the season but he was overtaken by a sophomore [Alibozek]. He didn't worry about that, he took Cole under his wing and played well. He's a great captain."




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