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Joe Duball's NH College Notebook: Nashua's Ethier on course to lead his squad

By JOE DUBALL
April 08. 2018 12:02AM
Nashua's Tommy Ethier is making a name for himself with Bentley University's golf team as a freshman. (Gil Talbot photo courtesy of Bentley University)



As an athlete, you always carry a competitive mentality about the opposition. It's a little different for Bentley University golfer Tommy Ethier.

Sure, the Nashua native always seeks to rise above his competitors, but battling the course and himself take precedent. That focus has turned into a special start to his career at Bentley, where he has a team-leading 73.5 stroke average through 12 rounds in his freshman campaign.

"You're mostly playing against the course, which makes each tournament like any other I've ever played in," Ethier said. "It's not like basketball or football, where you're paying against these bigger and faster kids. At the end of the day it's you against the course, and you try to put together the best round possible."

Ethier has yet to shoot higher than 77 during the 2017-2018 campaign, which is split between the fall and the spring, while coming in as low as 68 on two occasions. Monday's first two rounds at The Trojan golf tournament in Goldsboro, N.C., produced the 77 and one of the 68s. Ethier wrapped up the tournament on Tuesday with a 75, which helped him finish in a tie for fifth at 220 for the tournament while Bentley finished sixth as a team.

"My putting was crucial," Ethier said. "I made a ton of long putts. I didn't really hit the ball well in that first round (on Monday), but I hit some putts that salvaged the round."

The results at the Trojan were a productive of momentum as Ethier strung together a 73-74-76-225 at the California (Pa.) Coaches Intercollegiate Classic in Crofton, Md., on March 26 and 27. The stellar play in the last two tournaments garnered the attention of the Northeast-10 Conference, which awarded Ethier Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors on Thursday.

It's not often you see a freshman take the command that Ethier has, but it's not something he is shying away from.

"I've always been confident in my ability and known I've had it in me," Ethier said. "It's come down to a little more experience and managing the course better. I'm keeping the ball in play and rolling more putts, which always help."

The buildup to Ethier's roll this spring started last summer while playing in in New Hampshire Golf Association events. He won the NHGA Junior Championship and held his own in the State Am and Stroke Play Championship. That good fortune rolled over into a 68 and 69 in his first collegiate rounds for the Falcons back in September.

The break in the college season was obviously not welcomed for Ethier, but he made the most of it.

"The weather's really been so awful up here so we've just been hitting balls," Ethier said. "I've been getting back to the basics from throughout the years and tried to focus on that. When I do that, balls aren't flying too far off line and I really just keep it in front of me."

Ethier has golf in his blood. His grandfather, Dick Dion, won the State Am three times in the 1950s and '60s. His mother, Laurie, played in college and his cousin Austin Baker played at SNHU.

Baseball

Quinnipiac infielder Evan Vulgamore earned MAAC Player of the Week honors for a big week at the plate last week. The Bow native batted .529 in seven games last week for the Bobcats while collecting nine hits, three homers and eight runs batted in. Vulgamore's three homers all came in a 28-2 thumping of St. Peter's last Sunday.

Deerfield's Josh Partridge was announced as the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week after a sealing wins for St. Joseph's College (Maine) last week. Partridge hurled 4 ? innings scoreless innings and struck out five en route to a pair of saves for the Monks.

Softball

Worcester Polytechnic Institute junior Renee Leclaire was named NEWMAC Softball Athlete of the Week for last week. Leclaire, of Merrimack, helped the Engineers to a 5-1 week by hitting .529 with three extra-base hits. The junior did it with the glove as well, posting 45 putouts and six assists in the outfield.

Plymouth State University's Caitlyn Miller and Abrie Davis each earned weekly awards from the Little East Conference. Miller, of Lee, was Pitcher of the Week for the second consecutive week after going 2-0 with a 0.64 earned run average. Davis, of Amherst, was Player of the Week, stringing together a .500 average in 14 at-bats while collecting six RBIs and three runs scored.

Women's lacrosse

Londonderry's Chelsea Lewis was named the Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Week for her outstanding performances in two victories for Keene State College. The junior midfielder racked up 10 goals for the Owls in the two games. She celebrated her honor by scoring four more goals in Tuesday's win over New England College.

Women's track and field

Endicott freshman Aleah MacKay was named Commonwealth Coast Conference Track Rookie of the Week after her first collegiate race last week. MacKay, of Bedford, highlighted the Gulls' efforts as the freshman distance runner qualified for both the New England Division III and All-New England Championships with a time of 40:11.88 in the 10,000-meter run. She finished 11th out of 18 runners.

Hall inductions

Londonderry resident Megan Lyons Melanson and Manchester native Tony Adams were announced as 2018 inductees into the St. Michael's College (Vt.) Athletic Hall of Fame. They will be enshrined Sept. 21.

Lyons is the all-time leading scorer for the Purple Knights' women's ice hockey program. She collected 11 school records during her four-year career at St. Michael's and still holds nine of them.

Adams is a longtime sports journalist and broadcaster who began his career WMUR in Manchester. In addition to covering the Purple Knights on radio and television for many years, he also handled play-by-play for St. Michael's men's basketball for many seasons, and was the voice of University of Vermont football, men's basketball and baseball, and Dartmouth College football for decades.

jduball@unionleader.com


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