Spartan racks up golfing awards

Bryan Smith now has another accomplishment to tack on to his stellar Castleton State College golfing resume. Smith, a three year captain for the Spartan golf team, was recently awarded the North Atlantic Conference Men’s player of the week award. It can be added to Smith’s other great accomplishments, which include 2005 North Atlantic Conference All-Conference First Team, 2005 and 2006 Team Most Valuable Player, and 2005 and 2006 Atlantic Conference Player of the Year.

Smith, who has been playing golf since his father got him into it at age 7, has been a rock for Castleton in all three years of the program’s existence.

While the Castleton team has managed to hold its own through a tough schedule against the likes of Williams College, New York University, and Skidmore College, Smith has been even better and consistently strong in his play. In eight matches this year, Smith has placed seventh or better in each match except for one.

In fact, in six of those eight matches Smith has placed in the top 2.

His role with the golf team is not just to produce low scores on the leader board, he is also there to help the younger golfers hone into their own golf skills, said Head Coach Leo Reynolds .

Smith said he takes his role as captain very seriously, and he believes his biggest responsibility as captain is, “Trying to take my knowledge, as somebody who has played at one of the highest levels, and try to spread it to the younger freshman.

“Especially staying strong mentally. The game is 90 percent mental 10 percent physical,” he said. “The more you realize that, the more you are going to succeed.”

When asked what Smith means to the young Castleton golf team, Reynolds gushed about his standout.

“Bryan is the benchmark and role model for all of our present players and will be for team members for many years to come. He has a great desire to win and has a very, very strong mental outlook on the course,” he said.

As much respect as Reynolds has for Smith, Smith reciprocates the same respect for his coach. When asked what was so special about this team, Smith quickly talked about Reynolds.

“Our coach. Leo is the most respected person in New England golf teaching. It is a real treat to have him as the backbone of this team,” he said. “It is rare to find a division three coach who has so much knowledge of the game and is willing to be out there working for you 100 percent.”

In this, his final year on the golf team, Smith still has some unfinished business to take care of. His ultimate goal is to have a scoring average under a 73 and to prove himself at the national level.

And Smith doesn’t plan on stopping his competitive golf career after Castleton. When asked if he had any aspirations of taking his skills to the pros, without hesitation he responded “I actually do.”

“Probably in another year or so I will evaluate my game at a much different level and part of the hard work is taking it to the next level,” he said.

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