By Jean DePlacido
---- — Shamus Desmond, a senior captain on the Beverly High golf team, has been named MVP of the Northeastern Conference.
Desmond and his younger brother Garrett played a big role in the Panthers’ unbeaten league record.
“We had a very good year and being named MVP is a special honor,” said Shamus Desmond, who only lost one match out of 13 this fall. “It was a blast, and my team was really great. We had six returning guys so we figured we’d be pretty good. The two young ones came up and really contributed.”
One of those young guys was sophomore Garrett Desmond, who went undefeated (12-0). The brothers helped Beverly win its second straight NEC golf title.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Garrett,” said his older brother. “He really stepped up to help us.
”We’ve both been playing since we were around 10. My grandfather, Tim Desmond Sr., has been my biggest influence; I think I was born with a golf club in my hand. He loves the game and got me out on the course as soon as he could. My parents (Tim and Denise) have always offered support and told me to be the very best I can be.
“There were a lot of tough matches this season,” added the elder Desmond sibling. “The only match I lost was against Gloucester at Bass Rocks Golf Course. I had never played that course before and it was a very windy day, which presented more problems. The Gloucester kid knew the course like the back of his hand.”
Shamus Desmond competed in the NEC Open last week. The top two golfers from every team participated in the event at Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead.
“I finished eighth, which was not as good as I expected,” Desmond said. “While I’m disappointed in my performance, I’m happy I kept my head in the game. Every golfer goes through days like that, but how you handle it is the most important.”
Next year Shamus Desmond intends to major in engineering in college; the University of Massachusetts at Lowell is one of his top choices.
“I love that school,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago I met with their captain; I would love to keep playing golf in college.”
The brothers will be teammates again in the spring on the Panthers’ baseball team. Shamus Desmond is a pitcher/first baseman while Garrett plays shortstop, outfield and pitches. Last year Garrett was a member of the freshman baseball team and also played for Beverly Legion in the summer, where he tossed a no-hitter.
“Golf gets me ready for baseball because you get a lot of exercise having to walk 18 hours five days a week,” said Garrett Desmond, who just finished his first season on the BHS varsity. “My brother is my inspiration; he helped make it an easy transition to the high school team.
“It felt very good for our team to come out on top. Everybody did a great job, and I want to continue to get better so I can play in college; that’s my dream.
”Our family goes to Maine in the summer and we play at Point Sebego Golf Course. It’s a lot of fun and gets us ready for the (golf) season.”
Tomorrow Junyong Pak of Beverly, the two-time World Toughest Mudder champion, will take part in the Coach UP Ambassador program offering one lucky winner a 2-hour private coaching session at Lynch Park in the Garden City. It also includes a 4-hour video that will be available on YouTube.
The big winner is Pak’s favorite charity: the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynn, which will receive $790 (the money raised in the contest). Pak is the second professional athlete to participate in the new Coach UP Ambassador program, which offers youngsters the opportunity to receive individual coaching from a pro.
The winner of the Coach UP contest was Gordon College student Matthew Shahzade. His father, Edward, entered the contest by sending a $10 check to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lynn and was the winner. He gave his son the prize.
Jean DePlacido is a correspondent and columnist for The Salem News. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.