Boys Golf: Deerfield second, Vernon Hills third at season-opening invite
New Deerfield boys golf coach Jeff Fishbein fills out cards prior to the 8th annual Deerfield Invitational on Monday at the Deerfield Golf Club. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 17, 2012 12:20PM
DEERFIELD — Funny how things work out sometimes.
During 51 years of service to athletics at Highland Park and/or Deerfield high schools (same district), coaching legend Fred Dickman was involved with countless powerhouse programs in various sports.
After Deerfield opted to put Jeff Fishbein in charge of the school’s boys golf program this year, Dickman and his still razor-sharp coaching mind found a new home with yet another golf powerhouse.
He now has a front-row seat to watch grandson Connor Dickman, a senior, compete for Vernon Hills High School. Meanwhile, he helps the team in a capacity that Cougars head coach Shawn Healey calls “assistant emeritus.”
“It’s fantastic. I’ve been coaching for 18 years, and I’ll probably learn more this year than I did the first 18,” Healey said.
Vernon Hills returns four golfers from a team that competed at the 2A State Finals last year.
In addition to young Dickman, Eric Swanson, Chris Edwards, and Russell Hutson — all seniors — were part of the Cougars’ 2011 run. Patrick Quinn and James Roussel also competed for Vernon Hills on Monday when the team finished third (314) behind big-school powers Lincoln-Way Central (302) and Deerfield (303) at the six-team, season-opening Deerfield Invitational at Deerfield Golf Club.
““We practiced really hard over the summer,” said Swanson. “We played a lot of IJGA tournaments together. I think that experience has helped prepare us for the season.
“It’s pretty cool that we’re all seniors who came up playing together,” he added. “We’re pretty good teammates which should make for a really fun year.”
Swanson shot a 76 to share fifth place with Edwards. Dickman finished in a tie for 10th (79). Hutson carded an 83.
Taking over at Deerfield is Fishbein, a Deerfield grad (’86) who runs his own sports psychology firm: Fishbein Performance Consulting.
He played for coach Dickman in the 1980s and was part of Deerfield teams that placed eighth and fourth in the state his junior and senior seasons.
“I work a lot with athletes from Northwestern, and I’ve worked with some players from the Chicago White Sox. I thought this would be a great opportunity to work with high school kids,” he said of his new role.”
Fishbein is excited about working with the young players in area’s besides their swings.
“The mental game is a huge part of it. Course management, teamwork, leadership, are all important things we can work on with them” the coach said. “Learning to play as a team in an individual sport can be difficult. You’re learning to play for your teammates, not for yourself at the high school level.”
Deerfield senior Colin Davis, who shot a 73 on Monday to share runner-up honors with teammate Ian Kelsey, is excited about the new coach brings to the job.
“It’s a fresh start. I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “He has some really good insight in the mental part of the game.”
The other top Warriors were Scott Boorstein (tied for 8th, 78) and Aaron Katz (tied for 10th, 79).
Libertyville placed fourth in the team standings with a 324. Warren (336) and Grant (384) followed.
Billy Knutson led the Wildcats with a 77. Matt Reed (80), Danilo Sutic (83) and Matt Williams (84) helped out.
The medalist was Lincoln-Way Central’s Bryant Bolden (71).