Sam Herrick had high, optimistic expectations when he took the job to be Nantucket High's next varsity golf coach this year. The season didn’t start out the way he may have wanted it to with a 2-4 record, but it couldn’t have ended much better. His team won nine of their final 10 matches to finish with an 11-5 record and Herrick welcomed the birth of his daughter, Halle last month. The season was so enjoyable in fact, that Herrick already has a long-term goal set.
“I plan on coaching my daughter someday,” he said.
The team became more and more comfortable with Herrick and his assistants which included his father Hal, Danno Lynch, and former varsity golf coach Nate Roberts.
Herrick said there were players who didn’t have the same drive at the beginning of the season to be great golfers as they do now. They will be returning ten golfers for their senior seasons next fall, so Herrick feels good about his team’s chances of taking a leap.
“Metaphorically these guys drank the punch and be more involved, get better, compete, and win,” Herrick said. “We lose two key players in Jack Billings and Aidan Sullivan. Billings is a big energy guy for the team. Aidan was a leader and co-captain. We will miss them, but next year I am expecting big things.”
The Whalers placed eighth in sectionals earlier this week with junior Cole Chambers being the medalist and shooting an 88, followed by junior Henry Kathawala (89), Sullivan (89), and junior Michael Culkins (90).
“This season Henry was our medalist 11 times followed by Chambers who finished as our best scorer four or five times,” Herrick said. “If I had to name anyone the MVPs of the team it is hard to go against those two. Excited to have them back next season. Two guys that will need to step up next season are Colby O’Keefe and Ryan Davis (both juniors). They have all the potential in the world. They will shine if they continue to put in the work.”
Herrick was complimentary of Sankaty Golf, Miacomet, and Nantucket Golf for their willingness to accommodate his team amidst their busy schedules. He said this summer he has some tournaments scheduled and that Miacomet will be opening their doors to his team this summer.
“The weather was so bad for a period of time there where we missed some games and practices, so I think making sure we are ready to go match one of the season will be key,” Herrick said. “If these guys can get a little practice in over the summer, there is no way we will start 2-4 again next season.”
The Whalers will be sending Chambers, Kathawala, and Sullivan over to Willow Bend Country Club in Mashpee next week for the Cape Cod Invitational, so check back in with the Current for updates on how these three golfers do.