Senior guidance propels talented youth in program

Kyle Frederick , Staff Writer

A major factor in the Lions’ success has been the juxtaposition of veteran leadership and promising youth. Behind the helm of the varsity golf team’s 8-0 record were seniors Johnny Carroll and Chan Park. Sophomore Ryan Choi, freshmen Nick Charlow and Luke Murnane also played a large part in the team’s success, displaying their passion and skill for the sport.

“They have been a great influence and show if you work hard and do the right thing, it pays off in the end. My captains have been outstanding as far as keeping the young guys in line, and it has paid off for a great season,” head coach Mike Wall said of the veteran leadership.

Park and Carroll, both four year players, have played pivotal roles in guiding the underclassmen to success. Experience and knowledge helped them mentor other athletes on the team.

“The upperclassmen have shown me the aspects of the game that are more important. I admire their mentalities throughout the rounds, even the rough ones,” Choi said.

During practice rounds, because there is so much time between shots, there is a lot of time for players to bond with one another. The team has been able to develop a special relationship that has contributed to their success.

“The older guys set the tone early in the season by having a lot of fun but remaining focused. They’ve changed my outlook on the game and shown me what it means to be a part of the team,” Murnane said.

The Lions dominated all eight of their opponents in an undefeated season, a District VI championship and a county championship. Park was the individual district champion, as well as the individual county champion.

“A big factor in our success was the amount of work we put in. We rarely saw any other team practicing the same hours we did, and all 16 guys put in the effort,” Park said.

A normal practice for the team includes an hour at the driving range and an hour on the putting green.

“We spend much of our time working on our short game, because while it is an essential part of the sport, the younger guys often don’t realize it. Coach Wall emphasizes that most of our mistakes are made on the greens,” Park said.

The competitive atmosphere during practice was a major contributor to the team’s success and better prepared them for competition throughout the year.

“All 16 guys played in the County Tournament, which proves all of our players are capable of playing at a high level. Our competitive spirit during practice rounds prepares everyone for matches and tournaments,” Park said.