The Boys' Latin Golf Team

Better Men Through Better Golf

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2012 Match Summaries

Boys' Latin vs John Carroll
May 10, 2012

In their final contest of the 2012 Season, the Lakers traveled to Maryland Golf & Country Club to face-off against John Carroll.  During an afternoon that produced sizably heavy winds, the two teams battled through the mighty gusts of Mother Nature as much as the championship conditions of the Bel Air linksland.

John Carroll was hungry for the win and arrived prepared for a contest across their home field.  True to form, Boys' Latin also carried a significant taste for victory - and resolved early to produce their best efforts in what was to be their last match of the season.

And what a match it was!  In a season first, Boys' Latin produced an effort that found all starters collecting all available points.  Front, Back, Total and Team points were secured in full aggregate - as each Laker ended his contest having garnered wins in all associated matches.  

Each member of the starting squad played with balance and poise - anchoring a staunch discipline of intentional course management early and sticking to such focus throughout the day.  Highlights of the results produced included Bennett Wisner's one-under par total, Danny Murphy's even par showing, Will Guy's even par showing and resulting scores from Henry Knott, Ben Feild and Dylan Watts ranging from three over to five over.  These scores in typical conditions would be admirable - but at a foreign venue in 25 mph wind gusts, these scores were nothing short of remarkable.

And so, they won.  Twenty-one to zero.  Amazing, sure.  But most assuredly, that's not where the victory ended.

The true victory with this team lies in the integrity developed in the hearts of its members.  The journey that these young men have taken through this season has been absolutely astounding.  It's not always been easy.  In fact, at times, it's been flat out tough.  But it's been their journey.  Theirs to experience.  Theirs to navigate.  Theirs to remember.  Theirs to own.

It's been a journey that found them sitting behind desks in February studying course management statistics and standard deviation of shot dispersion.  One that found them in a long drive contest with an NFL Linebacker.  One that found them creating and developing their own Player Profile learning system.  One that found them snorkling in the ocean, spelunking through caves, eating mahi mahi, and playing some of the world's most amazing golf courses. One that produced weekly iron-sharpens-iron challenge contests.  One that found them earning their uniform; and recognizing that their varsity jacket was awarded for achievement anchored in discipline and effort.  One that found them voting on team captains.  One that found them breaking bread with their competition.  One that found their senior members recognizing and affirming their mothers.  One that produced a prom invitation.  One that yielded a fifty person opening day gallery.  One that anchored the finest Stroke Play Team Championship showing in school history.  

One that made them smile.

One that made them laugh.

One that was good, and was right, and was purposeful, and was true.

One that they'll remember for a long, long time.

Everywhere this team went, from fast food restaurants to airports and from beaches to pro shops, the response from onlookers was the same.  "What gentlemen," they'd remark.  "What nice boys," they'd continue. "Tell me about your school," they'd say with a quizzical grin.  "Tell me about these young men..."

People are attracted to integrity.  They hunger for strength of character.  And when they see it, they respond and they want to know more.  This team, these boys...they have it.  Strong hearts.  Moral fiber.  Sound resolve.  They're gentlemen.  Pure and simple.

At times this season, they stood facing challenge.  Individually and collectively, they found themselves periodically eye to eye with difficulity.  And they chose to own it.  To face it.  To negotiate through it.  And to emerge on the other side stronger for having done so.  And when it was behind them, they understood ownership.  And they never looked back.

This group of boys walked a journey of development unlike any team before them.  As such, they find themselves at season's end bonded by true and lasting friendship.  

And that is what it's all about.

Go Lakers!

Final Score:  Boys' Latin: 21  /  John Carroll: 0

Boys' Latin vs Mt. St. Joseph
April 26, 2012

"Golf is a game that is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire.  The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules.  All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.  This is the spirit of the game of golf."  ~ Taken from the USGA Rules of Golf, Section 1; Etiquette / Behavior on the Course

The spirit of the game.  The integrity of the individual.  Consideration for others.  Disciplined conduct.  Courtsey.  Sportsmanship.

That's Boys' Latin.  That's the Lakers.

They don't throw clubs.  They don't toss bunker rakes.  They don't curse after bad shots.  They don't chastise fellow competitors.  They don't fail to be gentlemen.  What they do is walk with purpose.  What they do is give every shot their all.  What they do is encourage and affirm their teammates.  What they do is operate with intention.  What they do is manage their emotions.  And because of that, and so much more, what they've become are men of integrity. 

And that's why, on every level that truly matters, the Boys' Latin Golf Team is winning.

Boys' Latin hosted Mt. St. Joseph in the final home contest of the 2012 season.  St. Joe, undefeated on the season, boasted a strong roster of rough and tumble talent.  Long bombers with wide grins and strong personalities, St. Joe had edged the Lakers out of first place in the Stroke Play Team Championships earlier in the week by a mere four shots.  Both squads were ready for the face-off, and the stage was set for a memorable contest.

