The Boys' Latin Golf Team

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2007 Match Summaries

Boys' Latin vs Mt. St. Joseph
May 7, 2007

The Lakers traveled to Rolling Road Country Club to face off against Mt. St. Joseph for the final match of the 2007 Season. For the first time in nearly three weeks, Boys' Latin was able to field a full line-up of healthy starters - a blessing that found the Lakers most appreciative.

A relatively short golf course, Rolling Road winds through hilly terrain and boasts small, firm and very fast greens. Accuracy and Course Management are therefore placed at a premium over Distance and Power. Understanding this, the Lakers arrived prepared to opt for fairway woods and long irons off the tee versus driver in most instances.

It was a strategy that served the Lakers well - as Boys' Latin took the lead early on in the match. Midway through the front half, the Lakers lead in all but two matches. Unfortunately, that lead would ultimately fall to a Mt. St. Joe team that battled back to claim victory for the day.

Special recognition is due to Patrick Hohman for sweeping his opponent in the match's front, back and total. His course management strong, Pat recorded a front nine total of 39 en route to his collection of three-points for the Lakers.

As well, A.J. Billig is deserving of special recognition. Having lost the front, A.J. negotiated his way back into contention on the match's second half - and won the final hole in dramatic fashion to win the back and halve the total match. Having popped-up his drive on the par five final hole, A.J. advanced his second shot to approximately 240 yards from the green. His third shot could not have been struck better - a five wood that landed on the green's front half and rolled to within 12 feet of the hole. A.J. would make par, win the final hole, and secure a point and a half for the Lakers.

All in all, the Lakers were unable to bring their A-games to their face-off against Mt. St. Joe. However, they did end the season with a great deal of promise awaiting them in the time ahead. All members of the 2007 Golf Team will return for the 2008 Season - and all members are committed to improving their games in the off-season. The coaches remain proud of the Team and are more than pleased with the development shown this season. 2007 was most certainly, a success on multiple levels.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 6 / Mt. St. Joseph: 15

Boys' Latin vs St. Paul's
April 27, 2007

Boys' Latin faced perennial conference contender, St. Paul's on Friday - in a home match that found the Lakers once again fighting illness as much as the competition.

With Kevin Foreman removed from the line-up and starters Ian Obligin & A.J. Billig battling sickness, Boys' Latin took to the course yet again with a non-traditional line-up of starters.

"The final score today is not as important as your ability to dig deep within yourself - past the discomfort and the weariness of illness - and find it within your gut to fight hard in your last home match of the season," the coaches communicated to the team prior to the match's kick-off. "We expect from you that you will fight hard, with the ferocity of a determinted team - that you will rise up and fail to heed the voice in your head that says 'you're tired, it's over, just quit, just give up.' Do your best today. Fight hard. Remain focused. And don't give up."

That guidance seemed to stay with the Lakers throughout their match - and Boys' Latin went on to produce their finest showing against St. Paul's since entering the conference four years ago.

As is often the case, the final score did not reflect the close nature of the match itself. In fact, the Lakers held their ground agaist St. Paul's deep into the match's second half - and at one point late in the match appeared positioned to assume the lead. Alas, in the end Boys' Latin would fall on the unfortunate side of the match's outcome; but day's end found the Lakers having served up a strong fight and a respectible showing nonetheless.

Notable mention for the day goes to A.J. Billig - who played in his fourth straight match while also battling sickness. A.J.'s "play hurt" mentality served match after match as a point of inspiration for the team - lifting the Lakers individually and as a team to new heights of belief and aspiration. That A.J. went on to collect two points against St. Paul's only added to the admiration from his teammates and coaches. A.J. faced his opponent with determination and focus - and in doing so, collected points for winning the match's front half and total.

Additional recognition is given to Ian Obligin for collecting two and a half points in his match. The Boys' Latin Senior was competing in his final home match as a Laker - and did so in classic fashion, by collecting two and a half points from his opponent. A member of the Laker Golf Team for four years, Obligin's achievement in his final match served as proper closure for a high school golf experience that has yielded significant growth and development.

The Lakers ended the day by yielding a victory to St. Pauls - but also in doing so proved to themselves that they have the fight within themselves to achieve, on and off the golf course. Team members will now prepare for the MIAA Individual Tournament and for the final match of the season against Mt. St. Joe on May 7th.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 4.5 / St. Paul's 16.5

Boys' Latin vs John Carroll
April 26, 2007

When Kevin Foreman met his team on the practice green at Suburban Country Club yesterday afternoon, his face flushed pale in its complexion and voice gravely from throat irritation, he greeted his coaches with a wry smile and the statement “I’m not 100%, but I’m ready.”

