2012 NDN BOYS GOLFER OF THE YEAR: Ryan Celano, Community School

Corey Perrine/Staff Photo Illustration 
 Community School of Naples' Ryan Celano, 17, is the 2012 boys golf player of the year. Recently the junior drove and putted his way to a 7th place finish at the state tournament. He returns in 2013 hoping to capture a state crown. The youngest of four, his influence in golf began from his father competing in tournaments at age 8. One of his biggest achievements came in July, competing in the U.S. Junior Amateur at The Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H. 'The biggest challenge in golf is keeping your composure. You can hit the perfect shot and it'll hit a sprinkler head or a putt hits the back of the cup,' Celano said. 'At times it's so frustrating -- but you have to be positive and not feel sorry for yourself.'

Photo by COREY PERRINE, Naples Daily News

Corey Perrine/Staff Photo Illustration Community School of Naples' Ryan Celano, 17, is the 2012 boys golf player of the year. Recently the junior drove and putted his way to a 7th place finish at the state tournament. He returns in 2013 hoping to capture a state crown. The youngest of four, his influence in golf began from his father competing in tournaments at age 8. One of his biggest achievements came in July, competing in the U.S. Junior Amateur at The Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H. "The biggest challenge in golf is keeping your composure. You can hit the perfect shot and it'll hit a sprinkler head or a putt hits the back of the cup," Celano said. "At times it's so frustrating -- but you have to be positive and not feel sorry for yourself."

Ryan Celano didn't save his very best for last, but close to it as far as the fall of 2012 went.

The Community School junior had an up-and-down season — at least for him — as he kept adjusting to a new set of clubs as he continued to grow. But on the final day of the Class 1A state tournament, Celano put it together, enough to become the Naples Daily News Boys Golfer of the Year for the third straight season.

Celano shot a final-round 73, tying for the low round of the day, and birdied the final hole to give the Seahawks a second-place finish. He tied for seventh overall.

"That last day I just scored well; the day before I hit the ball much better but I didn't make any putts and I made a couple of bad swings," said Celano, who shot an 81 in the first round.

When Celano came to the 18th hole in the final round, he had no idea where the Seahawks stood. But he knew what the team had done the day before — a collective collapse that dropped them out of realistically winning a state title.

"The day before I made a disaster of that hole," he said. "I bombed a drive out there. I hit a wedge to three or four feet and made the putt. I ended the year on a good note."

That's not something new. Celano has shot a combined 6 under on the final day in his three state tournament appearances, helping the Seahawks finish fifth, third and second, respectively.

"It's nice when you have trust in someone and they typically come through," said CSN coach Paul Celano, Ryan's dad.

Celano could trust plenty of his teammates. Seniors Jackson Stroup and Ben Balter won regionals and districts, respectively, and senior Jake Marriott was third at regionals.

"It definitely pushes you," said Ryan Celano, a University of Florida recruit who was third at districts and tied for ninth at regionals. "They help you work harder. When someone's being successful and working hard, you just want to do the same."

Balter is headed to Wake Forest, and Stroup and Marriott are going to Augusta State, which won NCAA Division I national titles in 2010 and 2011.

Greg Hardwig

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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