The Boys' Latin Golf Team

Better Men Through Better Golf

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2010 Match Summaries

Playoffs! ~ Boys' Latin vs Calvert Hall
May 10, 2010

Their season-long efforts having earned them a spot in the A Conference playoffs, the Lakers hosted Calvert Hall at the Suburban Club in the quarter-final championship.  Two elements of the setting were unique.  First, was Boys' Latin's place in the playoffs - as the team had never before earned its way into the post-season.  Second, was the match's location - with Suburban having been anchored only after the higher-seeded Calvert Hall was unable to secure it's home course, The Country Club of Maryland.  So, with the benefit of home-course advantage and a fire in the belly born from a post-season position, the Lakers squared-off against a team that only two weeks prior had served them a 16-5 loss.  It was a challenge they were prepared to face.

The first tee told the tale of what was to come of the match's first half.  Laker drives consistently found the fairway and second shots the green; while Calvert Hall struggled to connect the dots across the linksland of BL's home turf.  At the turn, five of six Laker starters had halved or won the match's front side - yielding a halftime score of 4.5 to 1.5 in favor of Boys' Latin.  Calvert Hall had turned their games on soon-enough, though not in time to out-duel the Lakers' early-charge.  It certainly didn't take long for the gravel-in-the gut mentalities of all competitors to prove manifest.  Shot after shot was struck with steely precision from both sides - with outward expressions of elation and frustration following the swings and strokes of these gentlemen warriors.  Tension thickened as the match progressed - drawing and demanding heightened intention and focus from the players.  Such was the weight of the competition that following a rules dispute on the 4th hole, Sophomore and Laker top seed Will Guy quipped to Coach Champion "Man, the playoffs are no joke!" 

With a 3 point advantage, Boys' Latin headed to the match's second half with confidence and renewed spirit.  Nevertheless, Calvert Hall continued to battle - and clawed its way back from a deficit to square the match with three holes to play.  It was a momentum shift that would carry the Cardinals to an eventual victory - though not for an absence of remarkable play by the Lakers.  When faced with the challenge of winning the ninth hole to square his match, Will Guy proceeded to chip-in for eagle on the long par-five.  Addidional excellence in ball-striking and course management was anchored by Seniors AJ Billig, Ben Whitman, Matt Sherman and Sam Dunbar - as well as Freshman, Danny Murphy.  All Boys' Latin competitors, in fact, brought their best to the afternoon's contest.  Having missed a victory by a mere two shots, the Lakers had come remarkably close to toppling Calvert Hall.  And though at day's end, the Cardinals would advance, Boys' Latin had nonetheless fought hard and accordingly, nearly upset, their top-ranked challenger.

The 2010 Boys' Latin Golf Team had done what no other Laker Golf squad had done in years' prior - it had earned a place in the post-season.  A victory in and of itself, it ranks as one of the program's finest achievements.  Better still are the individual stories of the players on the season's roster - for not one of them had arrived with a scoring average within 15 shots of their current handicap.  It has been a story of development fueled by discipline, focus and intention - a journey wrought from integrity, and promise fulfilled on and off the golf course  It has been a step-by-step progression toward authentic self-realization - anchored through the vehicle of a royal and ancient game.  It has been the story of a mantra - better men through better golf - and it has been a blessing to witness.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 8.5  /  Calvert Hall 12.5

Boys' Latin vs Archbishop Spalding
May 4, 2010

In the final regular season match of 2010, the Lakers faced-off against Archbishop Spalding.  Having locked their playoff spot earlier with a victory over St. Paul's, Boys' Latin traveled to Chartwell Country Club enthusiastic about the upcoming opportunity to compete in the post-season.  In the interim, they were slated to take-on Spalding - a team of talented short game wizards whose line-up boasted the winner of the recently-contested MIAA Individual Stroke Play Championship.  Needless to say, the opposition was formidable; and the Lakers felt up to the task.