The Laker Sophomore had been sidelined with illness throughout the week – and had bore the burden of missing matches against both Calvert Hall and Loyola. His absence, as well as that of other teammates hampered by sickness, had challenged Boys’ Latin this week in its ability to readjust the line-up for competition.

The previous day had found Senior Ian Obligin inspiring the Team with his willingness to compete while ill – a “play hurt” mentality that deepened the endearment between himself and a team that already saw him as a leader. Even earlier in the week it was Freshman, A.J. Billig who took to the course with aches and pains, while also anchoring the respect of his teammates. Today, it was Kevin Foreman’s turn to lift his teammates with inspiration. And do so he did, in classic fashion. Kevin walked the fairways with a wheeze in his breath and with a plodding pace that appeared to take more energy out of him with each step. But his hat was pulled low and his eyes were fixed forward. And when Kevin Foreman won his match’s front half, the coaches found themselves moved by the strength and character inherent to the effort that produced the victory.

With determination buoyed by their teammate’s inspirational attitude, the Lakers went on to stage one of their best performances of the season.

Junior Patrick Hohman won each of the first six holes, to close his opponent out and win the match’s first half. Hohman then went on to win the back half and the total match, while also collecting the Team Point with partner, Ben Whitman. In a personal-best for the season, Hohman shot one-over-par for the day – and secured some much needed points early for the Lakers.

Freshman, Ben Whitman also won the front, back and total matches for the day – and also did so while shooting one-over-par for the day. Whitman continues his drastic improvement for the season – reflective of a ten stroke drop in scoring average for the year.

Sophomore Gates Blair rallied from two-down with two to play, and won each of the front half’s final two holes en route to securing a vital half point for the Lakers. Blair demonstrated grace under pressure during those final two holes – reflective of his maturity as a competitor, and his growing ability as a player.

Not to be outdone, Freshman Brenden Schwartz rallied from three-down with three to play, and won each of the front half’s final three holes. In this achievement, Schwartz halved the match’s front side and secured an extremely-important half point for Boys’ Latin. Schwartz went on to battle through the match’s second half – and split the outcome with his competitor, notching a total of one and a half points for the Lakers. After the round, the coaches agreed that Schwartz’s comeback on the front half of the match was unprecedented and ranks as one of the finest come-from-behind victories in Laker Golf history.

In the end, Boys’ Latin secured their third victory of the season – and defeated John Carroll in an inspirational match that found the Lakers digging deep to find substance and means in the face of sickness and adversity.

As Kevin Foreman might have said, “We weren’t 100%...but we were ready.”

Final Score: Boys’ Latin: 12 / John Carroll: 9

Boys' Latin vs Loyola
April 25, 2007

Continuing with their struggle against illness, the Lakers faced off against Loyola on Wednesday, April 25th. With half the team sick and unable to participate, the coaching staff believed that simply fielding a full squad of 6 players would prove to be a challenge in and of itself. A few minuntes before gametime however, Laker Senior Ian Obligin hobbled onto the course - his golf clubs flung over his shoulder and his pockets stuffed with medication and tissues. "I'm here Coach," he said in a raspy, hoarse voice beleaguered by days of illness, "Let's go get 'em."

Ian's presence served as inspiration to his teammates - an indication of staunch willpower and unwavering focus. It lifted the spirits of his fellow peers and reinforced the notion that the Lakers, however strained by the impacts of poor health, had no plans of raising the flag of surrender.

The results of the ensuing match found Boys' Latin on the unfortunate side of the day's final score. However, along with this came a increase in self-belief, an improved understanding of group perseverance, and an even deeper desire to taste victory yet again in the upcoming matches.

"Today's loss only makes me want tomorrow's win that much more," said Sophomore Gates Blair, "The past two days have shown me that we really do have a united team - and that inspires me to work harder in order to win in future matches." Wise words from one of the Team's young leaders.

Beyond Ian Obligin, additional notable mention goes to Brenden Schwartz and Ben Whitman.

The Freshman Schwartz, found himself playing in the #4 slot - two positions ahead of his regular position; and proceeded to halve the match's front side. In doing so, he secured a half point for the Lakers en route to once again proving to himself and the Team that he is ready for competitive golf. Schwartz continues to impress his teammates with his ability to play within himself in order to achieve - an trait that will serve him well on and off the golf course in the time ahead.

