Wethersfield Girls Golf 2020
WHS 2020 seniors Taylor Ayers, Leah Ayers, and Sydney Bowers pictured with 2019 graduates Meaghan Murphy and Emily McKenna after winning the conference championship in 2019
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll spotlight the local senior golfers, starting with the girl’s team at Wethersfield High School. The Eagles had five seniors, who were all big contributors during the program’s back-to-back conference champions the last previous two seasons.
Below is an open letter that head coach Carl Mearman wrote, focusing on the growth of his five seniors over the last fours years.
“It was only a couple months ago that I was sitting in my classroom with my 2020 golf team discussing the upcoming season. Little did we know fate had other plans. The anticipation for the upcoming season was growing as the days drew nearer to the start of our practice sessions. As we all know, this season was stolen. Not just for my players but for all athletes that thought they were going to participate on the 2020 spring sports season. For me personally I missed a season with a great group of players and sharing their experiences on the golf course has been missed. My heart breaks for my five seniors, Leah Ayers, Taylor Ayers, Sydney Bowers, Stephanie Breglio, and Abigail Dupont.
I have been coaching the Wethersfield Girls Golf Team for over ten years and this year is particularly difficult to come to terms with. I hurt for my senior players, and for all senior students. Each and every one of them missed out on so much…senior picnic, class night, prom, and a proper high school graduation that they worked so hard for over the past thirteen years.
This year’s girls’ golf team missed out on continuing their solid play that has carried over from the three previous seasons. The 2018 season was this year’s senior class’ second year on the team. They were all strong contributors as the team posted a record of 15-1. Winning the conference title was a high point for the team but there they set a new goal for the following year. They wanted to improve and so they did. The team came back the following year stronger posting a first ever undefeated season for the girl’s golf team, posting a 16-0 record. Once again, they won the conference title.
So, their goal for 2020 was to repeat their undefeated season and take the conference title once again. I truly believe they have all the talent and drive to complete the task. Not only that but I feel they would have improved on their best ever States finish of third place. Unfortunately, Covid-19 stole that from the girls.
Going back to March when we were first barred from school, I like many others hoped it would only be for a short time. The season was still weeks away. To the credit of the seniors on my team they took it upon themselves to form their own practice sessions by going out to the course in the cold weather and playing golf. They took the time to whip their games into shape anticipating the start of the season. As the delays were extended by the thankfully optimistic CIAC I have to commend my team’s over-the-top effort. They kept practicing anticipating the upcoming start of the season. A season that never materialized.
The season was to begin at the beginning of April. As the delays dragged on, we felt that maybe we could salvage a shortened season and possibly win the conference title once again. But it didn’t take too long to realize that the season was going to be totally lost.
Since the season is lost, I can confess that it’s not just the time on the course that was stolen from the team. Our team practice rounds at Wethersfield Country Club were always a fun spirited venture. I believe my team’s optimistic attitude is what helped them through this very unfair and difficult time. Our bus rides to and from away matches were always an event, this year they are sadly missed. I can picture the girls sitting in the back of the bus playing music, singing songs, eating snacks, and joking around. In other words, they were creating life-long memories with friends.
The season ending banquet is another tradition that has fallen victim to the virus. It’s a time when the girl’s and boy’s golf teams gather together to review the season’s high points and to properly recognize and send off our senior players. As their coach it is my last opportunity to publicly express my feelings and thoughts about my senior players. We all look forward to the banquet as the final memorable moment on their four-year golf journey.
Since I never had the opportunity to express my feelings at the banquet concerning my five seniors, I’d like to share my thoughts….
Over the years Abigail Dupont grew as a player and a teammate. In the beginning she lacked confidence in her game but over the years she developed into a player that continually contributed to our team’s success. I was so looking forward to seeing how much you’ve grown this season as a player and teammate.
Stephanie Breglio really surprised me. When she first joined the team, she would be the first to admit that she wasn’t the “strongest” player on the team. I am truly impressed at her dedication and her tenacious perseverance to improve. Always a great steadfast teammate, Stephanie would be there to support and encourage her teammates. The fact that her game is as strong as ever this year saddens me as she never had the opportunity to play in 2020 matches. I just want Steph to know her hard work didn’t go unnoticed.
There was a time when Taylor Ayers wasn’t the solid golfer she is today. During her first two years on the team she played in matches but lacked confidence. All that changed during the summer between her sophomore and junior years. Her competitive nature grew ten-fold as she worked all summer to improve her game. Upon returning to the team last year it was clearly evident that there was a new Taylor on the golf course. Taylor became a force to reckoned with during matches. Her burning desire to beat her sister’s score might have been a factor. It will always be a special memory watching the sisters compete. The bring out the best in each other’s game.
Over the past four years Sydney Bowers has been a steady contributing member of the team. I will always think of Sydney when I see her favorite on-course snack, baby carrots. Sydney always seemed to hold back confidence wise on the course. That changed last year as she greatly contributed to our undefeated season. As her confidence grew and improved so did her game. Always projecting a warm sincere smile Sydney helped to instill confidence in her teammates. A bright light on the team that will be missed next season.
The true energy spark for the team over the past four years was Leah Ayers. A girl that is constantly on the move, thankfully she channels a great deal of her energy into her golf game. Leah thrives on competition and the confidence in her game was evident from the first time I saw her hit a golf ball. No matter the weather Leah is out practicing trying to improve on her game. On the bus rides to and from away games Leah would play her Bluetooth speaker filling the bus with songs whether we wanted to hear them or not. A true leader and in her own way a consistent motivator for her teammates. Leah’s unabashed love for the game will be missed next season.
Time is an unrelenting taskmaster. Time lost is lost, never to be regained or relived. The time my senior players lost can never be replaced. The memories lost can never be replaced. I think of what could have been, what should have been and shake my head. I will truly miss my five seniors and always wonder what their lost season held in store for each and every one of them. Golf is a game that my seniors will always have and I hope they continue playing throughout their entire lives.
May your future be bright!!!”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin