Golf: Harrington hitting his stride with Hubs

Sophomore Damen Harrington clears the bunker during match play earlier this season. After playing football for four years, Harrington has found a role with the varsity golf team after trying out for the team as a freshman in 2019. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

RTHS sophomore seeking lower scores next season

Damen Harrington had played football for four years before entering Rochelle Township High School as a freshman in 2019. Despite his recent experience on the gridiron, Harrington was looking to take up a new sport during the fall, so he went out for the Hub golf team instead.

Harrington immediately found a role with the varsity team, competing with the varsity team over both his freshman and sophomore seasons. The right-handed underclassman made noticeable strides on the course this fall, scoring as low as 95 in the 18-hole Rocket Invitational and 49 during Rochelle’s home match against DeKalb at Fairways Golf Course. Harrington said improving his downswing and making some adjustments to his putting led to more success.

“I felt like I performed great this season compared to last season,” Harrington said. “There were some ups and downs but I made many improvements. I’d like to keep improving my putting for next season and I’d like to continue getting stronger with the mental aspect of the sport.”

Harrington closed out his sophomore season as Rochelle’s No. 5 varsity golfer, but with three seniors graduating from the program this year, Harrington has an opportunity to cement a leading role with the varsity Hubs next season. Harrington said his goals for next season are to shoot in the 40-to-45 range for nine holes and the 85-to-90 range during 18-hole events.

“My most important goal will be to continue improving,” Harrington said. “I’d like to see everybody perform better than they did this season and I’d like to see us correct our mistakes from this season and move forward as a team. What I enjoy most about the sport is that almost all players show great sportsmanship when playing. Coach [Glen] Mehrings, coach [David] Cartwright, Megan [Thiravong] and her family have all helped me improve tremendously.”

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