Whitman, also a Freshman, repositioned his mentality midway through the match in order to turn the tide on his opponent. Having lost 5 of the first 6 holes, Whitman's confidence had fallen and he was facing early elimination on the total match. However, he chose to lift himself up and rededicate himself in the holes that remained. With this new reconstruction of mentality, Whitman won the match's second half and secured the only full point of the day for the Lakers.

In due time, team members will return to health and find themselves back in true form. In the meantime, they continue to face their opponents as well as inclement weather, while also balancing sickness and physical weakness. The coaching staff is proud of the resilience and dedication to achievement displayed by the varsity squad - and remains confident that in its discipline and its comraderie, the Laker Golf Team has its greatest vehicles for achievement.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 1.5 / Loyola 19.5

Boys' Latin vs Calvert Hall
April 24, 2007

Beset by significant misfortune, the Lakers found half the Varsity Squad overcome by illness on Tuesday - forcing a third of the Team to miss the match altogether. With multiple team members removed from the match and just as many competiting while also fighting sickness, the Lakers faced off against Calvert Hall with as much grit and pride as could be produced given the circumstances.

Deserving of mention are the efforts of A.J. Billig, who fought his way through his match while also managing congestion, headache, and physical weakness. His team-first mentality went a long way in endearing himself to his peers - and reinforced A.J. as a selfless leader within the ranks of the Laker Golf Team.

As well, Patrick Hohman battled his way to securing 2.5 points for the Lakers - and in doing so, combined with Ben Whitman to secure a half point within the better-ball team match. Patrick's course-management was sensible with periodic points of aggression - and proved to be the perfect combination of intention for the Laker Junior.

Brenden Schwartz, competiting in his third match of the season posted a personal-best 46 on the front nine of his match. Schwartz, a Freshman, continues to show promise for the time ahead - and the Lakers remain confident that the future remains bright for this young stand-out.

Sam Dunbar competed in his first match and produced a respectable showing. The Team remains proud of Sam for his dedication and overall positive attitude.

As sickness is seldom cured overnight, the remainder of the Team's longest week appears to be paved with ongoing challenge - as team members continue the slow road to physical wellness. In the meantime, the Team's remaining members have rallied to show their dedication to their cause and the belief in their own abilities.

The Coaches remain confident that given the proper posture of inspiration, the Lakers can overcome any obstacle - and continue to be positive regarding the week's remaining match-ups.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 4.5 / Calvert Hall: 16.5

Boys' Latin vs Archbishop Spalding
April 19, 2007

Boys' Latin traveled to Chartwell Country Club to face Archbishop Spalding on April 19th. The afternoon found the Lakers carried by the momentum of their recent win over Archbishop Curley one day prior.

The day produced respectable showings from many Laker Team members. Equivalent scores of 75 from Patrick Hohman, 77 from Ben Whitman, 82 from Gates Blair and 86 from A.J. Billig were posted on Chartwell's challenging layout - solid numbers from players who had never seen the course previously.

Archbishop Spalding assumed control of their home course advantage, however - and handed the Lakers their 4th loss of the season. In doing so however, they made a point to communicate their respect for the progress of the Boys' Latin Golf Team. "It's remarkable what's been done with the BL program over the past few years," Spalding Head Coach Pete Van Zandt told the Laker Coaching Staff, "Your boys are better presented, better teammates, better gentlemen, and oh by the way, better players." He continued to compliment the Laker Golf Program and its progress within the conference - citing additional positive impressions in talent, conduct and overall appearance. The compliments were relayed to the Team later in the day - and carried with them the weight of reassurance in the Lakers quest for success.

Traveling back from Chartwell Country Club, the team engaged in conversation about the day's experience - discussing points of strength as well as areas of improvement. Consensus found the Lakers agreeing that for the first time all season...they felt like a team. Each member knew and understood his role. Each member recognized his place on the squad - and worked to improve the Team's progress by doing his own personal best within his allocated space. Team members rooted for each other, praised each other, and encouraged each other. The Coaching staff observed this unity and recognized it as the season's most affirming and potentially most important achievement. "With this type of bond in place," Coach Euker told the Team, "there's nothing you can't accomplish."

In light of this newfound strength, Boys' Latin remains committed to their objectives and heads into next week prepared for the four matches that await them. There appears to be little doubting the Team's unified desire to achieve - and the days ahead continue to offer promise for the Lakers.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 2.5 / Archbishop Spalding: 18.5

Boys' Latin vs Archbishop Curley

April 18, 2007

The Lakers played host to Archbishop Curley on Wednesday, April 18th. In a match contested over the links of Suburban Country Club, the Lakers defeated the Friars in a come-from-behind victory that notched the Team's second victory of the season.

