December 8, 2013

GOLFER OF THE YEAR: Gavin Dugas

MCI junior stepped up game for team, himself

By Dave Dyer
Staff Writer

Gavin Dugas was already one of the top high school golf players in the state.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by David Leaming Gavin Dugas is Morning Sentinel Golfer of the Year.

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KJ/MS GOLF ALL-STARS

1st team:

Luke Ruffing, Maranacook

Gavin Dugas, MCI

Adam Hachey, Winthrop

Taylor Morang, Winthrop

Robert Vickerson, Monmouth

2nd team:

Carter Pearl, MCI

Erik Larrabee, Mt. View

Billy Rollins, Messalonskee

Ben Leet, Cony

Luke Atchison, Erskine

But like any golfer, the Maine Central Institute junior wanted to improve his game and produce better scores.

Dugas’ improvement not only helped his own game, but helped the Huskies as a team. He shot a 74 to lead MCI to a third place finish at the Class B team state championship. A week later, Dugas shot a 78 and finished tied for fifth place at the individual state championship.

For his accomplishments, Dugas is the Morning Sentinel Golfer of the Year. Dugas was also tabbed with the honor last year.

Dugas had success as a sophomore a season ago, shooting an 80 at the state championship tournament. He spent the offseason working out in the gym and on the course to improve his game.

“I worked out in the winter, more serious than the last,” Dugas said. “I got 15 or 20 more yards on my drive. I worked on my putting a lot. I knew that if I worked on my short game, I could score better.”

Dugas, along with Trevor Kitchin, Dylan Watrous, Carter Pearl and brother Erik Dugas, strung together a strong season for MCI. Huskies coach Paul Greco had confidence in his squad entering the tournament.

“This year (we’ve) got a shot,” Greco said. “Camden Hills is in our way. My 2 and 3 men are freshmen, they’ve never been here but they got a taste of it.”

The Huskies finished with a team score of 334 at the state team championship, tied with Cape Elizabeth, and 13 shots behind Class B champion Camden Hills.

Dugas led the Huskies with his 74. Pearl shot an 80, while Erik Dugas shot an 85. Watrous rounded out the group with a 95.

Dugas said he was very happy with how the team played throughout the year.

“It was my dream team, pretty much,” Dugas said. “We had two freshman, my brother and Carter (Pearl). My cousin Trevor (Kitchin) had a great year. Dylan Watrous did his job. Parker Morrison, who transferred from Winslow to MCI, he filled our sixth spot. We were pretty strong all the way down through.”

Dugas stayed consistent throughout the end of the year, as he shot a 74 at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship. The individual championship was played at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Though he finished two strokes better than last season, Dugas wished he had a couple of the holes back and believed he could have had a better score.

“I wish I could have had the ninth and 10th hole back,” Dugas said. “My last two holes, same as last year. Nine, I didn’t hit my drive that good, the wind was in my face and it went 170 yards. I had 200 yards to the green with the wind in my face. I tried to hit it with a 4-iron, tried to overdue it and pulled it left toward the bushes, I chipped up and two-putted for double (bogey).”

Maranacook’s Luke Ruffing won the individual title, shooting a 71.

The Huskies will have most of their team back next season, making MCI a contender for the Class B title once again.

“We have me, Erik, Carter and Parker,” Dugas said. “This summer I really want to start getting the rest of the team playing more, practicing more. I think with all of our talent, we have a pretty good shot at winning states, but Camden is strong.”

In the meantime, Dugas will continue to work on his game, including playing in some junior amateur tournaments during the summer. He’ll also work with his dad, Mike Dugas, who is the golf pro at J.W. Parks Golf Course in Pittsfield.

“With my dad, pretty much if I have a problem, I can go to him and he can fix it,” Dugas said.

Dave Dyer — 621-5639

ddyer@centralmaine.com

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