The Malden High School Golf Team has started off strong so far, with a current score of 4-3. The team is being coached by Richard Malatesta again this year, going on to his 26th year with the team. When it comes to performance as of now, coach Malatesta mentioned that the team’s “club selection” has been an issue in the past, but have luckily capitalized on the issue, mentioning how they have been “using irons and hybrids more frequently than woods.”
This year, the team’s captains are senior Gerard Mauriello, senior Simon DaPonta, and junior JT Bowdridge. Coach Malatesta mentioned he chose these players because he feels they “all lead by example,” and that “they recruit new players for the team and represent the team with honor and respect.”
Junior Alex Cogliano is a returning member to the golf team. He first joined during his sophomore year. Though not playing any matches last year, has really stepped up in coach Malatesta’s eyes, mentioning how both Cogliano and junior Christopher Josefowitch have stepped up in the place of seniors that are no longer with the team. Cogliano responded to coach Malatesta’s statement by saying that “[he] feels as though coach Malatesta said this because [he has] indeed stepped up for sure this year,” and that “[he] feels [it is] deserved, but [he does not feel like he] took anyone’s spot, only moved up due to the loss of a few players.”
Cogliano mentioned he joined the team because “[his] good friend and captain Mauriello has been playing for years and encouraged [him] to try out golf,” later mentioning how “[they] both have [taken] the opportunity to earn the Golf Merit Badge for Boy Scouts.”
With the team having already played seven matches, strengths as well as weaknesses are bound to show. Coach Malatesta mentioned how “each member of the team is so supportive of each other. They root for each other on the course and help each other on the course as well as in practice.” He also mentioned how a lot of the team’s success is a result of “steady and heady play.” Malatesta later explains how “nothing is ever as good as it is in golf. [Even] the pros take lessons, so there is always room for improvement in every facet of the game.”
When it comes to what the team still needs to improve on, there wasn’t much. Coach Malatesta mentioned how the team needs to work on their “chipping, putting, and pitching.” Cogliano also mentioned how “[they] can all play on the weekends and practice [their] putts and chips before every match,” and that “[nobody is] perfect.” Cogliano went on to mention how “one hole [they] can par with the next hole maxing them out.”
The start of a new season is bound to bring goals, whether for the team as a whole or individual goals set for themselves. Coach Malatesta mentioned how “[he] would like to make the state tournament,” as the team has not made it to a tournament in many years.
Cogliano also had a few goals, both for himself and also for his involvement in the team. Personally, Cogliano wants to “try [his] best on every hole,” mentioning how even if “[he] reaches the max amount of strokes, [he] can still end up getting a tie for half a point.” Cogliano just wants to “contribute to [their] score by doing [his] best to win holes.”
The team has shown a lot of promise so far this season, and seems to be looking up for the rest of the season. Cogliano mentioned how “golf is just a difficult sport, you have to be right mentally with the knowledge on what club to use, how to score yourself, and what style of match you’re playing.” He further elaborates that “physically, you need to know how you hit your clubs [...] and where you know you can reach. As long as you have fun, you win, [I have] lost matches and walked away smiling.”
For more photos of the Golf team click here.