Despite battling a bad case of allergies, Glastonbury High School sophomore Maya Manzotti shot a 46 as the Guardians defeated Woodstock Academy at Quinnatisset Country Club on May 17.
Manzotti’s performance and perseverance helped the team post a season-best overall score, shooting a 175 to easily win the road match.
“She has a true winning attitude and did not want to let her teammates down,” first-year head coach Ken Barse said of his sophomore.
Manzotti’s bout with Mother Nature may have helped, not hindered.
“My allergies were awful and I was feeling so sick, but I wasn’t thinking about all of my shots so much,” recalled Manzotti. “Usually when I’m playing I focus too much on making sure I do everything just right and by not overthinking it made me play so much better.”
In the end, Manzotti turned a negative into a positive. It was similar to what she did when she first started playing the sport in the summer of 2020.
Because of the pandemic, her eighth grade year in middle school was finished remotely and most things were still shut down when summer rolled around, so she took to the links.
“There wasn’t really a lot of things to do and the only thing open were the golf courses,” recalled Manzotti. “Throughout the summer I would play all the time and it’s been cool to see how much better I’ve gotten over the last two years.”
She is now part of a strong sophomore class at GHS, which includes captain Morgan Peterson, who was the medalist—shooting a 36 with three birdies—in the win over Woodstock.
Manzotti, Peterson, Kara Anderson, Neeyor Devtale, and Riley Savidge are all sophomore starters
“These are usually girls that I wouldn't spend a lot of time outside of golf so it’s nice making new friends with girls in my grade,” said Manzotti, who added the team has bonded this spring. “We all consider each other good friends and that really helps with our game.”
She added that Barse’s infectious passion for game has made a big difference.
“He’s such a great coach and he really loves golf so much that it makes playing the matches and practice so much better,” she added.
The Guardians finished undefeated in conference play and won 13 of 15 dual meets this spring, including a season-finale victory over Wethersfield at Glastonbury Hill Country Club on May 24.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin