The Boys' Latin Golf Team

Better Men Through Better Golf

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2006 Match Summaries

Boys’ Latin vs. John Carroll

April 28, 2006

The Lakers brought their game faces and a heightened level of intensity to their match against John Carroll - and in classic fashion played exceptional golf for the day. John Carroll, fresh off a victory against Archbishop Curley the previous day, arrived confident and hungry for battle.
But the front six proved to be more challenging than the opponents may have anticipated, as the Lakers pulled to an early 4-2 lead. Led by hard-charges by Stuart Naeny, Patrick Hohman and Michael Gallagher, Boys' Latin posted their finest front six showing of the year.

The back six holes however, proved to be a bit more challenging for Boys' Latin, as a determined focus overcame the faces of their opponents. John Carroll deserved significant credit for turning around the match on the back six, - doing so through staunch discipline and a deliberate one-shot-at-a time mentality.

In the end, only a slim margin separated the Lakers from their first victory of the season - one that could have been secured through any number of avenues. Regardless, Boys' Latin is to be applauded for their effort in the match. At a time when they could have easily given up hope and simply gone through the motions, The Lakers dug deep to do their best - and in doing so, were victorious in character if not in the win/loss column.

Next week finds the Lakers competiting in the MIAA Individual Championships. Team members are poised to do well - and are motivated to represent their team with the determination and focus that have served them so well throughout the season. The coaches couldn't be more proud of the boys; and are enthusiastic about the the development that no doubt awaits them in the time ahead.

Final Score:  Boys’ Latin 9.5 / John Carroll 11.5

Boys’ Latin vs. Calvert Hall

April 27, 2006

Five Laker team members held a lead during the back six holes during their match against conference rival, Calvert Hall - and one by one, the leads disapated, until finally converting to halved matches or losses after the conclusion of the twelvth hole.

It should be noted however, that in order to play into such an initially favorably position, Boys' Latin had to overcome being swept six points to zero on the front six holes. When the sixth golfer finished the sixth hole, the Lakers had slipped to a 0-6 position in the match. Yet, the team's inability to accept defeat boosted its hopes - and the players set out to turn things around.

The Lakers should be commended for their ability to do so - as each team member shook off the front six results and grinded out a quick lead on the back. It was unfortunately, a lead that would eventually be lost; but it permitted the bright light of possibility to shine on the Lakers hopes for the future. This glimmer of optimism is the beacon to which the Lakers are drawn in the time ahead.

Senior, Michael Gallagher deserves special recognition for his showing against Calvert Hall. Michael boasted his finest performance of the season - nearly holing a fairway wood shot for eagle from 220 yards on the fifth hole and following it up with another excellent approach shot that burned the edge of the hole for eagle on the 9th. Micahel's percision with his iron shots and fairway woods has grown to significant porpotions and the remainer of the season promises to be eventful for the quietly confident Laker upperclassman.

At the end of the day, team members were distraught but remained optimistic about their progression. Said the coaches "For this team to be competitive in this conference in 2006 is an accomplishment in itself. Do not focus on the record. Focus instead on your development as an individual and your development as a team. We're young. But the thing about being young is that you're always growing. And this team is growing into something special. Concentrate on the development. The wins are just a byproduct of something much, much larger. And they'll come eventually. That's for certain."

The final match of the season promises to be worthy of attention. John Carroll, also without a win for the season, is the last opponent that Boys' Latin will face. Each team hungry for its first victory and each determined to taste such an achievement before season's end, the battle that will pit John Carroll against Boys' Latin will no doubt be full of highlights.

Final Score:  Boys’ Latin 2 / Calvert Hall 19

Boys’ Latin vs. Archbishop Spalding

April 21, 2006

As C.S. Lewis once said, “Sometimes the longest way ‘round is the shortest way home.”

This couldn’t be more evident (nor more inspirational) for the Boys’ Latin golf team in 2006. For the varsity squad, the season has been mired in hard-fought battles, stern commitment, and steady improvement – all without the reward of a final score in their favor. However, sometimes it takes this type of rigor and angst to produce a true champion. Character and inner-drive often sprout from trials and tribulations.

Archbishop Spalding arrived at Suburban Country Club to face the Lakers Thursday, and in respectable fashion, secured five and a half points on the front six holes. Stuart Mitchell, playing in the #1 slot, was the only Laker to secure ½ a point through the sixth hole. The day’s outcome appeared gloomy for Boys’ Latin relatively early – but in eye-opening fashion, the Lakers decided to shift gears and turn up the heat on their opponents for the back six holes.

