Governor Livingston High School boys golf coach Sharon Leahy knew her team was capable of snapping Westfield’s streak of five consecutive Union County Tournament victories. She just didn’t know how the Highlanders would perform come crunch time.
“We’ve generally split with (Westfield) in our matches in past years, so we knew we had the ability to win,” Leahy said. “We just had never been able to win at the county tournament.”
This year, in Leahy’s 10th season of coaching, Governor Livingston ended Westfield’s run of county dominance, as the Highlanders won their second Union County Tournament in program history and first since 1977. Governor Livingston shot a total of 316 at the tournament to defeat runner-up Summit by seven strokes, and Highlanders freshman Ryan Davis won the individual county title with a 74.
“I was impressed with the depth of our team and the camaraderie and attitude and goals they set for themselves,” said Leahy, the Courier News Boys Golf Coach of the Year. “This is something they had wanted for four years.”
Leahy, a social studies teacher at the Berkeley Heights school, said the main lesson she tries to teach her players is the importance of staying mentally focused throughout the entire round.