By PAUL WAGER
FORT JOHNSON — Having won the Western Athletic Conference Tournament last fall, the Fonda-Fultonville golf team headed into Thursday’s season-opening match with Mayfield/Northville looking for continued success.
The Braves got off to strong start, posting a 14-1 victory in the season and Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Rolling Hills Country Club.
“We have a lot of returning players,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Kyle Hanson said. “We’re hoping to have fun and win a lot of matches.”
Fonda-Fultonville’s Colin Kowalski led all golfers Thursday, posting a 3-over par round of 39.
Kowalski was the WAC South Division’s Most Valuable Player and second at the WAC Tournament last fall. FFCS won the tourney title by eight strokes over runner-up Duanesburg.
He was one of three Braves to post a sectional qualifying score as Noah Moran (42) and Alex Saltsman (43) also finished within the required eight strokes of par. Saltsman and Moran were both named second-team WAC South all-stars last fall. Moran was third at last year’s WAC Tournament, while Saltsman was sixth.
“We had an awesome year in our shortened season,” Hanson said. “We’re hoping to stay strong.”
Colby Monty (46), Nick Hastings (55) and Rory McGrattan (56) completed the Fonda-Fultonville lineup, which posted a team total of 170.
Mayfield/Northville’s Tyler Maples also registered a sectional-qualifying score with his round of 44. Maples was the co-MVP of the WAC North Division last fall. Mayfield/Northville finished fifth at last year’s WAC Tournament.
Dylan Salvione (48), Gavin Bown (50), George Abdella (53), Jordan Miller (57) and J.T. Sikorski (60) completed the Mayfield/Northville lineup for the season-opening match.
Miller was a first-team WAC North Division all-star last season, while Abdella was named to the second team.
“We have 16 kids on the team this year, which is always good,” Mayfield/Northville coach Mike Iannotti said. “We have a bunch of returning players.”
Naples, Miller, Abdella, Bown and Salvione all return for Mayfield/Northville this fall.
“It’s a fast and furious season. We practiced for three days and then it’s off we go,” Iannotti said. “Our goal is to be competitive and hopefully, do well in the WAC Cup. We want to make sure we have a good season.”
Fonda-Fultonville is scheduled to host Schoharie at Rolling Hills at 9 a.m. on Monday, while Mayfield/Northville is slated to travel to Hillcrest Golf Course to face Duanesburg that afternoon at 4 p.m.
“It’s gone really smooth so far,” Hanson said. “We’re excited to be back competing. It’s nice to have some type of normalcy.”