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Hartford Aims High at D-II Golf Championship

  • Hartford’s Brady Hathorn watches his shot from the third tee during the Division II state golf tournament in Waterbury, Vt., on Oct. 10, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hartford’s Jared Vanderpot takes out his driver with its headcover while preparing for his ninth-hole tee shot during the Division II state golf tournament in Waterbury, Vt., on Oct. 10, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hartford’s Logan Raymond is surprised to see his shot from the third tee stay inbounds during the Division II state golf tournament in Waterbury, Vt., on Oct. 10, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hartford’s Justin Jasmin takes a closer look at his drive from the seventh tee during the Division II state golf tournament in Waterbury, Vt., on Oct. 10, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hartford’s Bill Mann records his score before his group tees off on the tenth hole during the Division II state golf tournament in Waterbury, Vt., on Oct. 10, 2018. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Waterbury, Vt. — Hartford High’s boys golf team has been playing the long game for the last three seasons, settling for leaps of progress. Next year, with four returning seniors, the Hurricanes may have the experience to do some real damage.

Until then, another step in the right direction is something the Canes can live with.

Hartford has been trending upward for the past three seasons, making significant cuts in their stroke totals throughout. That trend continued at the Vermont Principals Association golf championship at the Country Club of Vermont on Wednesday, the Hurricanes finishing third out of six competing teams with a 366 team score. Hartford finished 52 strokes behind first-place Harwood (314) and 42 shots behind second-place Rice (324).

Hartford head coach Mike Hathorn equated it to a team finally getting its rhythm.

“With golf, you have to get the technique first,” Hathorn said. “Once you get the technique, you have to just put in the time. It’s like once you learn how to shoot a basketball, you’ve got the form down; now you’ve got to go to the gym and hit thousands of shots. They’re starting to hit their thousands of shots.”

Canes junior Brady Hathorn led the team with a 5-over-par 77, down 10 strokes from his score of a year ago. He shot a triple bogey on the second hole and finished the front nine 4 over, but rallied on the back nine with three birdies, two back-to-back on the 17th and 18th holes.

He also qualified for the New England high school championship next summer, the first time he’s made the field.

“I’m super happy with my day,” he said.

Justin Jasmin, a Hartland native and Hartford junior, finished the day with the biggest improvement from last season with an 18-over-par 90, shaving 14 strokes. Junior Jared Vanderpot shot a 94, and junior Logan Raymond shot a 105 to round out the team scoring.

“I feel like I kind of put everything together (this year),” Jasmin said. “Last year, I struggled a lot on my irons, just making good contact with them. This year, I’ve got that straightened out, and I’ve been able to shred a lot of strokes off.”

The results were another leap forward for Hartford, which shaved 25 shots off of its tournament score a year ago after cutting 32 strokes off its tally at the previous state final. The Hartford coach said the results are starting to show for a Brady Hathorn-Jasmin-Vanderpot-Raymond crew that continues to make progress.

“This is, in relation to par, our lowest tournament score (of the season),” Mike Hathorn said. “If you just look at scoring average, we’re 32 shots better than last year. That’s like seven shots a kid.

“At this rate, we should be going for par next year,” he added. “I think some of the gains will slow a little bit as we get closer to everybody shooting in the 70s or 80s.”

Both Hathorn and Jasmin said the uniqueness of the CCV course — wide-open spaces with few trees to mark directional boundaries — made things difficult to navigate. But Jasmin said he likes the way his team has progressed.

“Everyone’s moved up quite a bit,” he said. “Logan Raymond was our (No.) 4 man last year and he moved up to our (No.) 2 man with the work he put in over the summer. Most of the guys moved up like that. That helped.

“Our four best players — the four that scored today — usually score. We have the same crew next year,” Jasmin added. “If we all play over the summer, we should move up and try to win states next year.”

For Mike Hathorn, moving into championship contention is the next logical step. The long game has worked so far, with clear progress over the last three seasons. Next year’s senior-heavy group, he said, will be given the chance to show what they’re made of.

“I’m hoping that they approach the summer where they want to get ready for next fall,” Mike Hathorn said. “I think that was one of the biggest advantages Brady had coming into the season was that he played nine tournaments. I think that makes a big difference.

“If we can get the whole team doing that, I think we can see some pretty big gains.”

Notes: Senior Billy Mann shot a 113 on Wednesday in his final Hartford appearance. … Rice’s Mike Walsh shot 5-under-par 67 for the D-II medal. He hit three birdies in the front nine and another two on the back nine. … In Division I, BFA-St. Albans and CVU finished their rounds in a tie at 318, forcing a one hole playoff on No. 1. CVU edged the Bobwhites, 19-20, in the tiebreaker for the D-I crown. … Rutland ace Logan Broyles won the D-I medal at 2-under-par 70. Broyles was disqualified at last year’s championship for playing both a provisional ball and his original ball, which was lost and then later found. The DQ sunk the Red Raiders into third place last fall.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.