“Maybe this is the beginning of a new streak,” Claude Beudert, who coaches East Hampton High School’s golf team, said this week in relaying the news that his team had finished the season tied for first place with Southampton, each at 9-1, despite the fact that it is not led by a star this year, as it has been in recent years past.
Beudert, whose 12-year streak as league champion ended last year, was hoping that in the regular season’s final week Pierson could defeat Southampton, but that was not to be. A Whaler win would have assured the Bonackers of first place outright.
Meanwhile, on Oct. 15, East Hampton took care of business at Westhampton Beach, defeating the Hurricanes 6-3, even though “the course was altered so that it was four shots more difficult.”
“The individual matches were halved, but we beat them by 29 strokes in the total score,” said Beudert, “so it really wasn’t as close as it appeared.”
Michael Griffiths, at one, lost by one stroke to Westhampton’s Garret Brown. Turner Foster, the seventh grader who plays two, defeated Westhampton’s Bobby Joyce 44-51; Steven Kane, a sophomore who plays three for East Hampton, defeated Aidan Bean 45-59 (a result that put the Bonackers over the top); Josue Palacios, at four, lost 54-56 to Thatcher Card; Regis O’Neill, at five, defeated Adrian Moharmavic 49-63, and Nathan Wright, at six, lost to Westhampton’s Bridget Kelly.
East Hampton was the low aggregate scoring team with 240 strokes to Westhampton’s 269 — a result that earned the Bonackers an all-important 3 points.
In the same match last year, Westhampton had defeated East Hampton, and by so doing dropped the perennial champions into third place. That team recovered, however, in the spring, winning East Hampton’s fifth division title in a row at the county tournament at the Indian Island course in Riverhead — a win that Beudert thought “gave these kids I’ve got now some confidence going into this fall’s campaign.”
“We’re very proud of the kids,” he said. “Everybody knew their place and it worked out.”
Giving further credence to Beudert’s surmise that this might mark the beginning of another streak, the junior varsity, coached by Ralph Naglieri, topped its peers as well with an 8-1 record.
There remains, Beudert said, “the League VIII tournament at Rock Hill this week. . . . It’s a new thing, a concoction of the UpIslanders, to limit the number of kids who can compete in the county tournament as individuals in the spring. I argued against it, I thought it was an elitist approach. Our team will go,” he said, “but maybe not all of them as individuals.”
Golf is just one of a number of top-notch teams the high school has fielded this fall. As of Monday, boys soccer, coached by Rich King and Don McGovern, was in undisputed possession of first place in its league, at 10-1, girls volleyball, coached by Kathy McGeehan, was tied for first place, with only one loss, boys cross-country and girls tennis were runners-up, girls swimming, a young but impressive group, was in third, and girls cross-country was fourth.