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Matt will be among the best non-professional golfers in the world when he competes in Georgia in August.
Katelyn pitched in five games in two days for her club team at the Nutmeg Games July 19-20.
Carly and her team from Connecticut won the World Fastpitch Connection Summer National Tournament in South Carolina.
Katie and Nicole played key roles in the West's run to the gold medal.

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Matt Naumec '15 qualifies for U.S. Amateur Championship

Matt Naumec ’15 came to Wilbraham & Monson Academy with a reputation as one of the best junior golfers in the country.

This summer, he proved it.

Matt placed second at a U.S. Amateur qualifying event at Torrington Country Club in Goshen, Conn., July 22. This qualified him for the 114th U.S. Amateur Championship, which is the highest level of non-professional golf in the world.

“Entering the tournament in Connecticut, I knew if I played my game I would have a shot at the U.S. Amateur,” Matt said. “But when I qualified I was still shocked because it’s the biggest amateur tournament in the world. Not many people at the age of 17 or going into their senior year of high school can say they qualified for the U.S. Amateur.

“I was really relieved because all of my hard work paid off.”

Connecticut’s qualifier drew players from throughout the country. Any non-professional with a handicap better than a 2.4 could enter.

In a field of 80 players, sporting his WMA golf bag, Matt shot a 3-under par 69 for his first round to put him in second place. He answered with a second round of par 72, making him only one of two players to finish the 36 holes under par.

“Going into the Connecticut tournament I knew I could shoot a good number, so when I got a 69 it felt good to go low,” Matt said. “But I wanted to shoot a good number for the second round because it could be won or lost there.

“When I came in from the second round I knew I had a good number. I thought it was good enough but I just had to wait.”

Matt waited a little more than an hour for all of the golfers’ scores to be recorded before he learned he had earned one of the two berths at the U.S. Amateur. More than 6,800 golfers competed in 97 qualifying events this summer vying for the 312 slots at the U.S. Amateur, which will be held at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga., Aug. 11-17.

“It’s an honor to qualify for this,” Matt said. “I’m just trying to make the cut. I’m going for the experience, and if I make the cut I make the cut.”

WMA’s Jack Dowding ’15 served as Matt’s caddy.

“Having one of my best friends on the bag was great,” Matt said. “Jack kept me calm. He helped me select clubs and read putts. He was a good caddy. It was awesome having him on the bag.”

 

Katelyn Mercer '15 pitches club team to silver medal

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Katelyn Mercer ’15 must have one of the most durable pitching arms in New England.

Katelyn pitched in five games in two days, helping her Southington Lightning Softball team to a silver medal at the Nutmeg Games in Connecticut July 19-20. The right-hander went 4-1 in the circle for her team.

“I thought I did alright,” Katelyn said. “On Saturday I didn’t do as well as I usually do, but on Sunday I came back and pitched well.”

Katelyn’s team played three games one day and three more the next. The tournament drew eight teams from throughout Connecticut.

“It was exciting,” said Katelyn, who also batted fifth in Southington’s lineup. “The team we lost to, we beat on Saturday. We knew we could have beaten them in the final but we were tired and missing a few players.

“It was a lot of fun. My team plays tournaments every weekend and they all feel the same, but this was a big Connecticut tournament. It was good competition.”

 

Carly Venditti '16 wins national softball tournament

Wilbraham & Monson Academy's Carly Venditti ’16 played in the biggest softball tournament of her career this summer, and she sure made the most of it.

Carly helped the Connecticut Titans win the 18-and-under division at the World Fastpitch Connection Summer National Tournament in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., July 14-19. The event included teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Tennessee.

“It was crazy,” Carly said. “There were tons of divisions. There were girls in the 8-and-under division who were amazing.”

Carly and her team were amazing, too. The Titans went 3-1 in pool play to advance to the double-elimination round of the tournament, where they beat a team from Pennsylvania in the final. Carly pitched in four of the team’s nine games, and also played third base.

“The competition was really tough,” Carly said. “Going into the double-elimination tournament we thought there were three teams that we thought could win it: us, a team from Pennsylvania and a team from Tennessee.

“I think I played pretty well. My hitting could have been better, but I felt like I played a solid third base.”

Carly and her teammates received trophies and rings for winning the championship.

Cousins Nicole and Katie Cronin win soccer gold at Bay State Games

There's something special about spending time with cousins, regardless of the venue or situation.

Cousins Nicole '15 and Katie Cronin '17 of Wilbraham & Monson Academy sure enjoyed their time with each other in July, giving themselves and their families a special lifetime memory.

Nicole and Katie helped the West soccer team to a gold medal at the 2014 Bay State Games, rallying the team to a 2-1 victory in double overtime against defending champion Central at the Veterans Memorial Athletic Complex in Waltham July 20.

"Playing with Katie was really fun," Nicole said. "On and off the field, we get along really well. This is my last year I'll be playing with her so it's good to play with her as much as possible, and winning the gold with her was really fun."

"It was great," Katie added. "The only other time we play soccer together is at Wilbraham & Monson, so it was great to spend more time with her."

Nicole and Katie were key figures in the West's run to the gold medal. Katie, who played predominantly forward but also saw time at midfield and defense, recorded four goals and four assists in six games. Nicole, meanwhile, proved to be the team's most reliable defender, starting every game at center back and playing every minute of overtime in the championship.

"Katie played really well," Nicole said. "The game before the final, we had to tie or win. We were down two goals and she came back and scored both of our goals to tie the game and put us in the final."

"Nicole played really well," Katie explained. "She was definitely our strongest defender. She shut everyone down."

The victory was particularly sweet for Nicole, who played on the 2013 team that lost in the final to Central on penalty kicks. The West also fell to Central 2-1 in the first game of this summer's tournament.

"Winning the gold was obviously better than winning silver," Nicole said. "The team worked really well together."

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