The Gentleman’s Game


By Marcus McDermott|

Captain Gabe Van Ness and Maxx Bugg
Captain Gabe Van Ness and Maxx Bugg

Since the sport’s conception hundreds of years ago, Golf has always been known as the Gentleman’s Game. Its players are known for their good sportsmanship, hardwork, and even better character. Over two decades ago, The Morgan Boys Golf Team formed, determined to carry on these traditions. During the last two seasons, the team had major success within the Shoreline Conference and during states. They’ve done this with more than just luck; all of these players have incredible skill.

Last year the team won Shorelines and States. This year, the team went into the season with the same mentality: win another state championship. Recently the team went into states 10-0 on the Shoreline for a perfect record. They won the Shoreline Conference Championship with a total of 328 (21 strokes better than the team they faced, Cromwell.) Their success is largely credited to Senior Gabe Van Ness, a captain, and Junior Maxx Bugg, a co-captain. During the match, Bugg scored a 66, his lowest score in a competitive round ever. This helped the team solidify the win against Cromwell and ultimately led to them bringing home the title. When asked about his spectacular score, Bugg had this to say. “I was really happy. It was my lowest competitive round ever, and it was also my first bogey free round ever.” Along with Bugg’s score, Senior Gabe Van Ness shot a 78, while sophomore Kevin Daley shot an 87. In addition, Freshman Jack Bugg scored a 97 and Freshman Burton Caldwell scored a 98. English teacher Eric Bergman, golf’s head coach, told me why they have had and keep having such great success. “We have some very good players. It’s as simple as that. They’re all accustomed to high levels of competition.”

On Wednesday Morgan faced Northwest Catholic for the Connecticut Division IV State Title at Timberlin Golf Course. Morgan trailed Northwest towards the end of the match. Senior Gabe Van Ness shot a 1-under 71 which forced the match into a sudden death round. Morgan and Northwest were tied at the end of regulation with scores of 320. All five players on both teams played the first three holes to determine the winner. Morgan won 55-57. After winning the state championship for the second year in a row, the team could not be more excited. “It feels great,” Bugg said. “We proved as a team that it was not a fluke. I was pumped to bring it home for our captain, Gabe, in his last season.” Freshman Burton Caldwell also had a lot to say after the win. “It feels great to be a part of the team and that I actually contributed to our win today,” Caldwell said. “It’s over all a great feeling, and I hope to do it again for my upcoming three years!”

Whether it be on or off the green, you can count on the Morgan Boys Golf Team’s character, ability to play under pressure, and skill to win big matches. The future is bright for this group of young gentlemen.

To learn more about the sport of golf and its history visit the International Golf Federation.