Golf Captains; Two Different Style, One Goal
By Christopher Tremblay
Norwood golfers Teddy Caparrotta and Zach Badger both approach the game in different ways, but the two senior captains are both looking to get the same result when the day is done.
“As a captain, I want the kids to have fun while I am being a good role model,” Badger said. “I want them to be able to succeed in addition to setting them up for the future. The goal this year is to be able to do better than last year (Norwood went 11-7 and made the tournament). I feel that we are playing good golf and on the pace to do just that.”
Badger’s co-captain echoed his sentiments.
“I am hoping that I can bring the team closer together while looking for the younger kids to improve their game to a specific level and help us get to the tournament,” Caparrotta said. “No one has personally told me, but I hope that they look up to me as a captain and appreciate what I do for the team.”
Qualifying for the Division 1 State Tournament while getting their teammates to improve their game is top priority for both captains, and about mid-way through the season they both feel comfortable with the way the team is currently playing.
“Zach and Teddy are great role models for the younger players, and they look up to them,” Norwood head coach Chuck Allen said. “They are both playing in their fourth season of the program and will do everything that you ask of them.”
Both athletes were relatively late bloomers when it came to swinging the clubs. Caparrotta was not big into normal sports and although he did try a few of them out, he was not impressed. He would much rather control his own destiny and not leave fate up to others. In addition to playing golf for the Mustangs, he is also on the swim and track teams, all individual sporting events.
Badger, who also plays hockey and baseball, was looking to find a fall sport. A few months before high school started, he fumbled upon golf, took a few lessons, and decided to try out for the high school team.
According to Allen, Badger is a very relaxed individual on the golf course in the mental game and has grown over the years. He is also a very smart golfer that doesn’t give up. On the other hand, Caparrotta is a groomed golfer who has gotten better with each year and is respected not only his peers but his opponents as well.
“They are not only great young men, but are captains of the team,” the Norwood Coach said. “Being captain of a golf team is to a rah, rah type of sport, you have to get on the course and lead by example and they both are capable of doing that.”
Caparrotta played in the PGA Junior League and took in some camps at the Norwood Country Club prior to getting to high school. He began his golfing career for the Mustangs on the junior varsity squad as a freshman shooting consistently around 44-45. By his sophomore year he had moved up to the varsity team but played sparingly that season.
“The Coach would put me here and there that year,” Caparrotta said. “I guess you could say he was taking a chance on me because at that stage of my career I could shoot really good or very terrible. But the coach knew that I was not one to give up; I’ll go out and play my hardest right to the very end.”
According to Badger, golf was originally just a fill-in sport but it is now his number one. He not only grew to love the game, but he wanted to play as much as he could while getting better.
“My freshman season I had no experience with the sport, and I was ok starting out on the JV team,” Badger said. “I found myself still on the JV team the next year, but after one match the coach brought me up to varsity. I was really excited, and it was a great feeling to be moved up, but I really didn’t have any real expectations the rest of that year as I considered myself to still be learning the game.”
The Norwood duo is continuously working on their games to get better and help the golf team in any way that they can get the Mustangs back to the tournament. In doing so they are letting Coach Allen know that he can depend on their play match in and match out to deliver good scores.
“In practice, we are two ferocious competitors, but once we get onto the course as a team, we’re looking to help each other out in any way that we can,” Badger said.
Badger and Caparrotta both are hoping to take their golf games to the next level come the fall of next year when they head off to college.