Featured Story
09/06/17 5:55am
09/06/2017 5:55 AM

If the Mattituck High School boys golf team is to be dethroned, this might be the year. Maybe.

Returning only two players from its lineup, this might be the year for Mattituck (12-1 last year) to catch its breath and recharge after sharing the Suffolk County League VII title with Eastport-South Manor for a second year in a row and winning the league tournament outright for a third straight year. READ

Featured Story
10/27/16 9:00am
10/27/2016 9:00 AM

Mattituck High School’s golfers don’t show much emotion on the course. Their body language is tough to read, so it wasn’t easy for coach Paul Ellwood to gauge how well his players were doing during the Suffolk County League VII Tournament last Thursday.

“You can’t read my guys whether they’re playing poorly or great,” he said.
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09/23/14 8:25pm
09/23/2014 8:25 PM
Alex Poliwoda worked on his putting before shooting a nine-hole score of 45 for Greenport/Southold in its win over Bishop McGann-Mercy. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Alex Poliwoda worked on his putting before shooting a nine-hole score of 45 for Greenport/Southold in its win over Bishop McGann-Mercy. (Credit: Garret Meade)

The first full day of fall shined in its splendor. The sun was out, the air was crisp, it wasn’t too cold or too hot. It was one of those great weather days, and what better place for a golfer to be than out on a golf course?

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Alex Poliwoda, a senior on the Greenport/Southold high school boys golf team, said while standing on the driving range at Island’s End Golf & Country Club in Greenport. (more…)

09/03/14 4:00pm
09/03/2014 4:00 PM
Chris Mauceri had a 44.40 nine-hole average last year for Mattituck, which won its fourth league title in five years. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Chris Mauceri had a 44.40 nine-hole average last year for Mattituck, which won its fourth league title in five years. (Credit: Garret Meade)

PREVIEW

Coming off a magical season last year, the Mattituck High School boys golf team has taken quite a hit. The Tuckers graduated three all-league players, the entire top half of their lineup, and they don’t have a single senior in their numbers as they swing into the 2014 season.

“We are in the rebuilding stage, if you will, not a lot of proven areas,” said Paul Ellwood, who takes a 32-3-1 record into his fourth year as the team’s coach. “We’re a little raw talent-wise, but there is something to work with there.” (more…)

09/12/13 7:00pm
09/12/2013 7:00 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck senior Richie Corazzini was one of three all-league golfers from last year who are returning this season.

PREVIEW

When Jim Underwood retired as the Mattituck boys varsity golf coach, he apologized to his successor, Paul Ellwood, for leaving him with such a young team.

“And then they won the league championship,” said Ellwood.

And then they did so again and yet again!

As it turned out, no apologies were necessary as the Tuckers won three successive league championships. They came agonizingly close to a fourth straight league crown last year, only to see it slip from their grasp with a loss to Eastport/South Manor on the final day of the season at Hampton Hills Golf and Country Club.

Mattituck finished the season with a 10-2 record, behind League VII champion Eastport/South Manor (11-1). Over the past five years, Mattituck’s record is a remarkable 56-4.

“The record is great, but the guys, they kind of have that chip on their shoulder after last season,” Ellwood said. “They’re not taking things for granted this year.”

Mattituck will be a force to be reckoned with once again. The Tuckers return their entire lineup, including all-league golfers Eric Olsen, Brad Tyler and Richie Corazzini. All three of those seniors had nine-hole averages between 39 and 40 and took turns playing the No. 1 position.

More varsity experience is provided by sophomore John Dwyer (42 average), junior Chris Mauceri (44) and freshman Matt Mauceri (46). Liam Sehuford, a senior, and Parker Tuthill, a sophomore, played mostly exhibition matches last season.

It’s a solid eight, to be sure.

“We’re good, we’re deep,” Ellwood said. “It’s just how are we going to play in those big matches? If we catch fire, I don’t think anybody is going to beat us.”

Ellwood said it will be critical for Mattituck two take two wins from its three away matches against Eastport/South Manor, Greenport/Southold and Shelter Island.

