As has usually been the case in recent years, the Suffolk County League VII boys golf championship went through Mattituck in 2019. One difference this year, however, was that Mattituck had company atop the league.
Riverhead earned the title of league co-champion by defeating Mattituck, 6 1/2-2 1/2, in the final regular-season match for both teams, which finished the regular season with 9-1 records. It was the first league championship for Riverhead, but Mattituck extended its team-record league title streak to five straight years.
The match snapped a remarkable string of 31 consecutive wins by Mattituck. Mattituck’s previous league loss was in 2015 to Eastport-South Manor, said coach Paul Ellwood, who could not recall the last time the Tuckers lost at their home course, North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue.
“Mattituck … they’re just good every year,” Riverhead coach Steve Failla said. “The path to hanging a banner was going to have to go through Mattituck and it wasn’t going to be easy.”
Failla said, “Mattituck handles pressure better than anyone I’ve ever seen … because they have the experience of winning championships for a long time.”
Mattituck has a 67-6 record over the past six years.
For the regular season, Chris Talbot (39.3) and Matt Seifert (39.7) had the lowest nine-hole averages on the team, followed by Evan McCaffrey (41.7), Andrew McKenzie (42.1), Parker Sheppard (42.3) and Connor Fox (42.4).
Mattituck had to deal with some adversity, too. McCaffrey broke a couple of bones in his hand over the summer and missed the first two matches. He made it back in time for the first Riverhead match, though, and that was critical. “If we don’t have him, we don’t win that match, we don’t have a share of the league title,” said Ellwood, who has a 99-9-1 record in nine years as Mattituck’s coach.
“I thought we had a great season,” Ellwood said. “We had no room for error.”