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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA Golf finishes fifth at the State Championship

Provided by Maddie Smith
WA Golf smiles for the camera after coming in fifth place at the Massachusetts State Championship, with the beautiful GreatHorse Golf Course in the background.

The Westford Academy Golf team concluded their season placing fifth overall at the State Championship, with senior captain Ilan Rashdan finishing second overall at the match played at the GreatHorse golf course in Hampden Massachusetts, on Tuesday Oct. 31.

WA had a handful of golfers who were successful throughout the season. Senior captains Rashdan and Justin Davighi, junior Jack Donovan, and sophomores, Peier Li, and Maddie Smith were WA’s top golfers and all placed well at States.

WA Golf’s triumphant season left the golfers feeling proud of their achievements. A DCL title, second place finish in sectionals, and placing fifth in the State Championship were all a result of the team’s hard work and dedication throughout the season.

“I felt like this season was a huge success,” Davighi said. “Undefeated in the DCL with a conference win is a big accomplishment that everyone should be proud of. Runner up at sectionals and a top 5 finish at states is also a really good look for the team.” 

On the day of the State Championship, Rashdan stepped up for WA, coming in second place individually out of the 103 total golfers at the match. The golfer who finished in first place in front of Rashdan was the number one player in the state and GreatHorse was his home course.

“Ilan Rashdan had a phenomenal day,” Golf Head Coach Patrick Claycomb said. “He shot a one under par (71) to finish 2nd overall for the tournament. Ilan was one of two players that finished under par for the tournament. With the best players in the state there he showed that he can compete with anyone.”

Rashdan’s under-par finish at the state championship was a shock, as he was competing against several golfers who were college commits for golf. Not only was he able to give them a run for their money, but he proved that he is just as much of a competitor as they are. 

“Golf is an unpredictable sport: it’s anybody’s game in that everyone has the opportunity to win,” Rashdan said. “I played well, and I’m happy that I did. I lost to a great player who’s committed to Vanderbilt but other than that, I was pleased with my performance.” 

Along with Rashdan, Davighi came through for WA shooting a 78 (6 over par) at the match. Competitors were impressed by WA’s results as GreatHorse is a difficult course.

“The course never lets you rest. You have to be fully committed on each shot,” Claycomb said. “The course has over 200 bunkers and almost every one of them is in play. One bad shot there can cost you two shots on your scorecard.”

A few days prior to the State Championship, WA Golf competed in Sectionals. The golfers put up a strong performance on the course, proving to other teams that they would be able to put up a fight at the State Championship, as well. 

“​​Sectionals showed us we could compete with anyone. Even though our scores at states were a little higher, I was still just as proud,” Claycomb said. “Golf is a hard game that changes day to day. I know they went out and put forth their best effort each day. That is all I’ll ever ask of them.” 

Claycomb, who is a Physical Education teacher, took on the role as WA’s new golf coach this season. Claycomb has thrived in his new position as head coach, leading his team to an undefeated 10-0 DCL conference season, a second place finish in sectionals, and a fifth place finish in the State Championship this year.

“Coach Claycomb was the perfect man for the job,” Davhigi said. “There isn’t a much better way to start a new coaching job than the way that Mr. Claycomb started with an undefeated DCL record and very good finishes at both the sectional and state championships.”

Rashdan also speaks highly of Coach Clayclomb, for he was not only a motivational and successful coach this season, but he was also strategic in his team’s gameplay.

“I think I can speak for the whole team that we enjoyed having Mr. Claycomb as our coach this season,” Rashdan said. “He’s done a great job in strategizing lineups and putting players in their designated spots for the matches. All in all, I’m very grateful to have a great person coaching us and I wish him the best for his future endeavors with the WA Golf Team.”

Claycomb is thankful for his team captains, Rashdan, Davighi, and senior Alex Kwon, who were large contributors to the success of the WA Golf team. 

“My captains were instrumental in the success of the team. They really led by example the entire year,” Claycomb said. “They kept everyone organized and on track. Most importantly, they made sure all 16 players felt like part of the team. They really were the heart and soul of the team.” 

In all, WA Golf’s successes were led by good coaching and talented, dedicated athletes. 

“I’m very proud of what this year’s team accomplished,” Rashdan said. “All the hard work and dedication paid off with a great season.”

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About the Contributor
Victoria Farley
Victoria Farley, Sports Editor
Hi! My name is Victoria Farley and I am a sophomore here at Westford Academy. This is my second year as a Ghostwriter and I am looking forward to this year as one of the Sports Editors. I enjoy writing and communicating with others, which is why being a Ghostwriter is perfect for me. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, and playing basketball.

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