The competition in League VII is expected to be keen among those four teams, including a Greenport/Southold contingent that coach Dave Fujita said is the deepest he has had in years.

“It should be interesting,” Fujita said of the upcoming League VII season. “I haven’t seen it this competitive in a while. Anything can happen. If we play the way we need to play, we have a shot at anything, but playing it and saying it are two different things.”

A big plus in Greenport/Southold’s favor is the fact that the Clippers (8-4) lost only one player to graduation, Dave O’Day. The rest of the lineup returns, five seniors among them.

The co-captains, senior Rob Anderson and junior Tom Messana, both all-league selections last year, are competing for the No. 1 spot. They averaged in the low 40s.

“I’m counting on these guys to break 40 this year on a consistent basis,” Fujita said. “If they break 40, they’re giving themselves a chance to win their match.”

Also featured are senior Tim Stankewicz, junior Alex Poliwoda, senior Rob Mahony, and sophomores Brendan Walker and Liam Walker, who are not related. Brian Tuthill, a senior, played in the first match last year before a shoulder injury shut him down for the remainder of the season. Tuthill is about 95 percent recovered and has been cleared to play, said Fujita.

Bobby Van Mater, a freshman, and Ryan Harroun, a senior, are new to the team.

Fujita said Anderson and Messana can beat anyone, and his next four golfers should be fairly consistent, hopefully breaking 45.

“I’m lucky,” Fujita said. “I have great kids, they love the sport and hopefully they’ll take these memories with them wherever they go. Think about it, playing golf after school on these beautiful courses; it doesn’t get any better than that, right?”

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09/13/12 9:00pm
09/13/2012 9:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck junior Richie Corazzini posted the best win-loss record in Suffolk County League VII last year, going 9-3.

Another league championship was hardly in the plans.

Paul Ellwood said that when he was handed the reigns as the new coach of the Mattituck High School boys golf team last year by the former coach, Jim Underwood, Underwood apologized for leaving him with such a young team.

No apologies were necessary.

As it turned out, the Tuckers may have had a good degree of turnover (so much so that Newsday predicted a fourth-place finish for them in Suffolk County League VII), but they sure had plenty of talent. Enough so that they went 12-0 as undefeated league champions.

Speaking of his team, which had been 33-3 in the three years preceding last season, Ellwood said, “I don’t know how a 33-3 team can be Cinderella, but I guess we were.”

It was Mattituck’s fourth league title in a row and seventh in 10 years. Not that it came easily, because it didn’t.

“It wasn’t like we blew everybody out,” Ellwood said. “We had a lot of close matches. The 12 and 0 record might have been misleading, but the kids got it done. I think every team in the league had a legitimate chance to beat us.”

Mattituck takes a 45-3 record over the past four years into this season with a deep lineup led by two all-league players, juniors Richie Corazzini and Brad Tyler. At 9-3 in the No. 1 spot, Corazzini had the best record in League VII last year to go with a nine-hole average of 41.45. He is being pushed for the top place in the lineup by Tyler, who went 10-2 with a 43.72 average in the No. 2 spot last year.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold captain David O’Day is the team’s only returning senior.

And there is more varsity experience back in the form of junior Erik Olsen (47.4 average, 6-4-1 record), sophomore Chris Mauceri (47.4, 8-1-1) and freshman Parker Tuthill, who played mostly exhibition matches last year, but had a low score of 40 in one match.

Meanwhile, six underclassmen are competing for the sixth and final place in the lineup: freshmen Jon Dwyer, Cal Seifert and Andrew Stakey, and eighth-graders Alex Burns, Matt Mauceri and D. J. Gatz.

“We don’t have superstars, but we are pretty strong across the board,” Ellwood said. “Our last two players on any given day could score as much as our first two players.”

Ellwood said Mattituck’s chances of winning the league championship are as good as any other team’s, but something has changed.

“We’re not going to catch any teams by surprise,” he said. “I think teams are going to have an underdog approach against us this year. Now we’re the hunted.”

