The 2021 golf season saw numerous area players excel on the course this past spring, leading to six selections on this year's All-Herald Golf Team.
Berlin's girls State Open champion Libby Dunn leads the list of local talent while teammate Kenna Roman also secured a spot on the All-Herald team with a solid sophomore season.
Brooke Zajac of Southington and Julia Smith of Plainville rounded out the girls picks while Jacob Lindsay of Berlin and Xavier Goode of New Britain earned selections on the boys side.
Dunn shot an 81 to claim the state crown at Black Hall Country Club in Old Lyme on June 12 to put a bow on an incredible season for the Redcoats' 10th-grader.
“Libby is one of the hardest working girls I have ever coached,” Berlin girls coach James Barnes said, “She is a great teammate and a wonderful talent. She was our number one player throughout our season [and] Libby was named both All-Conference and All-State this year.”
Roman wasn't too far behind Dunn at Black Hall, shooting a 87 to grab a three-way-tie for eighth place, marking two Redcoats inside the final top 10.
Along with that, Roman also became the first player to win the Junior Girls and Women's Club Open Championships during the same year at Shuttle Meadow Country Club.
“The sky is the limit for Kenna,” Barnes said. “She has incredible athletic ability and hits the ball further than any high school girl I have ever seen or coached. Kenna was named both All-Conference and All-State this year.”
Berlin's dynamic duo led the Redcoats to a conference title and a state runner-up finish in 2021.
Zajac showed her skills at the State Open as well as the Blue Knights junior carded a 91 to finish in a tie for 16th place.
“Brooke Zajac was a highly competitive varsity member of the Southington High School boy’s golf team during the spring 2021 season,” Southington golf coach John O'Neill said. “Brooke finished in the top 15 in the state, was named All-Conference and All-State, placed 4th at the CCC Tournament and qualified for both the girls State Tournament and the girls Open Tournament, all while remaining near the top of her class academically and belonging to the National Honor Society.”
Zajac was also named to the All-Herald Golf Team as a freshman in 2019.
Plainville's star junior Smith spearheaded the Blue Devils all spring long before shining during postseason play.
“Julia had a solid and consistent 2021 season which culminated with an 11th-place finish at the Girls Division II State Championship,” Plainville girls golf coach Mario Pires said. “She also earned All-CCC honors with a 8.9 scoring differential. Julia has developed a strong work ethic to get to where she is.”
On the boys side, Goode paced the rebuilding Hurricanes as their top producer. In fact, Goode earned medalist honors in six straight matches this past season.
“Can't say enough about him for the short time I've known him,” New Britain golf coach Joe Vaverchak said. “I see how he hits and there's no question in my mind he'll be shooting under 40 for nine holes. He's got a shot to be very consistent, I could see him shooting 75 and under.
As a golfer I think he's got a strong chance of making the state tournament,” Vaverchak said. “He really did well last year, missed out on qualifying by a fraction of a point.”
Lastly, Lindsay capped off an incredible senior season at Berlin with a top 30 finish at the State Open. Lindsay shot a 81, which trailed first-place Brett Chodos by 12 strokes.
Before heading off to Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute this fall, Lindsay was one of three local boys golfers to compete at the U.S. Open qualifiers at Shuttle Meadow in May. Lindsay shot a four-over par to miss the cut.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.