10/29/14 5:43pm
10/29/2014 5:43 PM

The bus ride home today for the Mattituck High School boys golf team was an awfully quiet one, quieter than any Paul Ellwood could remember in his four years as the team’s coach.

The Tuckers had a lot to think about — like how much of a difference a single stroke can make. In this case, it made the difference between being a league championship team and being a runner-up. (more…)

10/28/14 8:52pm
10/28/2014 8:52 PM

Eastport/South Manor vs. Mattituck.

Mattituck vs. Eastport/South Manor.

It has evolved into one of the best rivalries in high school boys golf. The competition is stiff, and interesting things seem to happen when these two teams meet on the links.

When the teams played last week in what was supposed to be the final match of the season with the League VII championship at stake, lightning struck. Literally. (more…)

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)


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…)

12/24/13 7:00am
12/24/2013 7:00 AM
GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck senior Richie Corazzini.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck senior Richie Corazzini.

Late fall can be a tricky time to hit the golf course. It just also happens to be the time for the high school boys golf league championship.

When the Mattituck Tuckers arrived at Cherry Creek Golf Links in Riverhead, they faced heavy wind gusts. It hardly slowed them down, as they won the team tournament with a score of 440, edging out six other teams for the league title.

Senior Richie Corazzini finished with the top score in the tournament, shooting an 82 over 18 holes over the par-72 course. Senior Brad Tyler was fifth with an 87.

Five golfers finished in the top 15 and qualified for the county tournament next spring.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 sports stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

10/30/13 4:00pm
10/30/2013 4:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | The members of Mattituck’s league and league tournament champion boys golf team, from left: Parker Tuthill, Jon Dwyer, Andrew Stakey, Matt Mauceri, Erik Olsen, Brad Tyler, Chris Mauceri, Liam Shuford and Richie Corazznini.

For high school golfers playing in New York in the fall, it’s not always going to be calm, sunny and warm outside. Playing in difficult weather conditions is part of the game.

So, when coach Paul Ellwood and the players on his Mattituck team got off the bus Friday after arriving at Cherry Creek Golf Links in Riverhead for the League VII Tournament, they knew it wasn’t going to be an easy day, with the wind gusting the way it was. Ellwood told his golfers, “Whatever your goal was today, add six to eight strokes to it and you’ll be fine.”

The Tuckers were more than fine. They ended up winning the tournament with a team score of 440. Following them were Eastport/South Manor (453), Bishop McGann-Mercy (473), Greenport/Southold (480), Riverhead (481), Hampton Bays (488) and Shelter Island (498).

Mattituck senior Richie Corazzini finished with the top score in the tournament. He shot an 82 over 18 holes on the par-72 course while teammate and fellow senior Brad Tyler was fifth with an 87. Three other Tuckers — Matt Mauceri (89), Jon Dwyer (90) and Erik Olsen (92) — were also in the top 15 and qualified for the county tournament next spring. Eastport/South Manor and Mattituck golfers filled nine of the first 21 places.

“I felt like the kids peaked at the right time,” Ellwood said. “We felt pretty confident. The kids really stepped up.”

The triumph brings the Tuckers a double. They had finished the league season tied for first place with Eastport/South Manor. Both teams ended up with 10-1-1 records, the tie coming when they played each other to a 4 1/2-4 1/2 draw at Hampton Hills Golf and Country Club in Westhampton Beach. A winner couldn’t be determined through three tiebreakers, and the fourth tiebreaker required each team to send a player out to play one hole. But darkness made that impossible.

Ellwood said the rule book is unclear about what steps are to be taken in such a circumstance. After a period of uncertainty, it was finally determined that the tie would stand.

The remainder of the regular season played out as expected, and the two teams, which have held the league title between them for at least the past 10 years, according to Ellwood, were left to share first place. They were the only teams in the seven-team league with winning records.

The Tuckers had won three straight league titles before last year, when they lost to Eastport/South Manor on the final day of the season, leaving the Sharks with the crown.

“It’s a healthy rivalry, and I think it’s going to continue,” said Ellwood.

Mattituck lost its second match of the season, on Sept. 12 to Shelter Island, and hasn’t lost since.

The Tuckers weren’t in a sharing mood Friday. Each team was allowed to select six players to compete in the league tournament.

“Up to the last day the kids were nervous about who would be in,” said Ellwood, who enjoys the luxury of depth to go with talent.

