Twenty-two students are teeing up to play on the Lopez Lobos golf team this spring.
“I’m always excited about golf,” said coach Richard Têtu. “It’s the mozzarella on the pizza.”
This year’s boys team is comprised of seniors Austin Reinmuth and Henry Skorny; juniors Tobin Arden; sophomores Sterling Carfrae; and freshman Ty Greacen, Reese Hamilton and Cyrus Froning. The girls team includes juniors Dariya Begman, Anah-Kate Drahn, Claire Roberson, Anne Scholz, Naomi Vliet and Nora Zapalac; sophomores Katherine Combs, Hailey Riddell, and Zoe Reinmuth; freshman Siri Dye, Ava Franklin, Sonnette Roberson and Anna Velazquez; and eighth-graders Shayna Gruenwald and Elizabeth Krantz.
Têtu has been coaching golf for the past 15 years, and his team has gone to state ever since he began. He has simple goals for his players: one, to have proper behavior; two is to make good grades; three, score well at tournaments. His team has not only succeeded in the game but they have won academic awards five times.
“They’re really good kids,” said Têtu. “They’re wonderful, they love each other, they support each other.”
Têtu’s is proud of his team for having integrity, being honest and being humble. He said that players who perform better than others don’t brag or treat their teammates negatively, they give tips and tricks to help step up their game.
“The cup doesn’t change size, just play your best,” said Têtu.
The team plays with donated clubs and the Lopez Island Booster Club donates balls each year. Têtu says that his players all know how to fix their clubs, wrap them in grip tape and they appreciate them. The Lopez Island Golf Course allows the team to practice on the green and hosts golf tournaments at no cost to the students.
The team operates in accordance to what D.A. Penick, a University of Texas tennis coach from 1908-57, told his successor: “I know you’ll make better players out of your students in four years. But will they be better people? That’s the important thing.”