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Housy, Hotchkiss students tee off

LAKEVILLE — With the golf season in full swing, Housatonic Valley Regional High School and The Hotchkiss School golfers took a day away from normal practice to meet on their shared home course on the Hotchkiss campus. The meeting April 29 was unusual because the golfers were not competing against each other but instead playing a round together in mixed teams. Originally established in 1970 by the widow of W. Lyle Thompson, who had been the golf pro and assistant coach at the Hotchkiss course during the late 1960s, the Thompson Golf Cup is an annual tournament that pairs Hotchkiss and Housatonic students in a scramble format. Leslie Thompson, 96, and now a resident of Falmouth, Mass., said she remembers how much Lyle, or “Red,” Thompson loved working with the boys, both local and from Hotchkiss, and helped create the cup in order to bring the two schools closer together.Thompson’s grandson, David Lyle Thompson, only learned of the existence of the cup when he came to work in the admission office at Hotchkiss in 1999. “I knew that my father had spent most of his childhood in Norfolk, and that my grandparents had lived in Sharon and Lakeville, but I didn’t realize that I had such a deep connection to the school until I came to work here and my grandmother told me about the cup,” he said.Hotchkiss pro Jim Kennedy assisted Thompson in tracking down the cup and spoke to regular players at the course who remembered the event from the 1970s. At one point it became so popular that it involved faculty and staff from both schools as well. Interest in the cup died out in the late 1970s. Over the last four years, however, the cup has been held annually, and has become a fixture of the spring schedule for both teams. Participants from Housatonic included Jordan Marks, Tim Fuller and Dylan McGarry, and the Hotchkiss golfers were Drew O’Brien, Sutton Fanlo, Robert Said, Olivia Jenkins, Brodie Olson, Annie Wymard and Robby Kirk. McGarry combined with Jenkins, Fanlo and O’Brien to post a five under score, far and away the best in recent memory. McGarry has the distinction of being on the winning team two years in a row; last year’s scramble was very even, and the teams had to resort to a two-hole playoff. After the trophy was presented, Kennedy looked at the names of the HVRHS alumni on the trophy and rattled off those that were still in the area: “Next year let’s see if we can get some of them back to play as well.”

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