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Jack earned a spot on the Division II team.
Katie helped the Titans reach the final of the three-game event.
Josh, who served as manager last season due to injury, was Riflery's top shooter in the first match.
Matt received the award from the Massachusetts Golf Association.

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Jack Dowding '15 to play golf at St. Anselm

With the help of a recent Wilbraham & Monson Academy alumnus, Jack Dowding ’15 has made his college choice.

Jack will attend and play Division II collegiate golf at Saint Anselm College upon his graduation from the Academy.

“It’s a beautiful campus, they have my field of interest (business), and the coach (Frank Driscoll) was a great guy,” Jack said. “I wanted to play competitive golf.”

Jack first learned about Saint Anselm from Taylor Fortin ’14, who received a basketball scholarship to the school in the spring of 2014. Jack and Taylor were on the WMA Golf team together.

“Taylor was helpful along the way,” Jack said. Jack was accepted into the school Jan. 12, and Coach Driscoll emailed him Jan. 24 to say he had a spot in the team.

“Coach Driscoll is all about building your future than becoming a professional golfer,” Jack explained. “He talked about the success of his players and how they’ve gone on to well-paying jobs and became successful men.

“After he emailed me I sent an email right back and told him I would accept the position and was grateful for the opportunity.”

Jack is also grateful for his time at WMA and his experience with Coach Doug Hutcheson.

“Coach Hutch has been so instrumental in helping me and Matt along the way,” said Jack, referring to classmate Matt Naumec, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play golf at Boston College. “During the spring he always came to me with different schools he thought would fit my personality. He helped me grow as a player and took me to the level where I’m going next.”

St. Anselm plays in the Northeast-10 Conference. Golf is a fall and spring sport, with the highlight of the season being a trip to North Carolina.

Katie Cronin '17 selected to SBS All-Tournament team

Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Basketball Coach Durelle Brown called Katie Cronin ’17 “a beast.”

In the basketball world, that’s a compliment.

Katie was named to the Stoneleigh-Burnham School All-Tournament team for her performance during the three-game event Dec. 19-20.

“The best thing about that weekend for Katie was she found her groove and her role within her team,” Coach Durelle explained. “Taking her off the point guard position this year and letting her play the two-guard, it breeds more of her athleticism with her instinctual mentality because now she can think of herself first, but she also has a point guard mentality and she can find others. That weekend, she found her stride offensively. And defensively, she was a beast.”

Katie helped the Titans beat host Stoneleigh as well as Vermont Academy before the Academy lost to Miss Hall’s School in the final.

“In the championship game, even though we lost we still worked really well together,” said Katie, a 5-foot-5-inch guard. “We played well. It didn’t turn out how we wanted it but when we looked back on the video, Coach saw more of the good things than the bad.”

Katie averaged 11 points and six steals in the three games, including 20 points, nine steals and four rebounds in the championship.

Josh VanVoorhis '16 - top gun

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Josh VanVoorhis ’16 has gone from being the Riflery team’s manager during the 2013-14 season to one of their top shooters this season, with a high score of 190 (of 200) in the team’s first match.

Josh wasn't the team’s manager by choice a year ago. He received a shoulder injury during the 2013-14 fall season playing football, and that injury persisted throughout the Riflery season.

What is honorable about Josh is that during his time of injury he did not abandon his team, opting to work with former Coach Brian Easler to hone his spotting skills.

Coach John Lombard has been very impressed with Josh’s improvement between last year and this year. He was especially impressed with his improvements in the spotting field, and how by the end of the season he rivaled Coach Easler, a distinguished marksman.

“Josh has gone through a huge transformation from last year to this year,” said Coach John Lombard. “Last year he was an accomplished team manager, but I would also say assistant coach. He was, in terms with spotting, tied with Mr. Easler for being the one that all the shooters wanted.”

Josh is very appreciative for Coach Easler’s guidance. Josh said, “Coach Easler taught me more than I have ever known about the sport.”

Although Coach Easler made a significant impact on the team last year, Josh recognizes the constructive coaching from Coach Lombard and Coach Bill Passy.

“The team is great,” Josh said. “We are shooting very well. Two years ago we shot 200 points below where we are shooting now. The improvement we have had with the new coaches is great.”

Josh takes the sport of Riflery very seriously, and appreciates this season, where he is healthy enough to shoot.

“Not being able to shoot made the winter trimester a lot harder,” said Josh, “but being back at it is nice, and being a part of the family again.”

By James Sabatino '16 

Matt Naumec '15 named state Junior Player of the Year

Matt Naumec’s list of golf accomplishments keeps getting longer and longer.

Matt, a member of Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Class of 2015, was named the 2014 Christopher Cutler Rich Massachusetts Golf Association Junior Player of the Year Jan. 8. Matt was one of the highlights of the Salute to Champions Dinner, which drew the top golfers in the state to Wellesley Country Club.

“The night was amazing. I went last year – same place,” said Matt, who won the 2013 New England prep title for WMA. “The dinner was great, and being around the highest level of people in the golf world in the state . . . It’s an honor to be around them, and hopefully that comes back for future contacts.”

In the summer of 2014, Matt won the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, which is the highest level of amateur golf in the state, competed at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Georgia, and played a key role in Team Massachusetts winning the New England Tournament. The MGA, the state’s ranking authority in golf, announced Matt as the Junior Player of the Year in mid-December.

“It’s such an honor to be named the Chris Cutler Rich Player of the Year,” Matt said. “If you look at the list, it’s Jake Shuman, Patrick Frodigh, Jon Curran, who is on the PGA Tour, James Driscoll. It’s cool I’ll have my name on the trophy forever. It’s such an honor and it’s at the top of my pedestal for my golf achievements. I’m happy and it’s a confidence booster.”

Matt signed his National Letter of Intent in November to play golf at Boston College, where he’ll major in economics.

“I want to be in golf my whole life, whether that’s as a player or administrator,” he said. “My options are wide open.”

 

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