Division 2 state golf: Potter’s 1-over leads way for Dover-Sherborn

BROCKTON — As Charlie Potter made his way to the course Tuesday, a bitter chill hung in the air. Cars whistled past nearby in the City of Champions. However, he strolled out with a bit of swagger, confident in his approach.

The sophomore shot a 71 (one-over-par) on the afternoon, helping Dover-Sherborn capture the Div. 2 golf championship at Thorny Lea Country Club in Brockton.

“It really is an amazing feeling,” Potter said afterward. “Coming out here, my first time playing. I kind of surprised myself with my ability today.”

Potter was named the tournament’s medalist, besting Reading’s Brandon Vitarsi by one stroke. His efforts directly impacted Dover-Sherborn in the final standings, as the Raiders edged Bishop Stang by two strokes for the state title.

Despite the tricky greens, which wreaked havoc for fellow golfers, Potter navigated the course’s tricks with little interruption.

His coach and mentor, Jon Kirby, was not surprised.

“He has (been incredible),” said Kirby. “He shot 11-under, set the course record at Pinecrest on his own, probably a 50-year mark. We had a practice on Sunday the same week, and he shot five-under our place for nine — to set the court record at Sassamont. He’s a good player. He’s a great player.”

Potter finished with a pair of birdies during the event, but also ran into some obstacles. After shooting a par on his seventeenth hole of the day, Potter walked out to the course’s second hole, looking to close his outing. His tee shot struck a tree and skipped into the rough, as he clung to a slim lead in the individual standings. Despite the tough lie, he was able to recover to finish with bogey, winning the championship for his school in the process.

“That’s the big one,” Potter said. “It felt amazing as a team to win. We got one two years ago. I wasn’t on that team unfortunately. But it meant the world to win today, as a team.”

In addition to Potter, Tim Hill finished tied for fourth overall for Dover-Sherborn, shooting a 75 (five-over-par). Grant Mayer (83) and Griffin Sipp (85) rounded out the top scorers for the Raiders. Their efforts topped the combined performance of Bishop Stang’s grouping of Matthew Oliveira (75), Matt Costello (76), Jack Shea (81) and Nathaniel Mello (84).

The title is the latest in a recent run of success for Dover-Sherborn, despite the school making the leap from the Div. 3 ranks to Div. 2.

It was also the latest title for Kirby, who has helped establish dynasties with Dover-Sherborn’s respective golf and tennis programs.

“I’ve just been very lucky personally to be associated with great players,” said Kirby. “It’s not me, it’s them. I’ve been lucky. It’s been a pleasure, and they’re great kids too. I just couldn’t be a luckier guy.”

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