Thornton Academy has offered golf as a sport since the late 1930’s when Harry
Sawyer started the very first school-sponsored team. The program has been consistently
successfully and won its first State Interscholastic Championship in 1946. Just over a
decade later Thornton fielded an undefeated squad under Coach Stephen Polackwich and
captured the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) state championship. Today the team
plays in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association’s (SMAA) Central Division and
competes in a home-and-home series of nine hole matches against each of the other five
members of this grouping.
High school golf consists of both individual and team components. Six members of
the varsity team compete in each of the team’s regular season matches and have the
opportunity to contribute points towards the team’s total. An individual golfer can earn up
to two points based upon his or her nine hole score (medal play) and hole differential
(match play) in direct competition with a player from the opposing school. Each year the
SMAA holds a qualifying tournament in which teams have an opportunity to qualify for the
state team championship at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro in October. The top
individual scorers during the qualifier also compete at Natanis for the individual state
championship; separate individual championships for boys and girls are sponsored by the
Alumni of the Thornton Academy golf program include some of the top players in
Maine interscholastic history. Gail Martin was an all-state performer for three consecutive
seasons from 1988-1990 and gained induction into the Thornton Academy Hall of Fame.
Megan Angis was Maine State Interscholastic Golf Champion in 2002. Hashilla Rivai
captured the girls state crown in 2014 and went on to play golf at Division I Purdue
University. Three boys players – Erwin Kennedy (1950), Matt Brennick (1999), and Brian
Angis (2009) -- have won the state individual championship while playing for Thornton
Academy; Angis was also named as the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year.
Only three coaches have guided the fortunes of the Thornton Academy golf program
in the last four decades. Michael Verrier coached the Golden Trojans to 194 match victories
in 25 seasons and won twelve divisional, four conference, and three Class A state
championships; he was inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. Michael Tate
guided Thornton Academy to an overall record of 95-18-1 (.829) and captured four
divisional and six conference titles. Current head coach Jeff Camire has a record of 75-13
(.852) since 2014, and his 2015 team won the Class A state title. Camire has also led three
teams (2014, 2019, 2021) to SMAA titles during his tenure.
Thornton Academy conducts its practices and plays its matches as guests of the
Biddeford-Saco Country Club. Tryouts are held for both the varsity and junior varsity
teams during mid-August. All practices are held on weekdays.
2024 Opening Date: August 14
Teams: Varsity, Junior Varsity
Varsity Coach: Jeff Camire
Junior Varsity Coach: Matthew Townsend