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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola’s Golf Team Demonstrates Why Patience is a Virtue

Ryan Eigenbrode

Jackson Roman ’25, believes in the power of daily dedication when the day does not end when classes do. Once courses conclude for the day, you will find him out on the greens of Hillendale Country Club. He stated that this hard work has not been in vain, and he sees it paying off. A contributing factor to his success comes from observing his Loyola teammates and seeing how he can learn from them. According to Men’s Golf head coach, Chris Baloga, Roman is currently playing the best game of his career.

Last semester, Roman took a medical leave of absence, so he was forced to sit out in the competitions. Now that he has returned, he deals with the obstacle of juggling both academics and athletics. He said this was not easy at first, especially finding the time to get enough golfing practice in. Nonetheless, he has slowly gotten into a regular routine.  

Even though Roman could not play alongside his teammates, he could still be their coach, just not for golf. The team created their own intramural basketball team where they made it to the championships. Although they lost in the end, Roman would show up to each game wearing a jacket and tie and cheer on his team from the sidelines.    

Graduate student Carlo Pizzano considered Roman to be a great coach, but he is happy to have his teammate back.   

He said, “It’s been great having Jackson back and it’s awesome seeing him play well and being a leader on this team on and off the course. He’s fit into his role really well since his freshman year and yeah, he had a tough semester last year, but he’s become a great teammate and obviously a better player.”  

Pizzano and Roman looked back on the team’s trip to the Monterrey Collegiate Classic in Mexico which would be their last tournament of the fall. From the moment they arrived, Roman said they were greeted with wonderful hospitality, amazing golf courses, and a five-star hotel experience. He reflected on past tournaments where they would just play and then go home. Here, they had an opportunity to spend time as a team and explore a new culture. Pizzano brought two other teammates, Gustavo Rangel ’26 and Lorenzo Sanz ’26 into the story.    

Pizzano said, “I thought in Mexico there was going to be a little more English speaking but that was not the case, so we actually needed Gustavo and Lorenzo to help us out with some Spanish and it was fun to have them translate. They had a great time with it and loved it.” 

Pizzano is in the final run of his golf career at Loyola. He discussed mentality and how it shapes his game. Like Roman, Pizzano has also had some obstacles to overcome due to injuries. This has led to a personal focus on healing in order to contribute to the team’s overall performance as best as he can. Despite the prolonging of these injuries, he looks to make the best out of the time that he has.

He said, “There’s definitely a mental struggle off the course and just not being there playing all the time, but I tried to be as present as I could be with recovering. Whenever I’m practicing and playing, I just try taking in every second I have.” 

Pizzano described a whiteboard that every team member uses to write personal goals. This way, they are being upfront about what they hope to work on and hold themselves accountable. One thing he knows they all acquire already? Patience. He knows how long it takes to get better at this sport. He explained further that each person is trying to reach the next level and that they all have their own unique way of getting there. He hopes for some positive outcomes once they compete again in February.   

He said, “I know that after this trip to the Monterrey Collegiate Classic in Mexico, everyone wants more than what we had and I’m excited to be a part of this journey that is going to be my final run, but this unique team’s final run, which will be exciting. I think we all really enjoy being with each other and we’ve grown to love being around each other.” 

Coach Baloga explained that there is a high level of trust that he puts in the golfers. He stated that their practices are very different from other sports like basketball where the team runs through drills. Instead, he gives each of them free reign to create their own practices and schedule.     

He said, “I’m there to help them but each guy pretty much has their plan that works around their schedule and does what they need to do to get ready for themselves. By doing that, I almost think they don’t want to let me down or the other guys down because they like that freedom and they like being able to show what they can do.” 

Baloga tries to get the team outside as much as possible, but this becomes harder in the off-season snowy months of January and February. He hopes that it will not snow during these months, though they do have indoor setups available if need be. These indoor setups include a simulator which imitates a real competition experience. Up until then, they get a bit of a break.   

He said, “The main thing over this off season is to be fresh. I pretty much give the guys off the rest of the fall where they just do off-season workouts. The main goal is to be in mid-season form that first event, which is tricky, I know. We want them to kind of put the clubs away, and miss it a little bit, and then be ready to go once it’s time to go again.” 

Baloga stated that their recent competition in Rockville at the Georgetown Intercollegiate was the first time they played in state in two years besides a conference tournament last year. Next fall, they will participate in three Maryland events. However, Baloga would love an opportunity to host tournaments at their home course which is even closer to campus so Greyhounds can come out to support.

He said, “It’d be nice if we were closer to home and people could come out and see how good these guys are. I think a lot of people don’t really understand the level of talent they have. I get a lot of guys that want to try out for the team if they played in high school and want to play on our team, and these guys shoot under par more often than not.”

Roman believes that the team is not as recognized on Loyola’s campus. He explained that they dedicate a lot of their time to what they do just like the other teams. They also care about bringing championships back to Loyola and adding to the program.  

He said, “A lot of times, I’ll be talking to people, and they don’t even realize that we have a golf team, or they’ll just be like, ‘oh, the club team.’ I think that’s a little underrepresented is the amount of love we have in competing for the team and for the school.”  

Men’s Golf heads to their next competition, the Loyola Intercollegiate, in Arizona on Feb. 25. You can keep up with Men’s Golf on their Instagram.  

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