Mascenic wins Division IV golf championship; Lisio takes top spot

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic golf team won the Division IV championship at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/15/2020 11:40:35 PM

The Mascenic Vikings won the program’s sixth state championship Thursday, holding off the rest of Division IV – including defending champion Littleton – at Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro. It was a sweet victory for the Vikings, who missed out on glory last fall when the championships were rained out and Littleton was awarded the title based on regular season standings, despite Mascenic’s own unblemished regular season record.

“It was good that we had a chance to compete this year,” said Mascenic head coach Jeff Hakala after the tournament. 

Joseph Lisio carried the day for the Vikings, putting up a medalist performance with a +2 74. Lisio was paired with Littleton’s Spenser Stevens, and the two were neck and neck all day long as they shot back and forth along Kingswood’s nested switchbacks. 

“He was fighting the whole day,” Lisio said of Littleton’s No. 1. “He never gave in.”

One back down the stretch, Lisio lost ground on 15 after hitting a bad tee shot; while he was able to save par, Stevens birdied it, and Mascenic’s ace was behind two strokes going into the final three holes. Lisio pushed his tee shot on 16 to the left, onto a hill and near the treeline, but he saved par once again, and the comeback was on. 

“Those are the best feelings,” Lisio said. “Sometimes it feels like a birdie when you make par when you’re fighting for a bogie.”

Lisio was on the 17th green in two shots and made a birdie putt, while Stevens put together a pair of bogeys to give Lisio a one-stroke lead heading into the final hole. 

Once again, Lisio found his way into some trouble, hitting his tee shot onto the rough on the right side of the fairway. It was a bad lie, Lisio said, in a “weird patch of grass” with a clump of dirt just behind the ball that sprayed in the air as he didn’t get quite all of the shot, leaving it about 20 yards away from the green and leaving the door open for Stevens. The Crusader’s second shot didn’t put him in a great position to make par, and Lisio knew all he had to do was get this next shot on the green and putt it in to finish in first. 

It’s a situation the Vikings practice all the time, Hakala said. “After a bad shot, at least stick it close and make a par,” he said. And that’s exactly what Lisio was trying to do when he launched what would be his final shot of the afternoon.

“I knew if I made it up and down I would probably keep the lead,” Lisio said. His chip looked good in the air and better as it started tracking on the green, and when it bee-lined into the cup for his second straight birdie, Lisio clinched the medalist position. 

“I can’t be more excited about that finish,” Lisio said. 

After the one-two punch of Lisio and Stevens, a large gap separated the rest of the pack, as scores were high all around (the final cut for the individual tournament was a gaudy +41). It was a windy day on a relatively difficult course, to be sure, but Hakala said the culpable factor was the shortened season after a summer of uncertainty and a late start to the preseason.

“Losing that two-and-a-half weeks is huge,” Hakala said. “A lot of guys don’t play golf in the offseason so their six weeks, eight weeks of golf for DIV is it.”

Still, the Vikings shot well enough to win. 

“Luckily for us, the score was pretty high today,” Hakala said, “because we were about 30 shots above where we should be, but we’ll take it – better to limp in than not get in at all.”

Mascenic’s No. 2 man and third overall finisher was Ryan Goodrich, who was playing in his first-ever state tournament as a senior after missing out on last year’s canceled tournament. Goodrich started out with some jitters – he’d double-bogey the first three holes – but settled in and cruised to a +17 89.

“I knew we had a decent top four, so I pretty much just had to shoot my average,” Goodrich said. “I ended it bringing back around. It feels really good – it was my last shot at it.”

Hakala got just what he needed out of the senior. 

“He posted a really respectable score,” Hakala said. “It’s one above his average for the season, and I’m really happy with him. He worked harder this year than he has probably any year, and it’s showing.”

Also contributing to the state champion Vikings were Bryce Traffie (107, +35), Spencer Sikkila (111, +39) and Casey Brox (133, +61).

The Vikings will be back in action one more time for the DIV individual championship, which the NHIAA rescheduled to Sunday, Oct. 25 at Souhegan Woods Golf Course in Amherst. If Thursday’s contest was any indication, Mascenic’s Lisio and Littleton’s Stevens will likely go at it once again with an individual title on the line. 

“It’s going to be a duke-out with those two for sure,” Hakala said. 


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