Golf team learns lessons on and off the golf course

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., May. 18, 2012
Fabio Colon, a 2010 EHHS graduate and former member of the golf team, has decided to become a professional golfer. He often returns to help younger players with their golf game. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Fabio Colon, a 2010 EHHS graduate and former member of the golf team, has decided to become a professional golfer. He often returns to help younger players with their golf game. Photos by Frances Taylor.

Coach Todd  Szwed is in his second year of coaching the East Hartford High School golf team, and the thing he is most proud of, he said, is how his players do when they are not on the golf course. “Many of our players have the highest grade point average in the school,'' he said. In fact during a recent 'tri-match' against Manchester and Wethersfield, several players were not present, he said "because they are taking AP stats tests instead of playing a game.''

This year's team is made up of inexperienced players – freshmen who have never played game before, and several juniors and seniors who have returned to the team after taking a season off. As a result, the team is 1-7 this year so far. “It's been a struggle,'' Szwed said.

However, Szwed is hoping he can teach the students not only how to play the game of golf, but how golf is more than a game to be played in high school. 

“Golf is a game that you can play for life,'' he said. “It teaches you honesty and sportsmanship. Golf is a social game – there are no referees. I tell them that the skills they learn on the golf course you can take with you into adulthood.''

Last year, the team had only one girl; this year there are four. Swzed said that there are now greater opportunities than ever for girls in golf. “There are college scholarships out there for girls in golf. I hope to recruit enough next year to have a team,'' he said.

Fabio Colon, a 2010 East Hartford High graduate, came to the match to watch. Now a student at Central Connecticut State University, Colon played golf his freshman year has recently decided to turn pro. What he learned on the golf course turned his life around, Colon said.

Before golf, there were times when he was suspended from school because of disruptive behavior. After learning to play golf, Colon said, “I became obsessed with the game. I started improving my school work, acting appropriately and taking care of business.'' Colon, 19, has played in PGA certification tournaments, and was featured on the Golf Channel for his "shot of the day" which he hit from 197 yards away.

 


 


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