March 26, 2009 was a cold and rainy day that found Freshman, Will Guy competing in his first varsity match as a Laker.  That afternoon found the rookie squad member getting up and down for par from a greenside bunker on the final hole in order to defeat his opponent.  As he reached into the cup to retrieve his ball, this author thought to himself "What an amazing journey it's going to be."

As he lifted his ball from the cup on that same hole, Senior Will Guy turned to face his teammates' cheers.  Having just made birdie to win the back and halve his match, he concluded in classic style, the final home contest he would play for Boys' Latin.  As he tipped his hat and shook hands with his coaches, this author, now four years aged, reflected with reminiscence "What an amazing journey it's been."

Guy had dropped the front side one down, but birdied the final hole of that half to tee up a strong rally into the close.  He nearly eagled the second hole on the back-side - flying it past the flag and drawing it back to within a foot of the hole.  Combining strong ball striking with a balanced on-course presence, he fought hard to negotiate the remaining holes with his top-seeded opponent.  And with a birdie at the last, he took the second half - and split the total.  This after struggling on the front.  This after deciding that he wasn't going out without a fight.  This after standing firm with intention to turn things around.  And do so he did - for a win like no other.  What better way is there to close a chapter?

With his par, birdie, eagle finish against Loyola working its way into Boys' Latin Golf Team folklore, Bennett Wisner managed to expand his Paul Bunyon-like legend against his St. Joe opponent.  He closed out the front side three-up after chipping-in at the second-to-last.  Then took his lead into the latter stages of the second half before going deeper with a birdie-birdie finish to punctuate his effort.  Wisner is a strong player.  That's well documented - and remarkably obvious.  But it cannot be overstated that his playing ability pales in comparison to the posture of his heart.  He is one very kind and generous young man who cares deeply for his fellow teammates and goes above and beyond to bring his best efforts day in and day out.  Wisner has the intangibles that separate the great from the good on and off the golf course.  He is, by all measurements, a class act.

Henry Knott doesn't quit.  Pure and simple.  He just doesn't.  You put a task before him and he plows through it with his best effort.  When faced with challenge, he doesn't back down.  When struck with adversity, he doesn't flinch.  He just keeps on truckin'.  That's Henry.  That's just the way he rolls.  

Henry started the season three slots behind fellow teammates in starting position power ranking.  But he fought hard and grinded his way to the top - earning a starting post by the first match.  He's kept that slot for most of the season - though not without threat.  Henry has been forced to defend his starting rank more than anyone in team history - and with a band of fellow freshman and sophomore teammates chomping at the bit to work their way up, he's had little time to relax.  But Henry did as Henry does.  He played his way through challenge matches day after day after day - battling to keep what he'd earned and owned.  And do so he did indeed, like no other before him.  Because Henry Knott just doesn't quit.

Danny Murphy played with the heart of a champion.  He willed his way around the course - shaping shots with cuts and draws, chipping with deft touch and rolling putts with a pure motion.  After dropping the front side, he rallied strong across the second half - and in doing so, shot one under par.  While his opponent would fire two under and take the associated points, one could hardly be discouraged by the Laker Junior's showing.  Having played remarkably well and as a true gentleman competitor, Murphy continues to anchor himself as a consummate team leader for his will to win and the strength of his character.

If there was a moment that could be captured, framed and tied in a bow for Dylan Watts, it would be the first tee shot of the St. Joe match.  Facing off against a former Laker and current St. Joe four-man, Watts stood on the first tee as his opponent addressed his drive.  With butterflies in his stomach, Watts shuffled characteristically - shifting his weight from his left to right side, then back again - putting his hands in his pockets, then out again - nodding, always nodding...periocially grinning at his friends.  You could almost hear the internal dialogue.  And then, just as you began to saw his eyes.  And you knew.  You just knew.  He's got it.

His opponent hit it in the trees.  Dylan...smashed his drive and split the fairway.  That was the moment.  Capture it. Frame it. Tie a bow around it.  That was the moment.

Ben Feild walked the fairway of the par five final hole with balance and poise.  Having dropped points for the front and total matches, he was fighting hard to secure the back half.  Since joining the squad in the Fall of 2010, Feild has brought with him a presence of strength and winning attitude that inspires his fellow teammates.  His swing is simple and efficient.  His putting is consistent and dependable.  His shots are shaped and his ball striking is pure.  But most importantly, given his individual journey of personal development, his on-course attitude and conduct is that of a gentleman.  And so, when he miss-hit his approach into the final green, he neither swore nor kicked the dirt, nor threw a club, nor slumped about.  He wiped his clubface, put his iron in his bag, and walked to the next shot.  Ownership.  Intention.  Integrity.  That's Ben Feild.   Oh, and by the way, he got it done to halve the back.