Boys’ Latin moved into the lead on the back six via quality play by Stuart Naeny, Patrick Hohman, Gates Blair and Kevin Foreman.

Naeny, boasting long drives throughout the day but plagued by a shaky putter, found himself dropping the lead in the end en route to a loss for the day – but one that didn’t come without true grit from the team captain. Naeny’s ability to remain focused and stern in the face of challenge has improved drastically over the past three matches, and the dogged mentality that had earned him the nickname “Bulldog” years ago is beginning to show itself again.

Hohman struggled on the front with an out of balance mentality and focus, but rallied on the back to secure a ½ point against his opponent – highlighted by a clutch chip shot on the 11th hole that nestled to within inches of the hole. A gallery of a dozen patrons applauded the sophomore’s up-and-down conversion, bringing a smile to the face of the Laker stalwart.

Blair, playing with a new attitude and ability to efficiently channel negative energy, moved to a 1 up lead midway through the back six before finding himself 1 down on the 12th tee – a deficit that was maintained after the completion of the hole. However, Blair’s on-course loss was overshadowed by his ability to improve so drastically in mental focus. His future remains as bright as ever – as does that of the team he will one day lead.

Kevin Foreman’s was the story of the day – and was reflective of the fruits of labor that await the Lakers at the end of this long and arduous journey of improvement. Foreman, paired against a formidable (and quite boisterous) opponent, had struggled in previous matches – dropping all three points throughout the season more frequently than he would have preferred. However, his game showed steady improvement after every match. His attitude reflected a desire to continue advancing his game. And, his self-motivated nature wouldn’t let him accept anything short of his absolute best. After having lost the front six holes, Foreman found himself in a new state of mind – one of determination rather than forfeiture. His cap worn low, he took pause during his walk to the 7th tee to reformulate his negative thoughts into positive motivation. Two holes later, he was two up with three holes to play. Not having been in such a position before, Kevin found himself in a defensive posture rather than that of continued pursuit. As such, he began guarding his lead with a more conservative approach than he had employed for the preceding few holes. This led to losses on #s 10 and 11. Standing on the tee of the par five 12th hold, Kevin Foreman was all square with his opponent – having lost his comfortable lead as quickly as he had secured it. But he persevered – pulling the cap lower than it had been before, and narrowing his eyes into a stare that can only be described as a true athlete’s game face. Leaving the driver that had supported him all day unsheathed in his bag, Kevin reached for his hybrid club on the tee. It was a conservative decision to refrain from hitting driver, and it was one that served Kevin well as he laced his shot up the right hand side of the fairway. By the hole’s conclusion, Kevin Foreman had won the hole – securing a full point for the Lakers via victory on the back six holes.

When Kevin lifted his ball from the cup on the 12th green, the Lakers had officially concluded their strongest turn-around effort of the season – one that found them victorious in their mental discipline and focus. The coaches agreed that it was the beginning of a new chapter for the Boys’ Latin Golf Team – one that should read quite well in the time ahead.

Final Score:  Boys’ Latin 2 / Archbishop Spalding 19

Boys’ Latin vs. McDonogh

April 21, 2006

From small seeds grow mighty trees. Such is the case with the McDonough golf team. At the end of 2003, McDonough hadn’t won a single match in four seasons. They were understandably irritated with the reality of their position – but they were also motivated to improve. With the 2003 roster full of freshmen and sophomores, McDonough embarked on a multi-year improvement plan.

2006 finds McDonough 7-3 thusfar, and a play-off spot seems likely. Their success is reflective of a focus, discipline, and attitude than was birthed through the pains of defeat. The Lakers are in a position to learn from this progression – and to find inspiration in the achievement of their conference peers. How else is there to look at the future for this team of Laker golfers? What else can the future hold for a group of men who work so hard and persevere so diligently than a rigorous and celebrated climb to the top – one that not just mirrors, but in the end out-matches that of any other turn-around accomplished in the MIAA? As this team matures – as it grows from freshmen and sophomores into juniors and seniors - the taste of victory will be that much sweeter for those involved.

One of McDonough’s victories this season came at the expense of Boys’ Latin on Tuesday as both teams teed it up in a competition contested over the links at Suburban Country Club. The Lakers competed fiercely – never giving in to the pressures of losing ground. In the end, McDonough secured all but ½ of a point for the day – however, it was anything but an easy victory. The Laker line-up proved a formidable opponent for McDonough, and battled fiercely throughout the day.

