EHHS Hornets golf team learning what it takes to win
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., May. 20, 2011
So far this season, the East Hartford High School Hornets varsity golf team has not won a match. But neither the coach nor the players see themselves as being a losing team.
“They have not won - we have tied,” said coach Todd Szwed, who is in his second season with the team. “We lost a couple of seniors, so we don't have the depth of experience that we once did. For most of these kids, they started playing golf when they joined the team.”
Szwed, who is also an advisor to the Human Rights and Law Club, recruited much of his team from his Mock Trial classes. Unlike some coaches, Szwed will not lose players for academic reasons. Several of his players are honors students, and three will be attending Ivy League colleges when they graduate. “They may be inexperienced golfers, but they are outstanding students,” Szwed said.
His focus is on teaching the basics. “There are many different skills that you need - putting skills, bunker play – the mental aspect is very important. I think golf can be as tough mentally as it can be physically,'' the coach said. “There is a lot of thought between executing and making a shot.''
“Golf is not a game that you can pick up overnight,” Sawed added. “The most I can ask of these guys is that they work hard and that they improve.”
Szwed said he would like to see schools introduce golf to students as a sport at an earlier age. “Most of the pros start playing golf when they are 8 or 9 years old,'' he said. “My dad taught me to play golf. When I was a kid, my dad used to drop me off at the golf course on his way to work and pick me up on his way home. I played all kinds of players, mostly older guys, and that’s how I learned.'' he said.
The love of the sport is what he hopes to pass on to his players, Szwed said. “Golf is a sport you can play for life,” he said. “It’s that enjoyment that I want to pass along to these guys.”
East Hartford High School Golf Coach Todd Szwed
Second season as coach.
“Golf is not a game that you can pick up overnight,” he said. “The most I can ask of these guys is that they work hard, and that they improve.''
Sports Spotlight: Players to Watch-
Ankur Patel - Junior, 2nd Varsity:
“We're getting better as time progresses,” Patel said. “We have played seven matches, we have not won yet, but I think we have matches coming up that we could win. A lot of our players are learning the game.”
Paul Sundman – Junior, 4th Varsity:
"At the point where I am now, I just try to do better every time,” Sundman said. “I don't worry so much about the score or beating the other team - I just try to play a better match each time.”