Not to be out-done, Shane Kilberg and Seth Miller shot 39 and 40 respectively as the 7 & 8 alternates - winning each of their matches two-up.  It was a sign of times to come that these two freshmen, who've been eagerly awaiting their turn at another competitive contest, stacked-up strong against their St. Joe opposition.  The future of these two Lakers has never appeared stronger - and 2013 beckons with great anticipation for the one-two punch of Miller / Kilberg.

This was a day of moments, not points.  And as such, it was a remarkable day for Boys' Latin - one that found the spirit of this great game well-served by the stewardship of its maroon and white clad advocates.  

Integrity.  Consideration.  Discipline.  Courtesy.  Sportsmanship...  That's Boys' Latin.

Go Lakers!

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

Boys' Latin vs Loyola
April 25, 2012

The Lakers are firing on all cylinders now.

Following their victory over Tatnall and a strong second place showing in the MIAA Stroke Play Team Championship, Boys' Latin hosted conference stalwart, Loyola in a contest that demanded a continuation of the Lakers' surging momentum. Loyola boasted a strong roster and was equally hungry for a taste of victory as both squads shook hands under the afternoon sun prior to the match's inception. 

The Lakers knew that their A games would be required in order to hang tough with the Dons - and that the day's contest would not be an easy one. Boys' Latin committed to a collective posture of intention anchored in discipline and balance - steeped in a one-shot-at-a-time mentality and a staunch refusal to give anything less than one hundred percent. This intention has been the team's "X-Factor" of late - the intangible element that's propelled the squad to new heights. And do so it did on this particular afternoon as well - beyond even the highest expectations.

Against a talented Loyola squad that battled tough throughout the day and produced a strong showing, Boys' Latin failed to relinquish a single point to their Don opposition. What's more, only four points were split with halves.  
It was a victory Boys' Latin worked hard to secure - and one that required top level performances from all starters.  

After missing the final green of the front side wide left, Will Guy faced a precarious flop shot to a tight flag in an up and down effort that appeared necessary in order to anchor an early point.  His opposition found the same green with some challenge, but faced a down-hill 15 footer for bogey - certainly makeable given his draining of a similar length putt three holes prior.  Guy, understanding the weight of the circumstance, took his practice swings with full focus and visualized the execution of the shot in his rehersals.  And then, the shot was struck.  As the gallery lifted their gaze to follow the high-arcing trajectory of the delicate shot, the Laker co-captain twirled his wedge and grinned gently.  The ball fell softly on the fringe, and rolled to within six feet.  Guy would make the putt for par and win the front accordingly.  What's more, Guy would battle-on through the back half - and end his day with a birdie on the par five closing hole to secure all three points in his effort against his top-seeded Loyola opponent.

Dylan Watts also came into the final hole of the match's front side needing a win - though in his case it was required to tie the front.  Watts, playing hurt with a bum wrist, grinded through the day with knock-downs and half swings in order to manuever the ball around the linksland.  Facing the final hole of the front side, he carved a hole through the wind with a sawed-off mid-iron that found the back center of the green accordingly.  Two putts from there would give the Sophomore what he needed in order to claim an essential half point on the front side.  Watts would go on to take the back and total matches after pressing on through a tight contest in the second half.

Danny Murphy is about as committed as committed gets.  He gives one hundred percent all day every day.  He is consistent, poised, and gritty.  He'll battle all day long and he'll keep his teammates on point with words of affirmation and encouragement.  He's a consummate competitor and a strong example of what Ben Hogan once said: "With keenness and determination, there's nothing you can't accomplish."  Against Loyla, Murphy would win the front side three-up after rolling-in a thirty foot birdie putt on the final green of the first half.  He would battle tough coming in as well - and collect points for the back and total matches accordingly.  When the dust settled, the Laker Junior had collected all available points, including the team point with partner, Watts - and in doing so, deliver a strong showing for the Lakers in the day's contest.

Ben Feild won the first three holes and never looked back.  His cool composure and steady shot-making produced an effot that found the Laker co-captain partnering with fellow senior Henry Knott to collect the team point as well as anchor points for winning the front, back and total matches.  Feild knew at the day's inception that he would be leaned on to collect 2-3 points for playing strong in his slot - and he rose to the occasion without issue.

Speaking of rising to the occasion, Senior Henry Knott faced off in his match against a unique Loyola opponent...his brother.  Luke Knott, a Loyola Freshman, shook hands with his older brother Henry on the first tee and smiles were exchanged between siblings before hats were pulled low and game faces were donned.  And after Luke won the first hole and Henry won the second, it was clear that Knott vs Knott was going to be a barn-burner of a contest.  Big brother would anchor the win.  But the Freshman Don, who operates with considerable talent and integrity, is clearly one of the MIAA's strongest up-and-comers.  On-lookers from both sides had to take pause to appreciate the contest.  Two brothers competiting - smiling and scraping, grinning and grinding their way across the linksland in a sibling rivalry played out through fairways and greens.  In the gallery, their proud parents stood arm in arm with wide smiles and periodic gazes that suggested the thought "They grew up so fast"  It was a unique moment.  It was a dynamic rarely seen.  It was quite simply, pretty darn cool.

