Promising Londonderry High Golf Squad Goes 1-1 In Opener

With just two golfers from its 2013 team back in the fold for the 2014 season, the Londonderry High School golf squad will be something of a wait-and-see proposition for coach Scott Sicard as he begins his ninth season at his post.

But the LHS mentor has distinct reasons to think that returnees Dan Pleva and Alex Powers can get plenty done on the links in this, their junior seasons, and that a slew of newcomers give Sicard lots of additional reasons to think the 2014 Lancers as a crew can make some noise in tough Division I before the campaign is over.

Pleva and Powers’ fellow junior Jason Coburn began his first varsity campaign with a strong performance in the Lancers’ home and season-opener at the Passaconaway Country Club in Litchfield on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Coburn paced the locals with an individual score of 43, with Powers registering a 44 and Pleva shooting a 45 as the Lancers split a three-team match. Exeter’s Blue Hawks finished first with a team tally of 211, Londonderry was next with a 224, and Timberlane of Plaistow was third with a 242.

Along with the scores of the top trio, the Lancers received a 46 from Phil Keon, a 46 from Colby Joncas, a score of 47 from Nick McCann, a 48 from Marc Landry, and a 49 from Dalton Shields.

Three years ago, Pleva, Powers, and Coburn were the Londonderry Middle School’s standouts who represented their program at the state tournament when they were all eighth graders. Now as 11th graders, their coach thinks they’re capable of great stuff as leaders on the high school level.

“We have been waiting for three years for them to step up and be able to anchor the varsity team for us, and I am excited that they finally have that opportunity before them this year,” said Sicard. “They have a great opportunity to put together a special year and to lead the Lancers to another state tournament.”

The coach is certain that the trio makes up a great core group that shares strong chemistry.

“Dan Pleva is a beast this year,” said the coach. “He is playing better golf than I have ever seen him play with all of the years that I have been coaching him. He is hitting with distance now and will be competitive all season.”

Regarding Coburn, the LHS leader stated, “He is one of the hardest workers on the team, and it’s great to finally see him at the varsity level and putting up scoring rounds for our team.”

Where Alex Powers is concerned, Sicard stated, “Alex has a natural talent for golf. Since the first day I saw him swing a club, I could see his gift for golf. With more focus, he could be a serious threat in the league. And if the three of these guys are clicking together on any given day, we will be right in the mix of things and will be a force to reckoned with.”

Additionally, Phil Keon has been one of the Lancers’ biggest surprises thus far this season, and Sicard calls him “a completely different golfer this year. He is stronger, more focused, and is absolutely crushing the ball this year.”

The coach also thinks that Colby Joncas – who is also an all-state level baseball player at LHS –  is playing with more power this year and is continuously fine-tuning his game to become more competitive.

McCann and Landry played junior varsity golf last year and helped their team to a JV state title and appear to have “promise” written all over them.

Dalton Shields got Sicard’s attention with an eye-opening tryout, and the coach said that if he can find consistency, Shields could become a top-flight golfer.

When looking at the toughest competition Division I has to offer, Sicard’s thoughts stayed close to home, only traveling as far as Derry.

“I think Pinkerton will be a really tough team for us this year in the league,” he said. “With their addition of (four-time defending state junior girls’ champion) Lauren Thibodeau and their other phenomenal female golfer (Kaitlyn Lutinski), they will be able to give anyone a run for their money this year and for the next years to come. Lauren brings a new dimension to their team and gives them great depth. Mack Plaque will be a challenging round for us, but we will work hard to prepare for it and give it our best to grab that much-needed point for the Lancers.”

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