Jaguar Matt Pulgini finished third individually in the DIAA tournament at Maple Dale Country Club in Dover.

The Appoquinimink High School golf team placed third in the state, while Jaguar Matt Pulgini finished third individually in the DIAA tournament May 30 and 31 at Maple Dale Country Club in Dover.

“All in all, it was another great season of golf for Appo,” said coach Craig Ford. “I am so very proud and honored to be their coach. They are great bunch of kids and I am already chomping at the bit for next season to start.”

Pulgini shot a 147 over 36 holes, three shots behind winner Esther Park of Charter School of Wilmington.

“Matt is simply one thing on the golf course – a grinder,” said coach Craig Ford. “He never gets upset or phased about what’s happening to him or around him. As soon as he finished he came up to me and said, ‘I got this tomorrow coach’ and went out and shot a two-under-par 70.”

Other top performers for the Jaguars were Frankie Markiewicz who fired a 155 to tie for 11th, Will Haskell who shot 162 to finish 22nd, and Tyler Mayhew who carded a 170 to tie for 34th.

The Jaguars’ team score was just four strokes behind champion Tower Hill and one shot behind runner-up Archmere.

Even with the top-three finish in the state, Ford said the Jaguars were expecting more after winning the Blue Hen Conference Championship by 37 strokes.

“As for the team performance in states, I think we underperformed,” said Ford. “We came into states feeling pretty confident. Our goal was to shoot in the high 290s on the first day of states. Well, that didn’t happen and we ended up shooting a 318, two strokes out of the lead. I feel that some of my golfers pressed themselves on day two, but hey, we have dealt with tough, close losses all year so this is only going to make us hungrier for next year.”

The Jags finished the regular season 13-3-2. All three loses were by one stroke each to Tower Hill, Charter School of Wilmington and Newark Charter, while the Jags tied Archmere and Caravel.

“Our team’s success is really based off of experience,” said Ford. “I have been lucky enough to have most of these guys since their freshman year and as with anything experience is the key. For the past two seasons I have started the same six golfers, and going into their senior year, I expect them to take it to the next level and bring home that elusive state championship.”