And you know what else is cool?  Par, Birdie, Eagle - that's what.  And that's how Bennett Wisner finished his day in order to halve his match.  After splitting the front side, Wisner found himself falling to three down with three left on the back.  After rolling in a ten footer for par to extend the match on the first of those three, and a re-focus of swing mechanics on the next tee, the Laker Sophomore blasted his drive up the fairway's left side.  From there he would stick his approach and roll-in the subsequent putt for birdie.  Two wins in two holes left him one down with one to play.  He faced the par five final hole with one mission: eagle.  Guess what?  Boom!  His drive sailed through the sky as though it understood its objective.  Next up, hybrid from the fairway.  Whoosh!  The shot soared toward the green, landed short, ran up through the bottle-neck between the bunkers, rolled onto the green and stopped four feet short of the cup.  Wisner lined the putt up from multiple angles, and firmly rolled-it in for the three.  Mission accomplished.  Par, Birdie, Eagle.  From three down with three left to all square at day's end.  Now that's putting up a fight to get it done. Remarkable.

It's also worth noting that strong showings were posted in the seven and eight slots.  Justin Donawa hung tight with his opponent after falling behind early in the match.  And Randy Wells combined solid ball-striking with an steadily improving short game to win his match three-up.

The Lakers' momentum continued through the day - and the squad delivered its finest performance of the year against a strong competitor.  With two matches remaining in the season, Boys' Latin remains committed to its posture of intention and encouraged by their continued strong play.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin: 19  /  Loyola 2

Boys' Latin vs Tatnall
April 18, 2012

Boys' Latin played host to Tatnall High School of Wilmington, Delaware in a non-conference match that proved at day's end to be a barn-burner of a contest.  Led by BL Alumn Patrick Guegerty, Tatnall hosted the Lakers at Biddermen G.C. in Wilmington last season - an effort that found the talented opposition taking all but a point from Boys' Latin at the day's conclusion.  This year, the Lakers vowed, would be different - and Boys' Latin dug deep to serve-up their best against the Tatnall squad.

A soft and steady rain poured from the cloudy skies as players arrived to Suburban Country Club.  Lakers were donning their rain gear at their cars and searching their trunks for umbrellas that might assist in negotiating their linksland for the day's experience. Coaches from each team shook hands and exchanged hellos - warmly engaging one another ahead of a match that was to be both friendly and quite competitive.  The Tatnall players had spent the day shadowing the BL players at the school - and had taken a comprehensive tour of the campus experience accordingly.  In doing so, members of both squads had become familiar by match-time and first-tee handshakes were made with wide-eyes and smiles.

The Lakers set the pace for the afternoon by establishing their first front-side lead of the season - taking five of six points from an effort that found all BL players anchoring at least a half point across the first half.  That was to be the spark that ignited the Tatnall squad, however - as the Delaware rival stepped on the gas for the second-side.  After dropping two points to Wisner and Murphy on the front, the Tatnall lead pairing began to come to life.  Their top player birdied the first hole of that half, then birdied the second, and then birdied the third for good measure.  Their second seed played with equal brilliance - as did their three-man for that matter, who was fresh-off an IJGT victory at Bulle Rock that found him shooting 73/75 for the win.  Led by their top players, Tatnall would rally to produce a hard-charge from their first pairing - and Boys' Latin would find itself in a familiar position as the fourth match concluded...a tie at 7 to 7.

The Lakers were fresh off their strongest-ever showing at the Individual Championship, however - with four of six players breaking 80 to stay within 8 shots of the lead & in doing so anchoring themselves in 2nd place in the team competiion.  Accordingly, the squad continued to ride that momentum through the remainder of this day's contest.  Refusing to roll-over, Boys' Latin staged their own rally deep into the second half - one that found the Laker anchor-men securing six and a half of seven available points in a remarkable effort by team veterans Guy, Feild, Watts and Knott. 

It should be noted that Justin Donawa and Connor Mules, playing their first matches of the season in the seven and eight man slots, produced amazing results.  Donawa leveraged quality ball-striking and a steady short game to shoot 39 across the front nine and win 8-up accordingly.  Mules, working a steady draw across the Suburban linkland, shot 46 to win the front side by 6.  Both players earned their varsity jackets witn the victories and were all-smiles at day's end for their strong showings against their Tatnall competitors.

