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Ty Herriott will remain a member of the feline family after the accomplished Calverton golfer recently signed his letter of intent to play golf at Ohio University.

“I’m very excited, it’s a great opportunity,” said the 17-year-old Brandywine resident. “The coach is great, the players are great, they have a great golf program and they are a great academic school so I’m very thrilled to be given the opportunity to go there.”

Herriott also considered offers from the United States Naval Academy, James Madison University (Va.), the University of Richmond and George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) but ultimately signed his name to attend Ohio.

“I think it was just the overall atmosphere of the school,” Herriott said of his decision, which ultimately came down to between Ohio and the Naval Academy. “It just felt like it was the right fit.”

Calverton head golf coach Dan Coffin said he was pleased for Herriott, who plans to major in business law.

“I am extremely proud of Ty,” Coffin said. “He’s worked very hard since he was very young to get to where he is today and I couldn't be more proud of him. I am more proud of the man he has become and the one that he will continue to be.”

Herriott joins a Bobcats team that placed no higher than 11th which it did during the Dayton Fall Invitational held Oct. 22 after finishing in seventh on Day 1.

“I think that just doing what I’ve been doing my entire life, which is working really hard at it and practicing almost every single day,” Herriott said of what he must do in order to have success at the college level. “And doing well in school because if I’m not doing well in school, I’m not going to be all there for golf.”

Ohio is coached by Bob Cooley and competes in the Mid-American Conference.

“He needs to keep doing what he's doing and not let his failures on the course get him down,” Coffin said. “He needs to keep a level head after every shot and think that the next one will be better. We have a saying on our team that says there are only two reactions to a shot, positive and indifferent.

“If he keeps these things in mind and works as hard as he has his whole life, and I know he will, I have the utmost confidence that Ty will be really successful at the next level.”

If Herriott is the least bit successful in Ohio as he was at Calverton, the Bobcats are in for a treat, as Coffin thought the first day he saw him play.

“I knew he played at a young age and we asked him to come out and play when he was in eighth-grade,” Coffin recalled. “The first practice that year, I took a look at his swing and thought to myself, ‘This is the best swing I have seen from a kid so young.’ His swing was so polished even at such a young age.”

The following year, Herriott posted a county-best scoring average of 37.9. His only round in the 40s was played in the pouring rain.

During his sophomore season, Herriott had a 35.8 regular season average and was team Most Valuable Player for a third straight year. Due to a broken left thumb, he played one-handed in the Maryland Independent Schools Athletic League tournament and still managed to card a 53.

Herriott averaged 34.8 in his junior campaign to break former teammate Charlie Winegardner’s scoring average and never shot above 37.

This past fall, Herriott was named All-MISAL Player of the Year after breaking his own record with a 34.4 scoring average. He was also named league Most Valuable Player after shooting a 31 at the MISAL tournament and set a school record after being named team MVP for the fifth straight year.

The Cougars are 35-18 during Herriott’s’ tenure.

Herriott took up the game at age 7 on the advice of his father and grandfather and loved it right from the start. The senior said he realized he could play when he started winning junior tournaments and said he doesn’t shy away from a challenge while on the course.

“I’m definitely aggressive; I hate laying up and it probably gets me into some bad situations, but I don’t like to lay up,” said Herriott, who added he’d like to improve his bunker play. “I like to go for everything, but I also know the times and when it’s right to be really aggressive. I am [pretty calm out on the course but] I definitely show my fire here and there, but I think if you don’t show a little bit of figure, then you’re not really showing that you really want it or you’re really that into it. I feel like you really have to have some fire in your belly to play the game.”

Coffin said there are several factors as to why Herriott has shined on the course.

“Obviously it’s his talent, but also his attitude,” Coffin said. “There are a lot of golfers out there with talent who cannot score. But he can because he has a good attitude on the course and he has an intense drive to get better. He carries himself on the course with the class and dignity, even in the most pressure situations.

“He still needs to improve in all areas. Everyone can get better and he's no exception. His driver can be a little more consistent as well as his putting. I have no doubt that he will get better in every facet of the game because of his desire and competitiveness.”

mreid@somdnews.com