Short game, along with focus, on-course judgment, and misguided frustration were once again what plagued Boys’ Latin Tuesday. Two hundred eighty yard drives were not a problem. In fact, from tee to green the Lakers proved to be as strong as ever against McDonough. However, once inside one hundred yards, the struggles began. The feel and touch associated with executing these types of shots can only come with experience – something that more than half the Laker squad is currently building. In the meantime however, patience remains a virtue.

Boys’ Latin, still without a victory for the season, heads into the final three matches of the year - facing Archbishop Curley, Calvert Hall and John Carroll before refocusing full attention on the Individual Stroke Play Championship. Suffice it to say that the team is ready to secure a win, and motivated like never before to make certain that it happens.

Final Score:  Boys’ Latin ½ / McDonogh 20 ½

Boys’ Latin vs. Mt. St. Joseph

April 18, 2006

In golf as in life, sometimes in trying our best we still come up short.

It's called "getting outplayed" and it's what the Lakers experienced Thursday during their duel with perennial conference contenders, Mt. St. Joe. Boys' Latin put on a good show, however - and challenged their opponents throughout the day with firm resolve, die-hard focus, and a tough-as-nails attitude that produced one of the finest showings of the year for the Lakers.

Although the final score may not reflect it, Boys' Latin remained in contention throughout the day with help from a conditioned mental focus, conservative club selection, strong emotional posture and a deepened understanding of the rules. The team's ability to reduce (if not eliminate) mindless errors from the day's competition kept them in the battle with Mt. St. Joe farther than would have resulted otherwise.

At the end of the day, the team was understandably down. Their heads hung in dejection as they gathered together for the post-match coaches discussion. What the coaches offered, however appeared to be a bit different than what the players may have been expecting.

The coaches asked team members "Who here has ever studied extremely hard for an exam? Who here has ever prepared so much for a test that they thought they couldn't possibly cram any more into their brain?" Of course, all hands went up and heads nodded in affirmation. "And who here has ever prepared like that for an exam, taken the exam, received a great score (like a 94%) and later found out that someone else in the class got a higher grade (like a 97%)?" Everyone's hand immediately shot up in the air. "Did you fail the exam? Does a 94% constitute an 'F'?" the coaches asked. "No," the boys said. "Did you fail yourself? Could you have done more to prepare yourself for the test?" Once again the boys replied "No."...

The coaches smiled and replied "Well boys, that's called 'getting outplayed.' It means that you did your best, and so did someone else, and that on that particular day their score was a little better than yours. But, as you confirmed, it doesn't mean that you failed - far from it, actually. In the end, as long as you prepared and participated to the best of your ability, 'getting outplayed' doesn't much matter. And by the way 'getting outplayed' is exactly what happened on the golf course today. You couldn't have done a better job out there this afternoon. You played tough. You played smart. You prepared wisely. did your absolute best. You know it and the coaches know it. Don't be upset with the final score. Today was a significant victory for the Lakers. It was a day when a team of men showed-up and did their best. Nothing more can ever be expected of you - be it on or off the golf course. And if you take the menatlity that carried you through the day today and apply it to your daily life, you will be a better man for doing so."

Additional discussion followed, and in the end the Boys' Latin Golf Team left for the day with a new understanding of what it meant to try their hardest and give their best. With such insight now rooted in their life foundation, they appear well-poised to face the remainder of the season.

Final Score: Boys’ Latin 1 ½ / Mt. St. Joseph 19 ½

Boys’ Latin vs. Loyola

April 12, 2006

When the lead group stood on the sixth tee box at Hunt Valley Country Club during yesterday's match between Boys' Latin and Loyola, the Lakers were well in control - leading the match with a seemingly secure margin of victory. Alas, humility is often born from presumption.

Credit is due to Loyola. As a team, they repostured themselves into a mentality of doggedness and discipline. They formulated a gameplan, stuck to it, and watched as the Lakers' lead dwindled. However, like Nick Faldo winning the green jacket over Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters, Loyola's formula for victory was 1/2 good play and 1/2 opponent falter.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, victory was eluded due to poor judgement, lost focus, egocentric decision-making, improper planning, misunderstood rules infractions, and misguided frustration. Consider the following:

Preferred lies were provided to players within their own fairway and within sand bunkers. The Lakers continually ignored this benefit - playing the ball without lie improvement.

Putts cannot be holed consistently without consideration of distance and direction. Only approximately 60% of the putts the Lakers faced against Loyola were struck after having been lined-up. This led to increased three and four putts from the team.

Players ran out of golf balls during their round, accidentally hit putts with practice swings, took illegal drops from hazards, played aggressively when situations called for conservatism, ignored yardage markers, and reacted emotionally when errant shots were struck.

