The Vineyarders teed off the new season on Thursday at Squirrel Run Country Club in Plymouth against the Rising Tide Herons and came away 124-79 winners. Peter Gillis and Andrew Marchand led the way with 31 points, followed by Benny Binder (26), Aiden Marek (22) and Jacob Silvia (14).
Five starters return this season from a Vineyard team that qualified for states last year with an 11-3 record and missed out on the finals by a mere three strokes.
Seniors Benny Binder and David Krauthamer are the team co-captains, joined by sophomores Peter Gillis, Andrew Marchand and Aiden Marek. Coach Doug DeBettencourt is looking for one more starter among seniors Katie Morse and Jillian Tyden, sophomore Sam Seidel and freshmen Cam Geary and Jacob Silvia.
“I think, really, even though we’re relatively young, our experience is going to be a factor in our favor,” Coach DeBettencourt said.
The Vineyarders are also bolstered by strong numbers in the jayvee team. “We had a large turnout for jayvee,” Coach DeBettencourt said. “Jeremy Light, the JV coach, and I are looking forward to the year because it seems like a really good group of kids.”
After nearly a decade in the Eastern Athletic Conference, the Vineyarders will be competing this season in a modified version of the Cape and Islands League. Opponents include Sturgis East, Sturgis West and Rising Tide charter schools, Cape Cod Academy, Cape Cod Tech, Monomoy Regional, St. John Paul II and Nantucket. Next year, the CIL is set to gain larger schools Barnstable, Dennis-Yarmouth, Falmouth, Nauset, and Sandwich.
Coach DeBettencourt is looking forward to playing in the new league. “I’m excited about it,” he said. “I think it’s great to have the Cape and Islands back. I think we’ll do very well in the division we’re in but I understand it will get realigned when the bigger schools come into the league. In my opinion, we should be vying for a league championship this year.”
One difference between the EAC and CIL is the scoring system. In the EAC, matches are based on medal play with the lowest six scores out of eight counting in the final tally. The CIL uses a modified Stableford system. Teams score points on each hole: six for an eagle, five for a birdie, four for par, two for a bogey and one for a double bogey. Out of six players, the top five point totals count with the lowest score thrown out.
On Tuesday, the first day of school, the Vineyarders travel to Nantucket. After another road trip to Sturgis East on Sept. 6, MV plays its home opener on Sept. 10 at Farm Neck vs. St. John Paul II of Hyannis. Play begins at 2:45 pm.
“As usual, the school and the team are really appreciative of the generosity of the Island golf courses,” Coach DeBettencourt said.