Such is Mattituck’s depth that Ellwood did not select Parker Tuthill and Liam Sehuford, who he said could have qualified for the county tournament as well.

Last Thursday Ellwood announced his six players, and the Tuckers hit the course with confidence.

Eastport/South Manor won the inaugural league tournament last year, edging Mattituck by one stroke.

This season, Corazzini led the team with a 39.00 average. Mattituck’s other top scorers were Tyler (43.90), Olsen (44.00), Chris Mauceri (44.40), Matt Mauceri (46.33) and Dwyer (46.78).

“That good karma within the team is why we won,” Ellwood said after Friday’s victory. “I think the kids got closure today. … It all worked out for us in the end.”

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10/15/13 9:34pm
10/15/2013 9:34 PM

It was a simple question, but one that required an involved answer.

After someone asked him what the Mattituck boys golf team’s record is, coach Paul Ellwood replied, “Good question.”

Ellwood offered two possibilities: either 7-1-1, or 7-1 with a match still to be decided.

The source of the uncertainty can be traced to Mattituck’s Suffolk County League VII match against Eastport/South Manor last Wednesday at Hampton Hills Golf and Country Club in Westhampton Beach. When the match ended with the score tied, 4 1/2-4 1/2, a winner still couldn’t be determined through three tiebreakers. The fourth tiebreaker, Ellwood said, required each team to send a player out to play one hole. The problem was, by then it was too dark to continue play.

Ellwood said the rulebook is unclear about how the situation should be handled. Should the teams replay the match? Should each team designate a player to play one hole to decide it? Should the tie stand?

Ellwood said the Suffolk County Boys Golf Coaches Association president, Dennis Maloney, left it up to the two coaches to settle on either a one-hole playoff or leave the result as a tie.

Phone messages left for Maloney and Eastport/South Manor coach Todd Skala were not returned prior to the deadline.

Ellwood said both coaches would prefer to avoid a one-hole playoff. He said Mattituck’s athletic director, Gregg Wormuth, is looking into the matter.

“It is very interesting because no one has an answer because it never happened before,” said Ellwood.

The result of the match has tremendous implications on the league championship. Section XI’s listing of the League VII standings on Tuesday night showed Eastport/South Manor in first place with an 8-1 record and Mattituck second at 7-1.

The Tuckers had won three straight league titles before last year, when they lost to Eastport/South Manor on the final day of the season, leaving the Sharks with the crown.

Ellwood said he wouldn’t mind replaying the match, but didn’t think that would happen. “I have a feeling it’s going to end a tie,” he said.

If the result remains a tie and both teams win out their final matches, as expected, Eastport/South Manor and Mattituck would be co-champions.

Mattituck is the only visiting team to win at Eastport/South Manor’s Hampton Hills course in the last seven years, according to Ellwood. The Tuckers defeated the Sharks earlier this season at North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue. Mattituck’s only loss was to Shelter Island. The Tuckers’ remaining league matches will be against Riverhead (3-6), Bishop McGann-Mercy (4-6) and Hampton Bays (1-8).

A big plus for Mattituck has been the play of senior Richie Corazzini. Mattituck’s No. 1 player has an 8-1 record and a 38.37 average. He apparently likes playing against Greenport/Southold, twice shooting under par in matches against the Clippers. Corazzini fired a nine-hole score of 32 at Island’s End Golf and Country Club in Greenport and a 33 at North Fork Country Club. Those are both par-35 courses.

“I was amazed,” Corazzini said. “I never really shot under par before. The best thing is to not really think about it, you know. I just played.”

As impressive as those performances were, consider this: Corazzini shot a 40 against Riverhead — without hitting one fairway! He has a knack for getting out of trouble. He said, “I have a lot of shots in my bag to get me out of trouble.”

“If he’s hitting fairways, he’s unbelievable,” Ellwood said. “He’s been getting bigger and stronger. He hits the ball so far. He expects to do well. He’s been the clear number one. He’s just been separating himself from everybody with his scores.”

Corazzini hasn’t been the only one playing well. There are others, like Erik Olsen, Brad Tyler, Jon Dwyer, Matt Mauceri, Liam Sehuford, Parker Tuthill and Andrew Stakey. Ellwood said Chris Mauceri is coming back from a broken wrist.

Said Ellwood, “Everyone’s had success.”

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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.


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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