Sophomore Will Guy, fresh off his 5th place finish in the Individual Championship, faced-off against the tournament winner.  Guy's steady play was in-line with his cool and collected demeanor throughout the day - as the 36 he carded across the first nine holes indicated.  The Laker sophomore drained a six foot putt on the final hole of the match's front side to half the contest's first half.  And while he would fall short in garnering further points, he was more than pleased with his efforts on the day - having successfully negotiated the links at Chartwell with superior ball-striking and scoring average.

Senior Ben Whitman battled back from an early deficit and fought hard to half the match's second side.  Playing with an aggressive bomb and gouge mentality, Whitman stood fast in his take-no-prisioners mentality.  Fellow Senior Neill Peck shared a similar approach, and went the distance against his opposition.  Whitman and Peck combined to collect some valuable points for the Laker squad in the afternoon's contest.

But the day's most remarkable story belonged to Junior Stephen Sample.  A three-year veteran of the varsity squad, Sample was given the nod to compete in what would be his first-ever match.  It was an opportunity he embraced.  The lanky upperclassman, who also stars on the school's cross country team, stepped to the first tee with a look of fierce determination.  His drive was pounded down the fairway, splitting it perfectly after carrying a total distance of roughly 270 yards.  His next shot found the green, and the rookie starter two putted for par.  The next hole would find Sample draining a 35 foot putt for birdie in order to move to one under; and the third hole found him chipping-in after missing the green wide right.  Long story short, Stephen Sample, competing in his inaugural MIAA match, was one under through the first five holes, and finished the front side at even par - waging a 5-up deficit over his opponent at the turn.  His fine play would continue through the back side - and at day's end, Sample would collect half of the team's total points on his own.  It was nothing short of an amazing showing - and one that will be talked about for quite some time.

The Lakers completed the regular season with their match against Archbishop Spalding; and move into the MIAA A Conference Playoffs for the first time in the school's history.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 5  /  Archbishop Spalding 16

Boys' Latin vs Calvert Hall
April 28, 2010

With the momentum of three straight victories propelling them, the Lakers traveled to The Country Club of Maryland to challenge conference heavyweight Calvert Hall.  In classic fashion, it was a match that would find the teams facing-off against mother nature as much as against each other.  With winds gusting throughout the afternoon and temperatures dipping well below seasonal averages, the two squads battled through inclement weather en route to a contest that would find Boys' Latin falling short of victory, though not for lack of effort.

Playing with grit and focus, freshman Danny Murphy collected half of the team's aggregate points - anchoring two and a half across the match's front back and total contests.  Murphy, newly-inserted in the line-up following a rest against St. Paul's, was firm in his discipline and steadfast in his intention throughout the afternoon.  As his development progresses, Murphy continues to prove himself as one of the conference's most dogged young talents.

Seniors Ben Whitman and Sammy Dunbar collected much-needed points in their competitions as well - with steady ball-striking and balanced course-management.  Both players are four-year veterans of the varsity squad, and are rounding out their high school experience with some of their finest showings yet.

While the afternoon produced a loss for the squad, sweet reward from their prior efforts was later anchored in the news that they had officially made the play-offs.  Following the conclusion of their match, the team recieved word that their record thusfar in the season had locked them into a play-off seed.  This being the first time the Lakers have ever reached the A Conference Playoffs, they celebrated with smiles and affirmation following the good news.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 5  /  Calvert Hall 16

Boys' Latin vs St. Paul's
April 22, 2010

On the heels of their victory over John Carroll the day prior, Boys' Latin played host to conference rival St. Paul's in the final home match of the season.  In addition to being the season's last match at the Suburban Club, it was the last-ever home match for the team's six seniors.  A pre-match ceremony was held that found all seniors recognizing the efforts and support of their mothers.  With corsages worn proudly throughout the afternoon, these moms would witness their sons complete one of the most memorable matches on record for the Boys' Latin Golf Team.  For the final home contest was to be waged against the mighty St. Paul's - with not only pride on the line, but also the likelihood of a play-off birth.  Having never made the A Conference play-offs, and having beaten St. Paul's only once in seventy years, the Lakers knew quite well the magnitude of the opportunity that lay before them.

