SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 22, 2012

Panthers prepared for a run at the Division 2 North title

BOXFORD — The expectations Kevin Keilty had for the Beverly High golf team when he was named head coach this summer had little to do with performance.

Performance, Keilty believes, is a byproduct of commitment.

“I expected them to commit to the program and wanted to build it the same way they would with any other varsity sport,” Keilty said. “A lot of kids who play golf, it’s not their No. 1 sport, but I wanted them to realize that during the season it was their No. 1 sport. You’re either 100 percent committed or you’re not. The only way to be successful is to put in the work and be committed.”

The Panthers obviously bought into Keilty’s system rather quickly.

Keilty admits that there were a few small bumps in the early portion of the season, but the Panthers adapted to the new coach’s belief that practice time should be used for a purpose.

Even though Keilty had only previously been the junior varsity golf coach at Salem High, he understood that sometimes high school golf is viewed as a more laid-back sport.

“It was a good transition. He’s a first-year (varsity) golf coach and he wasn’t out there trying to teach us how to play golf,” senior captain Sam Shorr said. “He wanted to be a coach and I think he accomplished that. He definitely got more matches in and more playing. That’s the biggest thing; he encouraged us to get out there and play more.”

Beverly’s commitment to playing more and putting in the effort in practice immediately translated into wins.

The Panthers had a phenomenal season, winning all 10 of their Northeastern Conference matches and finishing 13-2-1 overall. Beverly hopes to extend its season by advancing in the Division 2 North Sectional Tournament today at Far Corner Golf Course in Boxford today (9 a.m. shotgun tee time).

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