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From gridiron to golf course

St. Francis High junior Richie Maloof balances success in two vastly different sports.

April 29, 2010|By Charles Rich

Richie Maloof’s demeanor can change in an instant. It’s part of his makeup while playing multiple sports at St. Francis High.

On the football field, he’s intense while playing a rough-and-tumble sport in front of a large audience. On the golf course, he’s more reserved while focusing on a tee shot or a putt.

Maloof acknowledges that the sports pose distinct challenges.

“They are very different,” said Maloof, a junior defensive back and one of the top golfers on the Golden Knights. “With football, if you get beat for a touchdown, you can get mad, but you know you have 10 other guys out there who can help you out. In golf, if you make or miss a shot, you are on your own and you move on to the next hole staying calm.”

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Maloof has dutifully managed to perform well in both sports.

Maloof registered 29 tackles and secured All-Mission League second-team accolades after helping the Golden Knights qualify for the playoffs last season. Last spring, Maloof earned all-league honors in golf and played a key role in St. Francis’ seventh-place finish at the CIF Southern Section Western Team Divisional.

Maloof hasn’t missed a beat on the course this season for the Golden Knights, who are 9-4 and 6-4 in league entering the last two weeks of the regular season.

He’s credited football for helping him improve his game on the course. During the football season, he works out daily, compared to once or twice a week during the golf season.

“The strength and conditioning you do from football has helped me in golf,” said Maloof, who earned All-Area honors in golf last season. “You also learn about the work ethic and discipline that you take from football and need to carry it over to the golf course.

“I’ve been able to do a good job at being disciplined and keeping that competitive edge.”

Maloof has often been asked what sport he enjoys more.

“I like both sports equally,” said Maloof, who netted All-Area second-team accolades in football last season. “I love football because you play in front of the big crowds and you can make tackles and break up passes.

“In golf, I’ve been making more progress with my overall game. I’ve been playing a lot better.”

At one point, Maloof considered concentrating on one sport. He briefly thought about turning in his helmet and pads to focus squarely on golf.

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