Following the completion of the match's first half, the Lakers found themselves trailing by a full point. Rather than focus on their unfortunate position, Boys' Latin instead re-anchored themselves in purpose and battled their way back into contention - before finally overcoming their opponents late in the match's second half.

Notable performances for the day included:

AJ Billig - who in playing to his strengths and remaining focused on his course management, overtook his opponent in all point categories. The Laker Freshman swept all three points and assisted greatly in anchoring victory for Boys' Latin. With newfound comfort in his driver, AJ continued his assault from the tee, hole after hole at Suburban Country Club.

Gates Blair - who collected two and a half points by managing both his swing and his mind with equal efficiency throughout the afternoon. With a one-up lead on both the second half and the total match, Gates stood on the par five twelvth hole needing to guard his lead in order to secure victory. Undaunted, he faced the par five twelfth hole with ease - executing three solid shots en route to recording a par - and in doing so, notched his win accordingly.

Ben Whitman - who, for the second time in as many days, rerouted himself following a string of lost holes in order to refocus and overtake his opponent. Having lost the first half of the match, Ben seemed destined to continue struggling in the match's second half. Ben however, had different plans. His focused renewed and his purpose reaffirmed, he proceeded to play the remaining holes at even par - and in the end secured two points by winning the second half and the total match.

Brenden Schwartz - who, playing in his first match, secured two and a half points for Boys' Latin. The Laker Freshman brings a dogged focus and calm demeanor to the Team that has been well recevied by teammates and proved to be frustrating by the competition. In closing out his opponent on the eleventh hole - thereby securing victory on the back half and the total match - Brenden secured the final points required for a Laker win over Archbishop Curley. In what was quite possibly the greatest first-ever performance from a Laker Golf Team Member, Brenden Schwartz proved to his peers, and more importantly to himself, that he has what it takes to compete in the M.I.A.A.

The Lakers travel to Chartwell Country Club in Severna Park on April 19th to face off against Archbishop Spalding. With momentum carried forward from their victory over the Friars, the Lakers appear well-poised for the time ahead - and remain resolute in their intention to continue their climb up the Conference rankings.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 12 / Archbishop Curley: 9

Boys' Latin vs Gilman
April 10, 2007

The Lakers traveled to Elkridge Golf & Hunt Club on Tuesday, April 10th in order to square-off against perennial conference stalwart, Gilman. Boys' Latin arrived with the taste of victory still fresh from their recent win over Saint Mary's - and hoped to maintain momentum heading into the arena of battle against Gilman.

Alas, such hopes were pressed thin by day's end; and the Greyhouds of Gilman secured all but one point against the Lakers. However, the day was not without achievement for Boys' Latin - as the team notched another competitive experience in their belt; and will move forward in the season with an increased knowledge base yielded from recent tournament pressure.

Notable mention is due to Laker, Mitchell Edison - who competed in his first match. Edison, a Varsity Team Member for 3 years, had a respectible showing against his competitior, Tyler Ebeling. In the end, though his match would end in defeat, Edison found solace in recognizing his accomplishment of making the starting squad - in a match against one of the conference's toughest teams, nonetheless. Both The Golf Team and The School remain proud of Mitchell Edison, not only for his disciplines of success, but also for his goodheartedness and positive mentality.

The weeks ahead will find the Lakers playing 4 straight matches followed by 3 straight matches - a time period that will no doubt be rugged and tiring for team members. However, this team remains strong in their focus and firm in the resolve. In such light, they do not appear willing to surrender nor do they seem ready to stop their march forward. It is in this intention that the Lakers have rooted their greatest asset - one that will no doubt serve them well in the days to come.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 1 / Gilman: 20

Boys' Latin vs St. Mary's
April 4, 2007

Following a two hour bus ride, the Lakers arrived to Old South Country Club seemingly well prepared to challenge conference rival, Saint Mary's. In light of their strong showing against Saints Peter & Paul last week, the Boys' Latin squad found new confidence in their games and fresh determination in their collective spirit. Their ambition reginerated and their purpose newly anchored, the Lakers stood ready to give their best against a team that had upset them in a devastating loss the year prior.

That focus appeared to drain from the Lakers through the first six holes, however - and Boys' Latin found themselves trailing Saint Mary's 2-4 at the match's midway point. As the first half of a match tends to set the pace for the remainder of the day, the Lakers found themselves in need of a comeback in order to inject new life into the day's competition.