Ominous skies gathered above the Suburban Club linksland ahead of the match's inception.  Bags were packed with raingear and umbrellas were secured - with a foregone conclusion that inclement weather would once again be a factor.  And while such an assumption would eventually prove false, thunder was nonetheless delivered in the form of Ben Whitman.  Playing with ferocity and grit, the four-year veteran won the match's first five holes - en route to a formidable victory across the match's front side.  His would be a lead that would not be relinquished - and at day's end, Whitman had ended his home-course playing days collecting much-needed points against his opposition.

Partnered with Whitman was Sophomore Will Guy.  The peaceful and pleasant second-year starter birdied the first hole and never looked back.  Rolling his putts with new-found confidence, and striking his shots with laser-like accuracy, Guy stormed to a healthy lead that he too would fail to relinquish.  In doing so, the Laker's top seed garnered important points for the day's collective effort.

Seniors A.J. Billig and Matt Sherman partnered once again in classic fashion.  As a one-two-punch they were in perfect form -ham-and-egging their way to a team point victory.  Along the way, the always-quirky, ever-idiocyncratic Sherman and the hard-hitting, soft-handed Billig worked their way to full sweeps of their opposition - gathering seven points collectively.

The look in Drew White's eyes throughout the match was the distant gaze of an un-emotional competitive mercenary.  Rising to the occasion, White lept out of the gate quickly - and cruised to an early lead in his contest.  Marrying a solid putting stroke with the consistency of quality ball-striking, White was successful in his quest to amass some much needed points for the Lakers.

And then there was Sam Dunbar.  The four-year varsity team member, who for no less than thirty-nine matches had been the next man up - that is, the seventh man on a six man roster - had finally broken through and found his stride.  His timing could not have been better.  Playing with a calm yet confident demeanor, Dunbar rallied from a one-down deficit to split the match's front side.  Remaining balanced and staying within himself, he found his match going the distance - and when the contest concluded, stood proud for having won the second half and total matches.  Sam Dunbar, a four-year bridesmaid, had crawled his way into the line-up, competed with sheer determination, helped defeat the mighty St. Paul's, and in doing so, vaulted his team into play-off contention.

Standing on the tee box at the final hole, the coaches lifted their eyes to the horizon to see a rainbow.  The ominous skies had lifted and found replacement in purity.  As the final shots were struck across the fairways of the Suburban Club, it was all to easy to drift toward nostalgia - remembrance of seasons' worth of maturation and development.  Countless swings.  Countless putts.  Countless discussions about path, plane, break, wind, and strategy.  And through it all - woven between the fabric of game development - was the true growth realized...better men through better golf. 

And that's what it's all about.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 17  / St. Paul's 4  

Boys' Latin vs John Carroll
April 21, 2010

Fresh-off their victory against conference stalwart Loyola, Boys' Latin faced-off against John Carroll in a competition contested across the links of Maryland Golf & Country Club.  It was the second time the Lakers took to the road in 2010 - having completed all but a solitary match at their home course thusfar.  The thirty-minute journey produced much discussion and strategy from teammates - with emphasis placed on intention and firm committment for the day's challenge.  It would be dialogue that would produce a fruitful gameplan - as the Lakers arrived to the course filled with competitive spirit and firm resolve.  It would be these intangibles that would serve them well throughout the day - not only in their battle against John Carroll, but against Mother Nature as well.  With temperatures falling rapidly from a day's high of 59, and with a constant rain falling, the match was to be fought on a field of murk and mire.

Fielding a line-up that included five seniors, the Lakers wasted no time in establishing an early lead.  Drew White and Sam Dunbar, playing in the five and six slots, were five-up and six-up following the match's front side.  White shot even par through the first half - and Dunbar wasn't far behind, wielding a controlled motion that found the four-year varsity member splitting fairways and hitting greens with remarkable consistency.  At day's end, White and Dunbar each collected two points, and partnered to win the team point for the Lakers.

Not to be out-done, A.J. Billig & Matt Sherman fought their way to a full sweep of their opposition - though not without challenge.  While each had won the match's front side, at the half-way point the partners trailed in the team competition.  Through the quirks of match-play, the team was actually behind while both singles matches were ahead.  This circumstance continued through the second to last hole - which found both singles matches completed for front, back and total points, but found the team competition all square.  Sherman and Billig would bear-down and win the next two holes - securing the vital point for the squad.

