Louie Earns Player of the Year Honors After Leading Middlebury to First Place at Qualifier
HADLEY, Mass. – Middlebury junior John Louie (Salinas, Calif.) has been named NESCAC Player of the Year after leading his team to a first-place finish at the NESCAC Championship Qualifier over the weekend. Colby’s Geoffrey Sullivan (Topsfield, Mass.) also took home a major award, earning NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors. The first year helped the Mules tie for seventh at the two-day tournament, which was hosted by Bowdoin at Brunswick Golf Club (par 72 - 6,601 yards).
Louie (pictured right) earned medalist honors with a two-day score of 145. The junior fired a tournament-best 70 (-2) along with senior teammate Rob Donahoe (Canton, Mass.) on Saturday, but finished atop the leaderboard after carding a 75 (+3) Sunday. In the process, he became the third Panther to earn NESCAC Player of the Year honors during the millenia. Previous winners include David Greiner (2000) and Brian Cady (2010).
All five Middlebury entrants earned All-NESCAC recognition. Louie was joined on the First Team by Donahoe and junior Chris Atwood (Rochester, N.H.), who finished second and fourth, respectively, with rounds of 146 and 150. Donahoe was named to the First Team in 2010 when he earned NESCAC Rookie of the Year and the Second Team in 2011. Atwood was named to the Second Team in 2011 as well. Meanwhile, first-year Fitz Bowen (Winnetka, Ill.) and junior Eric Laorr (Eden Prairie, Minn.) earned spots on the Second Team following matching rounds of 154, which tied for ninth.
Sullivan became the first player in Colby history to earn NESCAC Rookie of the Year recognition. He got off to a strong start, posting a score of 73 (+1), which was good for third at the end of day one. Sullivan closed out the tournament with a 79 to finish with a two-day total of 152, which tied for fifth to earn him a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team.
Placement on NESCAC All-Conference Teams is based on individual performance at the qualifier. A total of seven players were honored on the First Team. Joining Louie, Donahoe, Atwood and Sullivan were Trinity sophomore Jeff Durkin (Scituate, Mass.) and junior Greg Palmer (Cheshire, Conn.) and Amherst sophomore James Line (Glastonbury, Conn).
Durkin finished in third place after turning in back-to-back rounds of 74 to land a spot on an All-NESCAC Team for the first time in his career. Palmer and Line matched Sullivan’s 36-hole score of 152 to find their way on the all-conference squad. Palmer finds himself on the First Team for the second consecutive season after earning NESCAC Player of the Year recognition a year ago. Meanwhile, Line joins the list of 12 first-time All-NESCAC honorees.
Three schools had two players earn Second Team honors each. Tufts sophomore Jay Wong (Darien, Conn.) carded a two-day tally of 153 for eighth place, while junior teammate John Wawer (Litchfield, Conn.) posted a 155 to land in a seven-way tie for 12th. Both players are the first Jumbos to be all-conference since 2009. Williams seniors Dylan Dethier (Williamstown, Mass.) and Cody Semmelrock (Pomfret Center, Conn.) recorded identical scores of 155 to find their way on the all-conference squad. Both players collected All-NESCAC laurels in 2011, as Semmelrock was named Second Team and Dethier was named First Team. Dethier also landed on the Second Team in 2012. Bowdoin senior Thomas Lilly (Bronxville, N.Y.) and first-year Thomas Spagnola (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) became the first Polar Bears to receive all-conference honors since 2008 after finishing tied for 12th.
Rounding out the Second Team were Bates senior Garrett Johnson (Lexington, Mass.), who finished ninth with a score of 154, and Amherst junior Josh Moser (San Francisco, Calif.) and Trinity junior Nick Buenaventura (Weston, Mass.), who both tied for 12th at 155. Buenaventura was a first-team honoree in 2011 and 2012, as well as the 2011 NESCAC Rookie of the Year. Johnson, who is the first Bobcat all-conference player since 2008, and Moser are first-time honorees.
Bill Beaney of Middlebury was named NESCAC Coach of the Year for the second time in his 20-year career after also earning the honor in 2007. Beaney led the Panthers to three top-five finishes this fall, including wins at the Bowdoin and Duke Nelson Invitationals. During the weekend, all Middlebury golfers turned in scores below 80. He has guided the Panthers to five NESCAC titles (1999, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012) and five NCAA Championship appearances.