At day's end, Boys' Latin would bring the two-year home-and-away challenge to an even 1-1 standing by taking the day's contest.  But that reality stood as a mere backdrop for the underlying reality that these two teams had become friendly in the process - evidenced by the post-match food and fellowship, where Boys' Latin and Tatnall players shared smiles and laughter between slices of pizza and bites of chocolate chip cookies.  It was evidence of gentlemenly competition; and as such was effective framework for the fruit born from healthy athletic engagement. And that, on so many levels, is what it's all about.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin: 13.5  /  Tatnall: 7.5

Boys' Latin vs Calvert Hall
April 12, 2012

Boys' Latin traveled to the Country Club of Maryland to take-on the top-ranked Cardinals of Calvert Hall.  With firm and fast greens, sloping fairways, and tight tee shots, the Country Club of Maryland offers one of the more challenging layouts in the conference.  The Lakers were up to the task, though and were fired-up from their successful rally against Gilman the day prior.

Bennett Wisner walked to the tee of the par four final hole standing all square in the second half match with his Cardinal opponent - a hard-charging, boisterous, bomb-and-gouge grappler with a spirit as strong as his grip.  Wisner paused to employ a spirit of his own en route to the tee box - one found in peace and balance for closing his eyes and breathing deep to center himself.  The hole before them was 224 yards, uphill, with woods guarding the left side and a tree-line running up the right.  A bunker complex guarded the front of the postage stamp sized green.  While not a dogleg, the hole curled right to left - and in order to drive the green, a shot would need to cut by more than thirty-five yards, carry the aforementioned bunkers and land ever-so-softly on the surface without running through - lest it find a grass basin over the green.  The wind was swirling above the treeline.  The hole was cut middle front.

The Cardinal hit one of the most beautiful shots one could ever imagine.  Launched off the face of a three wood, it soared high and cut perfectly toward the target, before landing and rolling to within fifteen feet from the hole.  On-lookers found themselves wondering how a ball hit so hard could land so softly.  It was an amazing shot - and was praised accordingly with cheers from the gallery.

Next up: Bennett Wisner.  And wouldn't you know, he hit the same shot!  Undaunted by the pressure of the situation, he smashed his own three wood on the same line - and it too cut pefectly toward the target.  It landed like a dove with sore feet, and rolled as well to within fifteen feet.  The crowd roared again in amazement of the answered call.  Both players would go on to two putt for birdie - and the back was split accordingly.  It was a remarkable moment.

Speaking of remarkable, Team Co-Captains Will Guy and Ben Feild partnered to bring a heavy-handed one-two punch to their Cardinal opposition.  After being two down with three to play, Guy dug deep to rally and won the fourth and sixth to halve the front.  He kept the pressure on through the back side as well - and at day's end, split his contest completely.  It was a hard-fought day for the Laker veteran, and his play was inspirational for his ownership of each and every shot.

Feild played quite well himself - perhaps his finest shot-making performance of the year.  What's more, the second year starter continues to roll the ball well - and a solid putter kept Feild in the match all day.  And when it ended, he had collected two and a half points for his team - an excellent performance from a top notch competitor.  A defining moment for Feild came in the match's second half when his tee shot on a short par four came to rest in the roots of an oak tree.  After taking some time to strategize, Feild opted to pitch his shot up the rough-line of the hole's left side - and lay up accordingly in setting-up for a subsequent pitch shot down hill and over a bunker.  It was a strategy that he would execute perfectly - and in doing so, win the hole.  Feild's course management and mentality continue to develop - and his intention and discipline on the links have never been stronger.

Danny Murphy battled tough throughout the day and took his match the distance accordingly.  Addionally, Seth Miller and Dylan Watts rose to the occasion to lock horns with their opposition and produce solid scores.  Watts rocketed his driver throughout the contest, Murphy's iron shots were crisp and Miller's dependable baby-fade put him in positions of attack throughout the contest.  These three players, along with Wisner, represent the youthful core of an ever-growing squad with a remarkably-bright future.

So, while the win to go to Calvert Hall at day's end, it wasn't without a hard-fought battle and a solid effort by Boys' Latin.  With a non-conference match against Tatnall upcoming, the Lakers are ready for the time ahead.

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

Boys' Latin vs Gilman
April 11, 2012

In an afternoon that produced some of the strangest and most brutal weather patters conceivable for competitve play, the Lakers played host to the Greyhounds of Gilman at the Suburban Club.  Snow and freezing rain fell from the sky as the Boys' Latin players donned their foul weather gear prior to match time.  By the first tee time however, the sun was shining and the skies were clear...for roughly ninety minutes before the rain came again...which once more cleared up in short order...until another bout of hail and freezing rain rolled through again hours later - this time pounding players and onlookers with sideways force on the final green.  All of this combined with 47 degree temperatures and ever-present winds to frame-up a one big punch in the gut by good old Mother Nature.  It was one for the books - and so was the Laker turn-around that ensued in the match's second half.

At the turn, Boys' Latin trailed Gilman 2-4 and once again faced an uphill battle for the second half.  Dylan Watts won the front side 4 up; and both Bennett Wisner and Will Guy garnered half points after splitting their first half matches with their Gilman opponents.  But the other matches, while dropped, were close - and the totals were still very much in play for the second side.  Knowing that they needed to pull out another rally, the Lakers dug deep to give the back half their best.