Ben Whitman and Will Guy plodded down the fairways of Maryland Golf & Country Club anchored in the day's tightest matches.  His eyes gazing out from beneath a bucket hat that dripped continuous beads of rain-water, Guy plodded his way through the linksland with heavy steps of intention.  With tee-side pacing and a raised-shoulder, head-down gate, Whitman worked with the ongoing weight of a burdened man.  But both would fight - and fight hard - to secure their points for the afternoon.  Guy would win the front half, and Whitman the back side.  They served each other as partners and aided one another with shot execution and on-course strategy.  Theirs has been a pairing to remember for two years running, and the one-two punch of Whitman/Guy once again proved to be delivered with strength.

At the close of the match, Boys' Latin had secured their second-straight victory - defeating John Carroll 14-7 at Maryland Golf & Country Club.  The team exchanged stories of their rounds that evening over sandwiches at a local restaurant.  Laughing to himself and nodding his head after a bite, Matt Sherman turned to his teammates and said "The food sure tastes better after a win."

His fellow teammates smiled.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 14  /  John Carroll 7

Boys' Latin vs Loyola
April 12, 2010

In their fourth match of the season, Boys' Latin hosted conference stalwart Loyola in a contest across the links at the Suburban Club.  Following a tough loss after a close match against Gilman, the Lakers stood revitalized in their collective efforts to produce their first victory since defeating Chapel Gate in a pre-season scrimmage. 

Once again, the competition would go the distance - and find Boys' Latin grinding out a hard-fought win.  It was the first time the Lakers had upset the Dons since joining the A Conference seven years ago.  A sweet victory for Boys' Latin, their win against Loyola found the team in receipt of a significant vote of confidence and much needed affirmation in their quest to progress through the conference rankings.

Playing with remarkable poise and balance, senior Ben Whitman battled through his contest and collected three points against his opponent.  Whitman's ball-striking continues to improve, and his on-course presence is as strong as its ever been in his four years as a squad member.  Whitman stands ready for the upcoming Individual Championship, and eager to continue his stride as one of the A Conference's most elite competitors.

Fellow Senior Matt Sherman also swept his opponent - collecting points for the match's front, back and total matches.  Sherman combined precision with diligence and produced his finest showing of the season.  The team's most calculating member, Sherman competed with his classic idiosyncratic mannerisms.  And at day's end, the points collected through his showing went far in securing the squad's victory.

Freshman Danny Murphy collected two and a half points competing in the roster's number four slot.  Murphy continued to marry dogged discipline with firey mentality, and bested his opponent handily.  His performance thusfar in 2010 is reminiscent of last season's showing by fellow Shadow Program graduate Will Guy.  Murphy's introduction to competition this season has been seamless and his performance thusfar has been nothing short of remarkable.

Senior AJ Billig collected vital points for the squad as well.  Playing with steady resolve and intention, Billig executed his gameplan efficiently throughout the day.  Billig's ball-striking continues to improve and his short game remains steady; and as the season progresses, he continues to affirm his position as one of the conference's stand-out seniors.

Senior Drew White and Sophomore Will Guy fought hard in their efforts against their opposition.  Playing hurt, Guy battled an injured wrist throughout the day - but never waivered in his focus or resolve.  And White, after struggling through the match's front half, dug deep to split the back-side.  In refusing to give up, White was able to battle for a much-needed half point - one that would effectively secure a Laker victory in the day's contest.

The Lakers stand ready for continued competition and are renewed in spirit for their victory against conferene rival, Loyola. 

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 12  /  Loyola 9

Boys' Latin vs Gilman
April 8, 2010

Following two disheartening early-season losses, the Boys' Latin logged extra practice time in advance of the team's face-off against red-hot Gilman.  Gilman, ever a conference favorite, had anchored two victories and a tie in the season's first three contests, and arrived at The Suburban Club determined to extend their fortuitous stretch of on-course brilliance.

It was a contest that would go the distance - and find the Lakers in receit of defeat by a narrow margin.  Boys' Latin trailed by only a point after the match's front side, and fought hard throughout the back half to rally into the close.

Drew White, after suffering a sizable defeat on the first half, dug deep to tie the second side.  White, who had made the line-up via play-off the day prior, scrambled his way around the golf course - and combined grit with grace to produce a much-needed half point.

Having earned his way into the line-up's fifth slot, Freshman Danny Murphy collected two and a half points in his contest - besting his opponent in the back and total matches, while combining with White to secure the Team point.  Murphy continues to demonstrate excellence and is rapidly becoming recognized as one of the MIAA's top Freshman starters.  Murphy's clutch play was demonstrated yet again on the final hole.  On a green surrounded by on-lookers, Murphy faced and subsequently made an 18 foot par putt to win his match.  A knowing smile and a slight pump of the fist reflected the quiet confidence of the team's fastest rising star. 

Senior Ben Whitman played very well throughout the match's front side - and collected a quick point in the number one slot to put the Lakers on the board early.  Whitman partnered with Will Guy to collect the team point as well.  A four-year starter and team leader, Whitman exemplifies the consummate competitor.  Firey, dedicated, poised and balanced, his presence continues to impress on and off the golf course.

Sophomore Will Guy won the match's front, back and total contests - as well as the team point with partner Whitman - and in doing so, vaulted the Lakers into contention in the day's competition.  The 2009 All-Conference team member reinforced his position as one of the top competitors in the MIAA - and played brilliantly throughout the afternoon.  

At day's end, Boys' Latin would suffer defeat at the hands of Gilman - though not without a valiant showing.  The Lakers are encouraged by the progression evident in their play; and look forward to challenging Loyola in the season's next match.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 9.5  /  Gilman 11.5

Boys' Latin vs McDonogh

March 31, 2010

The Lakers traveled to Woodholme Country Club to challenge conference stalwart McDonogh in the season's second contest.  Having been washed-out earlier in the week at the hands of sizable rainfall, team members were more than welcoming of the sixty-five degree temperatures and sunny skies.

Less than welcoming were the on-course struggles of the BL squad during the match's front side.  Plagued by short game woes and weak ball-striking, the Lakers fell to their competition in four of six matches in the competition's first half.  However, Boys' Latin did not waver from its intention - and team members fought hard to rally from their position of deficit.  And at day's end, the squad would go the distance against McDonogh, albeit in an effort that would variable fall short.  Nonetheless, the team left the course encouraged for their fortitude and stronger in their intention.  They saw of themselves the inability to accept defeat and the willingness to continue in combat regardless of dire straits.  That's what separates this Laker squad from others of season's past - its collective posture of dogged discipline.  Mental strength manifest in a step-by-step march of progress.

AJ Billig executed well-struck shots and balanced course management in his effort against the McDonogh three-seed.  The Laker senior was balanced in his approach and calculating in his course management.  Partnering with fellow classmate, Matt Sherman, AJ blended crisp shot execution with effective competitive dicipline in a fasion reserved for consummate competitiors.  His effort was well done and his presence valued by his teammates.

Sophomore Will Guy continued his brilliant play and swept his opponent of all three points.  Guy's cool and collected demeanor and skilled shot-making served him well throughout the competition.  A 2009 All-Conference Selection, Guy once again reinforced his position as one of the MIAA's top talents.

Having fallen in his bid to win the match's front side, Freshman and first-year starter Danny Murphy refused to lay down in defeat.  Battling back with unparalleled rigor, Murphy took his match to the final hole - a par five of sizable length.  A spit-fire pop-gun cut from the mold of the great Paul Runyan, Murphy failed to absorb his lack of distance as a disadvantage.  Pounding his drive and second shots up the fairway and his third onto the green, he stood over a birdie putt as his competitor found himself faced with bunkered green-side challenge.  When the dust settled, Murphy's subsequent par would be more than enough for victory - and the full point collected on the match's back side would reflect the six-man's fortitude and focus.

