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Teeing Off: Fonda-Fultonville opens season with league win over BKW

FORT JOHNSON — The Fonda-Fultonville golf team got its season off to a fast start.

Facing Berne-Knox-Westerlo in a six-hole Western Athletic Conference match, the Braves swept the season-opener 15-0 Thursday at Rolling Hills Country Club.

Colin Kowalski led the Braves, shooting 29 in the six-hole match, while Alex Saltsman, Cayden Egelston and Colby Monty all carded 30s. Noah Moran shot 32 and Ryan Cocker turned in a 37.

The Bulldogs were paced by Will Boltri’s round of 33, while Caleb Schrader shot 38, Matthew Cyr 40, Owen Lounsbury 42, Reilly Swain 44 and Kyle Quay rounded out the scoring with a round of 48.

With a young, but experienced roster, Fonda-Fultonville coach Kyle Hanson is looking forward to seeing what the Braves can accomplish in the abbreviated eight-match season due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We have a good size roster,” Hanson, who enters his sixth-season as the Braves coach. “We have a couple of kids that joined from different sports because golf and cross-country are the only two sports going and they are pretty strong players. I am excited to see what they can do for us. Other than that we didn’t know we were golfing until just a few days ago. We had to throw everything together quickly to make this happen. The kids have responded awesome and we have gotten a lot of support from the administration. Everything has worked out.”

The Braves return scorers Kowalski, Egelston, Alex Saltsman, Monty, Moran and Cocker along with Rory McGrattan, Adam Saltsman and Logan Yaggle. They are joined by William Hernigle, Derek Duval, who played football last fall and Nicholas Hastings who was on the varsity soccer team last fall.

Kowalski and Egelston will captain the Braves this season.

“Luckily we have a lot of returners from last year so I already knew what they could do,” Hanson said. “We have one senior [Cayden Egelston], everybody else will be back next year. Hopefully, we have a normal summer so we can start fresh. Unfortunately we can’t have sectionals this year but we are going to try to have a league tournament if we can figure out a date.”

Many of the Fonda-Fultonville players kept sharp during the off-season, taking advantage of the opportunity to play on the local courses that were open.

“I have been taking everything the same way [as if the it was a normal season] because you can’t count anything out,” Kowalski said. “You practice and play as much as you can because you have got to be prepared for what is going to happen. This summer we didn’t know what was going to happen but we were prepared to have a season either way. I had a lot of guys come out and practice with me this summer. We had a lot of extra time so we got a lot of practice in.”

With only eight matches on the schedule, Hanson said, “our goal is we want to win but I also want to get everybody involved. We have some young golfers who have a lot of potential and this is a perfect time for them to sneak in a couple of matches and see what they can do as well.”

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