And come back they did - in classic fashion.

With stern focus and dogged discipline the Lakers proceeded to grind their way back into contention. One by one they bore down, firm in their resolve to turn the tide on Saint Mary's. Recalling lessons learned in countless hours of practice, each team member put trust in their swing, their strategy and their ability - postured in the belief that in giving their best they could not fail.

With their focus reestablished, the Lakers did indeed capture the momentum in the match's second half - and in doing so, fueled a come-from-behind victory that thwarted Saint Mary's efforts to upset them for a second time in as many years.

At day's end, members of the Boys' Latin Golf Team removed their hats and shook hands with their opposition after having secured their first victory of the season.

The day provided essential fuel for the team's fire - and the Lakers remain resolute in their focus for the time ahead. Victory's taste having invigorated their spirit, Boys' Latin appears as hungry as ever for achievement.

Final Score: Boys' Latin: 11.5 / Saint Mary's: 9.

Boys' Latin vs Sts. Peter & Paul
March 29, 2007

The Lakers played host to Saints Peter & Paul yesterday for the first match of the 2007 Season. Contested over the links of Suburban Country Club, the battle found Boys’ Latin opposite one of the Conference’s most formidable squads.

Assuming a posture of presumption, Saints Peter & Paul may have believed Boys’ Latin to be a weak opponent – one whom they would have little challenge defeating. However, having prepared for this match for some time, Boys’ Latin arrived ready to compete. Their eyes focused and their attitude stern, the Lakers began an afternoon of dogged competition that found them going the distance with the highly-touted squad of Saints Peter & Paul. On multiple occasions, the opposition shook their heads and furled their brows as one Laker after another refused to ease in their resolve or falter in their discipline.

Laker Junior Co-Captain Gates Blair found himself facing off against a peer member of his home course – a peer who has been the Junior Club Champion three years running and who has established himself as one of the Middle Atlantic’s top junior players. One year ago Gates Blair was shooting scores upwards of 120 and now, after twelve months of work, dedication, perseverance and training, he had dropped over 40 shots from his scoring average. This unprecedented improvement found him playing high in the Laker line-up and shaking hands pre-match with his opponent – the Junior Champion of his home course. Gates was not swayed by intimidation, however; and he put up a fight that was both admirable and inspiring. At the end of the day, they shook hands again – however this time with mutual admiration. Though victory would elude him, Gates Blair had proven himself a worthy opponent and a gritty competitor – and had secured the judgment of his junior champion peer as being a golfer of heightened ability.

Laker Team Member Ian Obligin faced-off against a talented member of the Saints Peter & Paul Squad – one who negotiated the layout of Suburban Country Club with a controlled fade and a deft short-game. The first hole at Suburban, a mid-length par four, found most players swinging driver or three-wood from the teeing ground. Ian’s opponent was no exception; and he executed his drive with precision, finding the right edge of the fairway and leaving himself a mid-to-short iron for his approach. In such a situation, it would not have been difficult for Ian to be rattled from his game plan – one which typically finds him favoring accuracy over distance. But Ian was undaunted and remained focused on his plan for success. When he pulled a four iron from his bag and began his pre-shot routine, a number of whispers could be heard amongst the gallery (in addition to a number of glances directed toward the coaches). “What’s he doing?” they asked, “Why is he hitting an iron?” “Doesn’t he see where his opponent is?” “This doesn’t make sense.” Yet, at the hole’s completion, Ian had made par – his opponent, bogie. A boring par beats an exciting bogie every time; and no member of the Laker squad understands that more than Ian Obligin.

Freshman Ben Whitman, in his first match as a Laker, played with the ability, focus, and strategy of someone years his elder – en route to a full sweep of his opponent. His course management reflected maturity and his swing aligned with mid-season form. Since the beginning of the season, he has cut nearly 8 strokes from his scoring average – and appears poised to continue in his development in the days ahead.

In the end, Saints Peter and Paul completed a full sweep of points in five of six matches. As is often the case however, the final score is not reflective of the true events of the day. Saints Peter & Paul may have found Boys’ Latin to be a more challenging opponent than initial presumption would have dictated. By having their best Opening Day showing in years, the Lakers went the distance with one of the MIAA’s preeminent contenders. In doing so, Boys’ Latin anchored new understanding and insight relative to their growth, their objectives and their disciplines. The Lakers remain staunch in their resolve to be conference contenders in 2007, and are unshaken in their focus for the time ahead.

Final Score: Saints Peter & Paul 17.5 / Boys' Latin 3.5

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