Strong efforts were logged by Neill Peck, Ben Whitman and Matt Sherman - all falling short in their bids to collect points, but not without producing strong attempts at success.  At day's end, the team holds true to a best-efforts policy - and the Lakers succeeded in trying their hardest.  For that, no apologies or regrets will be uttered.  For that, they remain true champions.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 6.5  /  McDonogh  14.5

Boys' Latin vs Mount St. Joseph
March 24, 2010

Boys' Latin squared-off against Mount St. Joseph in a season-opener that framed-up as a classic re-match of the prior season's final match.  Fresh-off their victory against Chapelgate, the Lakers arrived to the course anchored in good spirits and firm intentions.  And with Mother Nature offering a day of sun and blue skies, the stage was set for a memorable day on the links.

Excellent showings were notched by the team's top seeds - with Ben Whitman and Will Guy collecting the lion's share of the Lakers points.  With a steely resolve and a balanced motion, Whitman produced one of his finest showings in quite some time - and combined with the quietly confident Guy for valuable victories in the one and two slots.

After halving the match's front side, Senior Neill Peck stood on the second-to-last hole and was confronted by Coach Champion with a very specific challenge.  "We need you here, Neill" he was told.  "We need you to win these last two holes.  Nodding with affirmation, the team captain said cooly "Got it, Coach."  Peck then delivered a monsterous drive - measuring nearly three-hundred yards, that split the fairway with piercing accuracy.  He followed that shot with an approach that came to rest within ten feet of the hole, and his subsequent par found him moving to a one-up position in the match.  He would play the final hole just as brilliantly, save a slight putting miss-cue.  But in those two holes, the 2010 Team Leader came to understand something about himself - that when the chips are down and he's faced with a challenge, he is a man who is up to the task.  And that, at the end of the day, is a vote of confidence that will follow Neill Peck beyond the golf course.

To that end, Freshman starter and Laker six-man Danny Murphy came into the final hole believing he was facing a must-win circumstance.  The scrappy spit-fire anchor-man found himself facing a seven-footer for the win.  Flanked on all sides by a sizable gallery, Murphy poured the putt into the hole's center.  Again, when faced with a must-execute circumstance, this Laker closed the deal.  For a freshman to realize such a moment is remarkably impacting and valuable.  The team could not be more enthusiastic or proud of their newest starter.

Two practice sessions separate the Lakers from their match against perennial conference contender, St. Paul's.  The team plans to make the most of their time in preparation - and remain committed to their goals and objectives this season.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 7  /  Mount. St. Joseph  14   

Boys' Latin vs Chapelgate
March 23, 2010

In advance of the season's first official match, Boys' Latin welcomed 2009 B Conference Champions Chapelgate to the Suburban Club for a competitive scrimmage.  Having gone 14-0 in the season prior, Chapelgate was a formidable opponent for the Laker squad.  And as the threat of rain overlayed with falling temperatures, Boys' Latin quickly realized that they were competiting against Mother Nature as well as the battle-tested Chapelgate squad.

The Lakers would struggle in the match's front half, but produced a late front-side rally that found them splitting the points with their competition.  At the turn, the match was all square - with both teams holding three points.

Then the Lakers staged their turn-around.

Neill Peck, who had struggled sizably through the front side, fought back to win the back half and secured a much-needed point.  AJ Billig, who had also fallen on the front, stood firm in his resolve and won the back side and total match.  And Ben Whitman, who had been unable to secure a point in the first half of the match, played well into the close and collected points for the second half and total match.

Drew White earned two and a half points - winning the front side and total match while also combining with his partner, Danny Murphy, in winning the team point.  Murphy, to his credit, swept his opponent and won three and a half points in his first match as a Laker Freshman.  Also operating with a broom was Will Guy, who completed a full sweep of his competition in winning the front, back and total matches.

The Lakers' victory against Chapelgate was one that was anchored in a rally fueled by discipline and focus.  In failing to roll-over, Boys' Latin stood with firm resolve in their challenge against a team that had not lost a match in fifteen attempts.  In the end, the Lakers prevailed, having risen to the challenge effectively.  

The team appears strong for the season ahead; and is anxiously anticipating the season-opener against Mount St. Joseph.

Final Score:  Boys Latin 14  /  Chapelgate 7

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