By VINCE PELUSO
Lakeside senior Anthony DeGeorge has been around plenty of good golfers over his four-year career at Lakeside and time working at Harbor Golf Club.
It comes as little surprise that the lefty has turned into a strong golfer himself, firing a 78 at the Division I sectional tournament to be the only boys golfer in Ashtabula County to qualify for the district tournament.
For his efforts as a senior, DeGeorge is the 2013 Star Beacon Ashtabula County Boys Player of the Year.
“I wasn’t completely happy with my season, I didn’t feel like I played to my full potential, but it was a good season and to hear that (he was player of the year), that definitely makes it a lot better,” he said.
DeGeorge carries on a strong tradition of boys golfers to play at Lakeside.
He said being around several of those players himself helped him become a better player.
“I’ve always been around a lot of the Lakeside players who have done good things,” he said. “Growing up, I worked at Harbor and I was always around T.J. Bowler, he went on to play at YSU. Alex Spader played for Walsh so playing with them they made me better. Kevin Acierno, I’m great friends with him, too. So playing with all of them always made me better and made me want to achieve what they had.”
The son of David and Victoria DeGeorge started golfing when he was just 3, walking the course with his father during Thursday leagues.
“I picked up the game when I was about 3 years old, my dad played in a Thursday league and I just started following him on the course then my neighbor made me a set of clubs that I could swing,” he said. “I got into competitive golf when I was in junior high and (Lakeside) coach (Jim) Hood noticed my potential and every winter from junior high until senior year we went to the indoor range and hit balls, that helped a lot.
“Obviously in this area, not being able to play year round, hitting indoors helped a lot and allowed me to progress. Coach Hood was always willing to work with me. I could call him and he would help me. That was a big part of my game, he helped me strengthen the weaker parts of my game.”
Hood said he was potential in DeGeorge at a young age.
“As a freshmen I tried to get him to challenge for our top spot, I thought he could’ve been our No. 1 for four years, but he decided he wanted to take more time and work on his game more and it worked out great,” he said. “He was a very steady player for us for four years. I definitely think he’s ready to go to the next level if he chooses to.”
DeGeorge, who is undecided as to where he’s going to college, bounced back from a disappointing showing at the Premier Athletic Conference tournament to fire an impressive 78 at the sectional tournament.
He was pleased with how he performed in the sectional.
“Well I was playing well at the PAC, but I just had one bad hole, got in tall grass, took a high number and it kind of took away from my mood and golf is a big mental game so that didn’t help with the number I took,” he said. “But I went into sectionals knowing it was my senior year and I didn’t wanna stop. I was playing awesome I finished with a double and a bogey and still shot 78. It was one of best 18 hole rounds of the year I had for high school.”
DeGeorge, whose nine-hole career low is a 33 and 69 on 18, said making it to district as a senior was the highlight of his career.
“I would definitely say making to district senior year was a big accomplishment, I knew I wanted to do it,” he said. “A couple weeks leading up, I met with Coach Hood every night and he would watch me hit on the range and make sure I’m ready. I feel I played pretty well, it was definitely a great accomplishment.
“Also, playing with Alex and Kevin was definitely a great highlight.”
The Dragon senior credited his parents for all their support in his golf career.
He and his dad flew to Florida for an AJGA event prior to his senior year where he had the opportunity to play with players from Switzerland and China.
“I grew up playing with my dad and both of my parents were always extremely supportive and willing to help get me to the next level,” he said. “I obviously loved played with my dad every Thursday. He would bring me around people that made a name for themselves in golf around town to try to get me exposed to good players.
“Playing with good players definitely made me a better player. He tried to encourage me to play with good competition and it just always made me better.”
Peluso is a sports writer for the Star Beaocn. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.