This led to an unfortunate collapse.

In the end, an estimated 7 points were lost by 1 hole - a hole where more times than not, victory was lost via mental error and/or discipline mis-cue rather than a poor shot or missed putt.

Coaches Champion, Vaughn, Silverman and Black were not upset by the play of their golfers, but rather by the mis-steps of judgement displayed by their players throughout the day - players who in their opinion know better.

A lengthy team discussion followed the match. This included guidance relating to owning one's failures (and victories) and building a foundation of success based upon such understanding. The Lakers can certainly grow from this experience. As a result of this match, they learned a tough but valuable lesson about themselves - a lesson that will serve them well in the time ahead.

Mt. St. Joe is next on the schedule for The Lakers. The face-off is slated for Thusday, April 13th at The Suburban Club. As has been stressed in the past, The Boys' Latin Golf Team will not quit - and one can expect a new, revitalized team on the first tee this Thursday.

Boys’ Latin vs. Gilman

April 7, 2006

Boys' Latin suffered a shut-out loss against perennial conference contenders, Gilman - dropping all twenty-one points the (Gilman) Greyhounds.

But a 21-0 score didn't reflect the attitude and the mentality that the Lakers brought to the table for the competition. Their swings in shape, their minds sharp, and their disciplines set, they faced off with a fire and drive not yet seen during the 2006 season.

Assistant Coach Chad Vaughn, remarking in the aftermath of the competition said "Although the score doesn't reflect it, the team played their best golf of the season today. I'm proud of each and every member of the Laker squad for giving their absolute best on the course today. This team has come very far in 2006. The golf swings that are being displayed now and the shots that this team is hitting, are reflected of drastic improvement. For that, as well as their attitude on the course today, the Lakers should be commended."

Props are exteded to Michael Gallagher for competiting in his first ever match. Mr. Gallagher has worked diligently to improve his game, and has been a member of the Laker squad for three years. His incluion in the line-up against Gilman is reflective of his hard work and stern discipline. The coaches agree that with his positive attitude and strong work ethic, Michael Gallagher will no doubt find his way into the line-up more and more as the season progresses.

The Lakers, now 0-5 for the season, have an up-hill road ahead of them. However, it's not one that will find them quitting If one thing has become apparent from this squad of team members, it this: This Laker Golf Team Does Not Give Up.

With the challenge now set and the tough road positioned in front of them, the Lakers stand ready for the competition to come. As Freshman Gates Blair said following the loss to Gilman, "Boys, I'm tired of losing. I want to taste victory. I want to win!"

A lot of eyes widened when he said that...

Final Score: Boys’ Latin 0 / Gilman 21

Boys’ Latin vs. St. Paul’s

April 6, 2006

St. Pauls, always one of the MIAA Conference's most formidible teams, handed loss number four to the Lakers in a match contested over the links of Baltimore Country Club in Timonium, Maryland.

The Lakers arrived fresh off a tough loss against Archbishop Curley, and appeared determined to grind hard against St. Paul's in an effort to secure their first victory of the season. Captain Stuart Naeny in an article recently published in the school newspaper was quoted as saying "We're the underdog's of the conference, and I think we're going to turn a lot of heads in key matches because of our ability." That mentality was apparent in the eyes of the Lakers as they warmed-up before the afternoon's match.

Over the course of the time ahead, St. Paul's proved itself as being of stronger caliber for the day - and secured victory by closing out the match early. The Lakers left Baltimore Country Club having secured five points - with three arriving by gentleman's forefit.

Boys' Latin, now 0-4 for the season, appears hungry for victory. A new fire is flickering in the eyes of the Lakers - one of determination and resolve.

Boys’ Latin vs. Archbishop Curley

April 4, 2006

In what proved to be the tightest show-down of the season thusfar for the Lakers, Archbishop Curley secured victory by a single point and handed Boys' Latin their third straight loss of the season.

The Lakers started off slowly, losing the front side of the match following some challenging shots and tough breaks. The team pulled itself together however, and fought back with vengence - tying up the score late in the match.

During the back-six rally, Freshman Kevin Forman completed a full sweep of his opponent (the first time a Laker has done so all season). As well, Gates Blair also secured a significant point total for the team

In the end however, the Lakers were unable to secure the victory - and Archbishop Curley went on to record the win. However, the Lakers' ability to lift themselves out of such a challenging position and rally back is both admirable and inspiring. The coaches continue to believe that experiences such as this will mold the team into a stronger and more effective competitive machine - and that the time ahead still holds great promise for Boys' Latin.