Danny Murphy and Bennett Wisner rallied with crisp ball-striking and strong centeredness of contact, en route to each securing points for the back and total matches, along with the always-important team point.  Most assuredly, the one-two punch of Wisner / Murphy continues to wreak havoc on the MIAA A Conference opposition in 2012.  These two Laker linksters have the comaraderie of true champions, the games of strong players, and the friendship of brothers.  They walk together, strategize together, affirm one another, and win together - on and off the golf course.  That one is a sophomore and the other a junior is a true testimony to their maturity and integrity as young men.

Speaking of integrity, readers should note this:  On the 9th hole, Wisner hit his drive wide right - headed out of bounds.  His provisional ball was subsequently struck up the middle.  As he walked down the fairway, he was greeted by gallery members who told him his first ball was in-play and showed him where it had come to rest - safely in bounds with a clear shot to the green.  Wisner, whose match was all square at that point, looked down at the ball and shook his head.  "That's not my ball," he said, and walked past it to search on.  When he couldn't find his ball, he declared it lost and proceeded to his provisional ball - thereby hitting hit 4th shot.  

Here's this thing:  There was not a moment, not one nano-second, when Bennett Wisner considered playing that ball that wasn't his.  Not a one.  He saw it wasn't his ball and acted honestly.  "Not my ball."  That's ownership.  That's integrity.  That's Boys' Latin Golf.  When he was praised for calling a penalty on himself that invariably cost him the US Open by a shot, the great Bobby Jones once quipped "You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank."  I think Bobby Jones would have been proud of Bennett Wisner today.

Will Guy and Ben Feild battled tough all day long to eek out a clutch and much needed half point on the front before battling the quasi-noreaster that throttled their group later on the 12th green.  Coaches were holding their umbrellas sideways and squinting their eyes as they peered out from beneath their cover to watch a drenched Feild stand over a 6 footer for a half point.  Feild, wearing a golf shirt and pants with no hat and no raingear - a interesting contrast to his partner, Guy, who was decked-out head to toe in Goretex - stood calm over the knee-knocker and rolled it in for a critical half point on the final hole.

Playing in his first varsity match, Freshman Seth Miller partnered with Dylan Watts to collect the team point against their Greyhound opposition.  Miller, a strong ball-striker and methodical strategist, managed himself around the linksland as a strong gentleman competitor.  He was staunch in his focus, disciplined in his approach, and determined in his mentality.  Most assuredly, the future appears bright for this promising young Laker.

And then there was Dylan Watts.  The Laker Sophomore leveraged a "See it. Feel it. Trust it." mantra that carried him through a day of shot-making brilliance and flatstick prowess - as the second year starter shaped shot after shot effectively and rolled in numerous putts at critical junctures.  As noted above, he partnered with Miller to snag the team point.  And what's more, he won the front side 4 up, the back side 3 up and the total match quite handily.  It was an amazing performance from an amazing competitor.

When the freezing rain, hail and over-all nastiness subsided on the final green, the Lakers ended their day having clawed their way back from a deficit to tie the total match.  It was a day to remember and a remarkable turn-around from a strong squad of gentlemen competitors.  Boys' Latin faces Calvert Hall next with renewed confidence and firm resolve.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 10.5  /  Gilman: 10.5

Boys' Latin vs St. Paul's
April 4, 2012

Boys' Latin hosted conference rival St. Paul's in the season's home opener at The Suburban Club. As is always the case when the Lakers lock horns with the Crusaders, there was considerable passion and team spirit associated with the contest. Each side was amped-up to compete accordingly - and with St. Paul's coming off a strong showing against conference stalwart Calvert Hall, the Crusaders were feeling the momentum coming into the day's face-off. Boys' Latin was hungry to taste victory however - and after dropping close contests in consecutive away matches to start the season, they saw the day's match as a strong opportunity to step forward in their journey toward the post-season. The Lakers had overturned St. Paul's in three straight years coming into the day - with the initial win in 2009 being the first time in more than 70 years for the Lakers to have done so (see Post Match Summary: April 17, 2009). Suffice it to say, this was a marquee match - and always a lot of fun.

In the aftermath of the match, the Lakers would attest to being almost too fired-up ahead of the contest - as they found adrenaline-laced approach shots sailing the green and shaped tee shots moving more than intended. In fact, only Senior Will Guy anchored a point in the match's front side. Playing with balance and discipline, Guy managed his away around the Suburban linksland with peace and poise - and served as a valuable temmate to partner Ben Feild as he battled his way through his associated contest. And thus, at the turn, the Lakers dropped 5 of 6 possible points to their Crusader rivals - and found themselves facing an uphill grind from a 1 to 5 score.

And then it happened. Once after another, the Lakers started to bear-down and grind out victories. Bennett Wisner, who had been two down with three left, birdied #9 for the win; then birdied #10 for the win after nearly holing out from the fairway; then won #11 with a par. He collected a much-needed point for the second half and partnered with Danny Murphy to win the team point as well.

