Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Sports Person of the Week

Scott Leads the Tigers on the Links

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Reece Scott earned All-SCC and All-State accolades as a junior captain for the Hand boys’ golf team during the 2022 season. Photo courtesy of Reece Scott

Reece Scott earned All-SCC and All-State accolades as a junior captain for the Hand boys’ golf team during the 2022 season. (Photo courtesy of Reece Scott)

When he walks into his room, Reece Scott always sees a glass golf ball that was given to him by his great-grandfather Dean on a shelf on the wall. The ball has become a huge motivational tool for Reece, who broke through to become the top golfer and a captain for the Hand boys’ golf team as a junior this season.

Reece played several sports while growing up, but always found golf the most enjoyable. Reece spent a lot of time on the course with his father Greg and even got to drive the cart sometimes. Spending the early part of his life in St. Louis, Reece was always golfing with his friends every Friday morning.

Reece’s friends and family played an enormous role in fostering his passion for the game. Reece’s mother Jan always brings him to his matches, and he still keeps in contact with those friends from St. Louis. As he started his career on links, Reece felt good knowing that he had a solid support system backing him.

“It was always fun. My family was really supportive when I decided to take golf seriously. My mom always drives me to my matches, and my dad tries to make every one he can. They’re always asking me how did I do—what went wrong and what went right,” says Reece. “My friends are still very involved with me, too. I still talk to my friends from St. Louis every day. It helped me grow my game.”

During the summer heading into 7th grade, Reece and his family moved to Connecticut. He began competing in more tournaments, namely for the Challenge Club and with CT PGA. Reece says that playing in those tournaments helped him make new friends and create relationships that he wouldn’t have if not for golf. Those tournaments also allowed Reece to see the competitive side of the game and what it would take for him to succeed.

“It was a big jump. When I was with my friends, it wasn’t as serious. When you’re competing, it’s a whole different mindset. These scores count. Coaches can see this,” Reece says. “It took me a little while to get used to that, but once I got past it, it was just a regular round of golf. It’s just me versus the course.”

While Reece planned to join the Tigers as a freshman, the 2020 season was ultimately canceled. However, Reece couldn’t stay away from the greens. Many of his teammates started playing together every day. They would compete in matches where, on occasion, the loser would have to buy lunch. Although they were away from high school, Reece and his new teammates “formed our own team,” aiding his transition to the Hand golf squad.

When he finally had the opportunity to compete at the high school level last year, Reece was immediately thrown into a large role by serving as the Tigers’ No. 2 golfer behind Matt Doyle, who has gone on to play golf at Elon University. Reece says that Doyle served as a mentor for him. With the two always paired together, Doyle helped Reece with the mental side of the game and taught him how to become a stronger golfer.

“I felt like I was able to make a pretty easy jump. Doyle would always tell me it wasn’t a big deal—you’re just playing a round of golf. He really helped me,” says Reece. “I played with him every match. With him, I was able to make that jump. I was just playing golf with Matt Doyle.”

Reece earned All-SCC honors and then helped Hand win the Division II state title in his junior season, recording a score of 78 to finish in a tie for 16th place at states. As each golfer completed his round, their teammates were waiting for them and cheering each other on. When he walked off the course as a state champion, Reece realized how hard the Tigers had worked and how close they had become.

“It really showed how close of a bond we had,” Reece says. “We were all just hoping that we would play well. Coming home with the state title showed how much work we put in. It was really cool.”

Reece was named Hand’s No. 1 golfer entering his junior season. Reece understood that he had big shoes to fill, but remembered what Doyle had told him and tried to not overthink things. At first, Reece struggled with that concept and was trying to do too much. However, as the year went on, Reece began to trust both himself and his teammates and settled nicely into that role.

After helping Hand go 10-5 in the regular season, Reece posted a score of 81 to finish in a tie for 14th place at the SCC Championship. Reece went on to garner an All-State nod with a score of 73 at the Division I State Championship, finishing in a tie for third while helping the Tigers place third as a squad.

When he arrived at Stanley Golf Course, Reece was familiar with everyone that he was competing against at the state meet. He watched his teammates strike long drives off the tee at the driving range. Reece knew that the Tigers would be in great shape as long as everyone played their game.

“I knew everyone I was playing against. I became friends with them throughout the year. I had played Stanley a couple times. I thought of it as just another round with my friends,” says Reece. “All my teammates were hitting the ball well on the range. I knew we had a good shot of putting up a good score. I just wanted to play my game and let them play theirs.”

In addition to his work on the course, Reece also served as a captain alongside senior David Ginsburg this season. Reece wanted to continue the strong leadership that had been displayed by the captains who came before him. Earning the captain’s hat as a junior showed Reece that Head Coach Jim Holleran and everyone in the program viewed him as a leader.

“I was really honored. It’s really cool being a captain any year of high school,” Reece says. “To be a junior captain, it shows me how much Coach Holleran trusts me. It’s really awesome being a leader early on, so it can help me with my leadership abilities later in life.”

Coach Holleran has taken note of Reece’s growth as a leader. Holleran says that Reece provides a strong presence for the Tigers and is always working to help both himself and his teammates become better golfers.

“Reece played in the No. 1 position for Hand and gave our team strong scoring and leadership,” says Holleran. “He was always working on his game and showed great determination in his quest for excellence.”

Ever since he moved to Connecticut and joined the Hand program, Reece’s teammates have helped him reach his potential as a golfer. As he moves into his senior year, Reece feels honored to represent the Tigers alongside a group of teammates who’ve always made Madison feel like home.

“Daniel Hand is a great school. I’m really glad I moved here,” Reece says. “Representing this school and working with these guys every day, even during the offseason, is really awesome. We’ve been able to make these great connections and represent Daniel Hand on and off the course.”


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