Boys’ Latin vs. Saints Peter & Paul

March 31, 2006

Sometimes, gaining the benefits of experience comes at a price. Such was the case for the Lakers yesterday as they battled Sts Peter & Paul over the rolling linksland of Hunter's Oak Golf Course in Queenstown, Maryland. Blind tee shots, multi-tiered greens, countless moguls and a complete absence of trees makes Hunter's Oak a venerable challenge for any golfer who is used to playing more traditional layouts. The Lakers fared well against the course, however - checking their drive-for-show mentalities at the door in favor of strategic placement and precision-based course management.

Sts Peter & Paul had always proven a good match for the Lakers. Two years ago, Boys' Latin had risen victorious against them in a knock-down-drag-out duel in the rain and wind that found The Lakers carving out a hard-fought win. Last season, Sts. Peter & Paul arrived at The Suburban Club with a score to settle, and did so in appropriate fashion - shutting the Lakers down in their first home match. This year, the stage was set for another good face-off.

Sts Peter and Paul, boasting a talent pool that found their 5th man owning a 4 handicap, certainly appeared to be formidible opposition for the Lakers at the outset. But, as had been the case previously for Boys' Latin, the team elevated itself to meet the competition.

Stuart Naeny and Patrick Hohman, playing in the 1 & 2 slots respectively, scrapped it out with their opponents for the full match. In not one instance did they fail to do their absolutel best against their competition. In the end, Naeny secured 1/2 a point for the team - and Hohman was able to split his decision against his opponent while collecting 1 1/2 points.

Notable achievement of the match goes to Gates Blair for his career-low front nine toal of 40. Gates, a first-year member of the squad, has already dropped his average 18 hole score this season by 15 shots. With this type of improvement associated with only three months of learning and development, the sky appears to be the limit for this Laker Freshman.

At the end of the day, the score reflected a tough loss - but hidden beneath the 19-2 banner were the on-course lessons learned from an afternoon of solid head-to-head competition. With the attitude and focus that the Laker team has, experiences such as this can only build competitive character - and lead the team to a better tomorrow.

Final Score:  Boys’ Latin 2 / Sts. Peter & Paul 19

Boys’ Latin vs. Saint Mary’s

March 28, 2006

Although the score might not reflect it, the Lakers had a relatively impressive showing yesterday.

Recognizing that four of the Lakers' starting six had a combined 1 competitive match under their belt going into yesterday, the boys' ability to perform under pressure was admirable and encouraging.

Patrick Hohman, competiting with an injured shoulder, had never played higher than #5 last season, and now found himself in the #2 slot. Though he dropped the front 6 to his opponent, Patrick battled back to win the back 6 and the over-all match. Patrick's 2 points lead the team in scoring for the day.

Stuart Naeny in his first match as team captain, succumed to heavy pressure on the second-to-last hole when, following a 310 yard drive, he mis-hit a wedge into a greenside bunker and took four shots to escape it, enroute to scoring a triple bogey seven. It was understandable that Stuart might struggle with the weight of this particular situation, as it was his first such instance in such a position. The coaches believe that it will serve him well and thicken his competitive skin for the matches ahead.

Props go out to Stuart Mitchell, competiting in the #3 slot, for his showing against the opposition. St. Mary's moved their #1 player two slots down to face Stuart - and he, more than any other Laker, had his work cut out for him. Stuart persevered, however; and took his match to the final hole before losing one-down. Stuart's competive fire was evident throughout the match, and the coaches regonized him for his never-say-die attitude.

Notable achievement of the night went to Gates Blair. Gates, playing in the #5 slot, was the only Laker to secure a win on the front 6. This was Gates' first ever competitive match - and he deserves credit for playing tough and grinding down the opposition when he was, no doubt, very nervous and tense.

The boys made a number of relatively mindless errors during the match. Failing to line-up putts, mis-calculations in course management, scoring errors, rules infractions, and a few other items cost the team an estimated five points. With that said, one thing certainly did not occur - they didn't give up. This is the difference between the 2006 Laker Golf Squad and teams past. The individuals in this line-up have fires in their bellies that dwarf that of their competitors. This dogged-mentality and gravel-in-the-gut determination will serve the boys well throughout the season.

With the St. Mary's match behind them and the lessons of a tough loss learned, the Laker Golf Team seems poised to take on Sts. Peter and Paul this Thursday at Hunter's Oak.

Final Score:  Boys’ Latin 4 / Saint Mary’s 17
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