Murphy's rally was also near legendary. He fought hard to play his way back after a front side loss associated with sprayed approach shots and a shaky putter. He collected himself, set his own pace, focused on a key swing-thought - and grinded his way back into a lead. Murphy would go on to win the back side and half the total - and his passionate play alongside Wisner was key in that critical team point collection.

Feild came to the par five final hole needing to make something happen in order to secure a much needed half point for the squad. After belting his drive considerable distance and putting himself in position to go for the green in two, he drew his fairway wood with bold intention. The associated shot would come off the clubface with brilliance, sail toward the green, land on the right fringe and roll onto the dance floor accordingly. This shot would set-up an important split point for Feild - and was one of the afternoon's brightest moments.

Speaking of dance floor, Feild had another critical moment after exiting the green. A certain young lady, who had found herself in the afternoon gallery following the Laker 4-man, had taken time to arrange a number of golf balls just off the 12th green to form a single-word message for her beau. It read simply "Prom?" The Boys' Latin Golf Team Co-Captain walked over to the arrangement of dimpled surlyn, read it with a grin, lifted his gaze to meet his date's eyes, and nodded with a blushing glow. The sun was shining. The team was applauding. And Ben Feild, whose brief journey in competitive golf now included a prom invitation, was floating on air.

Fellow Senior Henry Knott and Sophomore Dylan Watts battled through the back side as well - taking their second half matches through the 12th hole accordingly. Watts would grind out a half point via dogged discipline and refusal to back-down from challenge. Knott was two back with two to play and won the 11th hole critically in order to extend his match to the final hole. Both showings found each competitor giving their all and battling as best they could through the course of the day's contest - and there's everything to be said for that.

The Laker rally was remarkable - and found Boys' Latin moving from a 1-5 deficit at the turn to positioning themselves in a 7.5 to 6.5 lead late in the contest. And, while the day's victory would fall to St. Paul's, the Lakers should be commended once again for battling their way back into contention. When other squads might have rolled over, this team fought on - and in doing so, brought themselves back from a very difficult position. There's lessons of life inherent to that understanding. Never give up. Never stop trying. Stand by your teammate. Make it happen. Seize the chance to turn things around. That's what happened at Suburban in the home opener. That's what the day was all about.

Well, that and maybe Prom...

Final Score: Boys' Latin 8 / St. Paul's 13

Boys' Latin vs Archbishop Spalding
April 2, 2012

The Lakers took to the road once again for the season's second contest - this time in an effort that found them locking horns with Archbishop Spalding at Chartwell Country Club.  With three seniors and three freshmen, Spalding boasted a line-up that was equal parts youthful promise and veteran presence.  With their #3 starter fresh off a victory the weekend prior where he shot 71-72 accordingly, the Spalding roster appeared as strong as it had in quite some time.  And with the home course advantage of Chartwell - complete with its lightning fast greens - Spalding had Boys' Latin in a firm position of challenge heading into the contest.

Yet with the weight of burden resting on their shoulders, the Lakers fought hard through the match's front side; and collected 2.5 points to their opponents' 3.5 at the turn.  Sophomore Bennett Wisner and Senior Will Guy took their matches' first halfs; and Senior Ben Feild split his front side accordingly.

A strong rally into the second half found the Lakers taking the lead with associated wins in back and total matches by Wisner, a valuable half point for tieing the back side by Junior Danny Murphy and additional split points by Feild and fellow Senior Henry Knott.  

Murphy combined ever-deft ball striking with increased distance off the tee to rally into his match's second side - and in doing so, garnered an important half point for his effort.  Murphy, playing higher in the line-up than in prior years, continues to progress through his MIAA experience with significant achievement and substantive promise.  

Feild, it should be noted, stood on the final green of the day needing to drain a 15 foot downhill curler for birdie in order to halve his back side and total matches, as well as win the team point alongside partner Guy.  His opponents already in for par, it was a make or break putt for Feild.  With nerves of steel, he addressed the putt and drew back his blade.  The ball took off in perfect pace, and took the break as intended.  As it approached the hole the Senior began to life his putter as the eyes of numerous maroon and white onlookers widened.  And when it disappeared into the cup, shouts of amazement and joy filled the evening air - as Ben Feild pumped his fist and took in the applause of his teammates.

Of added note was the performance of Bennett Wisner.  Wisner, a second year starter and sophomore, had come off a 75-69 performance over the weekend that earned his 2nd place in the championship (Danny Murphy, also representing the Lakers in the same tournament, took 10th place with an 85-79 showing).  Wisner's ability to modify his motion in competition and adjust his game relative to his on-course circumstance has been a true component of his growth on-course in 2012 - and offers additional promise for continued development in the time ahead.  His full sweep of his opponent was highlighted by shaped approach shots, bombed drives, consistency of putting and intentional course management.  Wisner continues to prove that he's the top young player in the conference with a remarkably bright future in the game.