Greenport/Southold (7-5) has one returning senior, David O’Day. O’Day, the team captain, is the steadiest golfer on a team of young, improving players, said coach Dave Fujita. Fujita likes O’Day’s length off the tee and his ability to put a bad hole behind him. “From a coach’s perspective, Dave is the type of player you would want to build your team around, a steady golfer and a great guy,” said Fujita.

Competing for the No. 2 spot are sophomore Tom Messana and junior Rob Anderson. Both players are capable of shooting in the 30s, said Fujita.

Brian Tuthill, Brendan Walker, Tim Stankewicz, Alex Poliwoda and Liam Walker are also fighting for spots in the six-player lineup.

“The strength of our team is our overall balance,” Fujita said. “What is yet to be seen is whether we have what it takes to beat the better teams. Specifically, we need to be able to get at least two guys shooting low scores and the rest of the team playing steady golf.”

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09/07/11 10:11am
09/07/2011 10:11 AM

The Mattituck Tuckers are a rather laidback group of golfers who seem to handle pressure well. Then again, perhaps that is why the Tuckers have won three straight league championships.

“They’re so laidback,” said Paul Ellwood, the former junior varsity coach who has taken over the varsity coaching duties from Jim Underwood. “I think that’s why they’re so good. They don’t put a lot of pressure on themselves.”

The Tuckers are 33-3 over the past three years, during which time they earned those consecutive Suffolk County League VII titles.

Ellwood said the Eastport/South Manor Sharks, who split matches with the Tuckers last season, have the inside track on the league crown this year because of the number of returning players they have. But the Tuckers have some talent, too, led by Morgan Gildersleeve, a senior all-league player who has been on the team since she was an eighth-grader.

“She’s a tremendous golfer,” Ellwood said. “I’ve been watching her since seventh grade. The game comes to her pretty easy, and she’s always there around par. She stays out of trouble. She hits fairways and greens. It’s a simple formula.”

And a winning one.

The rest of the lineup is back, too: freshman Will Gildersleeve, freshman Rich Corazzini, sophomore Brad Tyler, senior Luke Bugdin and sophomore Eric Olsen.

“I think the kids expect to be competitive.,” Ellwood said. “You’re three-time defending champ, so the other teams are definitely going to be focused. We had a lot of kids who played exhibition last year, but they’re unproven.”

The Tuckers will play their home matches on the par-35 front nine at the North Fork County Club in Cutchogue. It has been a friendly course to the Tuckers over the years.

“I think we’ll be pretty tough at home on our home course,” Ellwood said. “It’s just going to be a matter of how we do on the road.”

What would constitute a successful season?

“It’s pretty simple,” Ellwood said. “It’s a numbers game. If each player’s numbers go down from beginning to end, you’ll say it’s a successful season.”

The Greenport/Southold Clippers (7-5) have a younger team than they did last year, but young is good, said Coach Dave Fujita. As Fujita knows, youth has potential for growth.

Not that the Clippers didn’t do well last year. By virtue of their winning record, the Clippers were able to send all six of their starters to the county tournament this past May.

Kyle Clausen, a senior who held the No. 3 spot last year, leads the way. Right behind him was David O’Day, who is a junior. Those two, along with improved sophomore Robert Anderson, are competing for the top three spots.

Zach DePaulis, a senior, is also a returning starter.

Three sophomores — Brian Tuthill, Tim Stankewicz and Rob Mahony — are moving up from the junior varsity team.

“They’re anxious to learn,” Fujita said. “Course management is going to be key, not taking yourself out of holes, always leaving yourself a chance to win a match.”

“What I teach guys in the preseason is to work on their routine because when it comes down to crunch time, I want them to think about what their routine is, not the fact that they’re one down or one up, keeping their mind on what they do,” he added. “You have to develop your routine in the practices.”

The Clippers will play their home matches on the par-35 front nine at Island’s End Golf and Country Club in Greenport.

One of Fujita’s goals for the season has nothing to do with wins and losses. He said he wants his players to play smart and enjoy themselves.

“Enjoy the fact that they’re playing golf on the varsity level,” he said. “When they go off to college, I want them to look back and say that their high school days were good.”

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