Undefeated Mascenic golf team takes care of business at Division IV championship

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic, Conant and ConVal competed at the NHIAA golf championships at Laconia Country Club on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/13/2021 1:52:30 PM

Undefeated Mascenic had the two best golfers in Division IV all season long, so the stellar performances senior Joseph Lisio and freshman phenom Josiah Hakala delivered at Tuesday’s NHIAA Division IV state championship were no surprise. But it takes a total team effort to win a title, and that’s just what the Vikings got, the season of hard work paying off with Mascenic’s seventh state championship win.

“Every single one of these guys put in an equal amount,” Lisio said after the team received their state championship medals and trophy on the putting green at Laconia Country Club. “Everyone showed up to practice early and stayed late, literally until it’s dark out. Everyone earned it and it’s cool to see everyone get better.”

Lisio, the defending individual champion, and Hakala, the youth circuit champ, were the favorites on paper coming into the season, but it was up to coach Jeff Hakala to get the rest of the boys up to a championship caliber.

“We put in more hours this year practicing than we did any other year,” coach Hakala said, “because it’s the first year that I didn’t have a core of four players that could all score. So what we ended up having to do was try and bring the beginners up to the scoring level, and we did that today.”

The young Hakala played a near flawless round, tallying four birdies against one bogey and finishing at a -3, 69, best in DIV and two strokes better than Division III winner Evan Rollins of Laconia, who was playing on his home course.

“It was a good day,” Hakala said. “I played really solid. I didn’t give myself many chances to make bogeys. I played a really solid round, didn’t give myself those testers for par that you’re going to get. I drove the ball really well and struck it really well, which led to a good round for sure.”

Hakala has been an established player on the youth circuit for years but has been relegated to the sidelines at Mascenic, riding on the cart while his dad coached, until this year. Finally old enough to compete at the varsity level, he made the most of his shot Tuesday.

“It means everything,” Hakala said of the championship win. “I’ve been watching since I was eight. I’ve been watching my dad coach. He’s the best coach around, you know? I wouldn’t be here without him.”

Lisio, too, played exceptionally, with an eagle on the par-five fifth hole and a pair of birdies; he was at -1 coming around the bend before playing himself into a little trouble, getting stuck in the rough on seven and then four-putting eight. Coach Hakala, zipping from hole to hole on his golf cart, saw Lisio’s body language on the eighth green and made his way over for some counseling, and the defending champ finished out strong.

“You can’t let that stuff affect you,” Lisio said, “or else then the rest of the round is going to get affected.”

Lisio would finish second behind Hakala with a +4 76, still a round to hang his hat on at his final team championship appearance.

“At the end of the day we got it done, and it’s a great day,” Lisio said.

The Vikings’ senior leader has been a presence with the team for years and will be missed, coach Hakala said.

“Super proud of him,” coach Hakala said. “Kid’s always had a great attitude. He’s been with us for five years, gonna miss him. He’s more of a friend now than he is one of my students.”

“He’s a great captain,” Josiah Hakala said. “He’s a great friend, great buddy, and great to play alongside.”

Lisio and Hakala will now duel it out at the individual championship at Beaver Meadow in Concord Saturday; the cumulative format will add Tuesday’s 18-hole score to Saturday’s, meaning Hakala comes in with a seven-stroke lead.

“I’m going to give it the old try,” Lisio said. “I’m sure he likes where he’s at, but what are you going to do? I just gotta go out there and play the game hole by hole.”

“I’m going to try and go play my best and I’ll play my game,” Hakala said. “If I win, I win – great. If he wins, I’ll be happy for him.”

Lisio and Hakala will be joined in Concord by teammates Casey Brox and Tyrus Krook, who both played well enough to make the cut for the individual tournament as the Vikings finished with a +72, 10 strokes ahead of Woodsville. 

Brox finished 13th with a +35, 107; Krook finished with a +36, 108, tied with Sawyer Willis of Sunapee, forcing a one-hole playoff with Lakers and Vikings cheering their teammates on. Krook got the job done, epitomizing the progress Mascenic made on the course this year. 

“Tyrus stepped up big time,” coach Hakala said. “He shot better than his average. And so did Casey – Casey did the same thing. So super, super proud of these guys. They worked their butts off. They deserve it.”

Seth Talbot (+60) and Jeremiah Barthelmess (+62) finished out of the scoring Tuesday, but both are expected to return enthusiastically next season.

Division III

Both the Division III and IV team championships were held at Laconia Tuesday, which caused a bit of a logjam due to sheer numbers on the course, with several groups waiting 10 or more minutes at multiple holes for the earlier groups to get off the fairway.

Conant and ConVal both finished outside of the team tournament qualifications but were able to send individual golfers, two of which made the cut for Saturday’s individual tournament.

ConVal’s Wyatt Burbank shook off a pair of double bogeys on his way to a +7, 79, good for a share of sixth place in DIII along with Cam Evans of Bow. Burbank birdied the par-5 17th to move him safely up in the standings and will advance to the individual championship.

Jordan Ketola of Conant put together back-to-back birdies on the par-5 13th and par-3 14th to score himself a trip to the individuals with a +10, 82, good for a four-way 12th-place tie.

Conant’s Marcus Somero also competed Tuesday but didn’t make the cut, finishing +19.


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