And then there was Will Guy.  Ah yes, the signs of Spring.  Robins.  Azeleas.  And Will Guy in a hat pulled low with dark sunglasses on - taking down the opposition with a stoic presence and a dialed-in wedge game.

Guy birdied the first two holes to go two up accordingly.  He hit it to kick-in distance on the extremely difficult par 3 2nd hole after making 3 at the first.  And when it was said and done, the four-year starter had taken the front side handily from a young man who had come off a significant win and strong performance the weekend prior.

Henry Knott and Dylan Watts battled through their matches with firm focus and steady resolve.  Their strength of mentality was best summed up on the final tee box through the efforts of Watts - who, with all the pressure of the moment on the line, found the screws on a mid-iron and hit his tee shot to within 12 feet of the hole.  Knott, also no stranger to pressure, dug deep to rally from an early second half deficit in order to split his match's back side.  Both players gave the afternoon their best, and in doing so, inspired their teammates with their purpose and their intention.

At day's end, the match would fall in favor of the home squad.  Archbishop Spalding would garner 6.5 of the remaining 7 points en route to a final score of 13 to 8.  Nevertheless, the Lakers are very, very close to peak form - and stand ready to entertain some matches at Suburban in the time ahead.  With conference rival St. Paul's slated for April 4th, the BL Golf Team Home Opener stands to be a memorable event - and one the Lakers appear most ready to face.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin 8  /  Archbishop Spalding 13

Boys' Latin vs McDonogh
March 28, 2012

The Lakers opened the regular season by traveling to Woodholme Country Club in order to face off against conference juggernaut McDonogh.  With seniors in 6 of the 8 starting positions, McDonogh boasted considerable experience in their roster.  What's more, McDonogh won the MIAA A Conference Championship in 2009, 2010 and 2011.  In graduating only 2 players last season, they stood as a formidable opponent for the Laker squad.

After a rain delay pushed the start time out nearly an hour, the two teams finally made their way to the first tee around 4:00 PM.  First tee jitters were evident from both sides - and rust was apparent on more than a few motions through the front side.  That said, the day would produce a barn-burner of a contest - that would find the ultimate result hinging on the performance of the day's final group.

The Lakers struggled through the front side - collecting only 1 total point versus 5 from McDonogh.  A difficult proposition lay ahead for Boys' Latin - rally hard into the back half and claw their way back into contention.  It was a challenge they would rise to meet - and Boys' Latin staged one of their most remarkable rallies in recent memory.

After dropping the front half, sophomore Bennett Wisner grabbed control of his match and refused to let go.  Stepping to the 300 yard par 4 8th hole, he proceeded to drive the green with a tee shot that ended up 8 feet from the hole.  Further shots from Wisner would find the clubface's center - and the Laker top seed would go on to win the 2nd half 3 up and in turn take the total match.

Not to be outdone, junior Danny Murphy also rallied through the close - taking the back side and halving the total match after dropping the front one-down.  Murphy combined solid ball-striking with a dependable putting motion in his effort to  fight his way through his afternoon as the Laker second seed.

After halving the front, Ben Feild stayed balanced and collected through the second side - and in doing so captured points for the back and total matches.  Playing alongside good friend and fellow senior Will Guy, Feild reflected the maturity and perspective of a seasoned veteran en route to anchoring 2.5 points for the Laker squad.

It's worth noting that while his match found him on the unfortunate side of a full sweep, Will Guy made the active decision to bear down and focus on the final hole of the day in order to produce his best effort for the sake of his team point with Feild.  The two Lakers were all square standing on the final tee - and Guy dug deep to own his circumstance and play tough on the last hole of the day.  His approach into the par 5 landed short of the green and when his opponent's 2nd shot found the green, Guy knew he had to get up and down to retain an essential half point for his team.  And so he did - chipping to within 6 feet and rolling in the putt accordingly.  It was a solid moment from a solid competition - and one that Guy should reflect upon with great pride.

After the 4 man closed out the 12th hole, Boys' Latin had rallied from a 5-1 deficit to a 7-7 tie with McDonogh - and looked to the final group to deliver the knock-out punch.  Alas, it wasn't to be as Henry Knott and Dylan Watts were closed out 6.5 to 0.5.  Knott hung with his opponent all day - and in fact the match, as well as the team point, went the distance through eleven holes.  However, at day's end, the Lakers' rally would come to a close and find them a bit short of outright victory.

Nevertheless, Boys' Latin anchored a remarkable turn around and recovered very well from a sizable front half deficit - this against a team that has boasted three straight conference championships.  It's not hard to understand that this Laker squad has great promise and a good deal of accomplishment ahead of them.  This season's just getting started.  And Boys' Latin is ready.

Final Score:  Boys' Latin: 7.5  /  McDonogh 13.5
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