Catucci to play for Eckerd

Weston High senior Max Catucci, right, will attend Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he will play on the men’s golf team. Also pictured is Eckerd Athletic Director Bob Fortosis.—Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

Deciding where he would play collegiate golf was not a difficult choice for Max Catucci.

The Weston High senior had several schools interested in having him play for them. One, however, he liked the best.

This fall he will take his talent on the course to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. He has verbally committed to attend the Division II school.

Catucci will be the second Weston alumnus in the past three years to play for Eckerd. Former Weston teammate Jeff Evanier is currently a junior on the men’s golf team and made it to the national tournament last year.

Besides Eckerd, Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas) and California Lutheran University (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) also expressed interest in Catucci. However, officially visiting Eckerd this past fall and talking to head golf coach Bill Buttner Catucci had made up his mind.

“We left Florida with such a good feeling about the school,” said Catucci. “It’s going to be a really great experience.”

A small liberal arts college with about 2,000 undergraduate students, Eckerd competes in the Sunshine State Conference. Its opponents include the University of Tampa, Rollins College, Florida Tech, Florida Southern and St. Leo University.

“The campus was outstanding,” said Catucci. “The student is the focus. It just seems perfect.”

Catucci will bring much golf talent with him. Yet he has been playing the sport only for the past five years. Inspired to play by his father, Peter, he soon discovered he had a talent for it.

“You just get hooked on it,” he said.

Since his sophomore year he has been a starting player on the Weston High boys golf team, helping it win the South-West Conference championship that year. Last year he was medalist at the league tournament with a six-over-par 77.

He credits his former teammates for helping him with his game. Several have also gone on to play in college.

“I’ve learned so much from these guys,” he said. “It was easy to learn the game coming through here.”

Catucci, who plans to major in communications with a concentration on broadcasting, hopes to see some playing time as a freshman at Eckerd.

“The opportunity is there,” he said. “Being in Florida I’ll have the opportunity all year.”

Before attending Eckerd Catucci will be keeping busy on the course with his senior season at Weston coming up this spring. After his team took runner-up finishes at both the SWC and state Division III tournament last year, he hopes the Trojans will bring home victories in each.

“We’re very determined,” said Catucci, who also hopes to repeat as medalist and qualify for the New England tournament. “Anything less would be a disappointment.”

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