Jay N. Miller
HINGHAM – The Hingham High girls golf team recently concluded its season with a fourth-place finish at the South Sectionals at the par 72 Falmouth Country Club, scoring a team total of 387.
The Harborwomen were led by Piper Jordan’s score of 82. Lauren Webber also broke 100 with her score of 88, while Maddie Mann had a 108. Becca Kardoos, as well as Julie McAllister, both had a 112.
During the regular season, Hingham posted a very strong record of 12-3. In the individual scoring race, Jordan was seventh and Weber placed ninth in the league.
Jordan and Weber finished the spring season playing as individuals at the girls’ state championship at Eastward Ho! Country Club in Chatham. Jordan carded an 84 to finish tied for 8th. Weber ended up tied for 47th with a score of 119.
Hingham High Girls Golf Head Coach Dan Clune announced at the end of the spring season that he was stepping down after 25 years. As dozens of HHS golf alumni will attest, Clune has been the face and driving force behind the program, and a major reason for its sustained success. We caught up with Clune recently for an interview about the recently concluded season.
QUESTION: In general, what was this year’s team like, as far as a lot of veterans, or more new kids and underclassmen? And how many seniors do you lose to graduation? Had you lost many kids to graduation last year?
CLUNE: Our top four players from last year were back, the rest were seniors, so I lost six regular players to graduation. I will be losing two more key players from this year’s team: Niamh McGuinness and Julie McCallister.
QUESTION: Coming out of the pandemic seasons, were you able to get the normal numbers of matches in, and were you able to add back in some non-league matches this season? How were your overall numbers this season?
CLUNE: We did get back to more of a normal schedule this season. We split two matches with Ursuline Academy, we beat NDA-Hingham twice, both of the top team in the state. We also beat a very good Westborough High team and lost twice to Duxbury High. It was a very good year and we finished with a record of 12-3.
We had 15 players, which is a usual number for the program. Unfortunately, many teams do not have JV programs or course time or transportation issues. Our JV coach, Louie Pires, was undefeated. I also have a great assistant coach in Chris Connelly. He brought a wealth of knowledge to our program. I felt we improved by leaps and bounds through the year.
QUESTION: Did you have certain players who were the team’s main stars or were there different low scorers in each match?
CLUNE: Our Number 1, Piper Jordan, is one of the top players in the entire state. She averaged around +3 for nine holes this year. Our numbers 2 and 3, senior Niahm McGuinness and sophomore Lauren Weber were at 11.5 and 13 respectively. That is good golf. We play match play and all of our golfers had winning records. Most of them ended the season with only two or three losses on their record.
QUESTION: You finished 4th as a team at the South Sections. Was that about what you expected this year?
CLUNE: We were missing one of our best players and we only missed out on qualifying for states by five strokes. It was disappointing. We expected to be second or third as a team at Sectionals and then you never know what can happen at the States.
QUESTION: Which players improved the most this spring? Who were some of the bigger surprises as the season went along?
CLUNE: Freshman Becca Kardoos, sophomore Maddie Mann, junior Marielle Bogan, and junior Kendra O’Brien all improvedly. Becca and Maddie jumped into the number 5 and 6 playing spots.
QUESTION: Do you have any players who’ve been recruited for college play or who intend to their golf career in college>
CLUNE: Julie McCallister will be playing golf at Assumption College next year. She will be following in the footsteps of Sam Leary, who played for me a few years ago.
QUESTION: What are you going to miss the most about coaching?
CLUNE: I will be leaving coaching boys and girls golf as well as JV basketball this year and teaching after next year. That is going to be tough. The thing I’ll miss the most is the kids. They keep you charged up. Their energy is unbelievable.