No regrets.

That's the way Thomas Brennan is living his high school years.

The Lincoln Northeast senior fills his days with classes and studies, and his afternoons with practice – golf, swimming and football.

“I don't want to look back and say, ‘I wish I had done that,’” Brennan said.

So he swims the sprints on the Rocket swim team and played safety on the football team.

This spring, he'll be the only senior on the Northeast team.

"We know we have to have Thomas step up and be a leader for us, because we have so many young guys," said golf coach Alex Svehla, now in his second year as head coach at Northeast. "He can talk about the expectations in practice, on bus rides to meets, how meets go and how to learn the competitive nature of golf."

Brennan, who will attend Southeast Community College, hopes to eventually join the PGM (PGA Golf Management) program at Nebraska.

"My mom wants me to pursue a future in golf, if that's what I want," Brennan said. "Then, she said, to get a job in Florida or Arizona, and they'll come and visit me all the time in the winter."

The winter.

This winter in Nebraska has kept golfers, especially competitive golfers, from getting any outside time on the course. Snow, rain, sleet, flooding and ice have limited high school practices to hitting off a mat in the gym.

"We have some putting mats, too," Brennan said. "You try to do as much as you can with what you've got."

Svehla took his team to a golf simulator business in Lincoln recently.

"You don't really get an idea of where the ball is going when you hit off a mat and into a net, so the simulator helped some," he said.

Brennan said he's also worked on the mental side of his game over the years.

"Honestly, you have to take one shot at a time – forget the last shot and don't worry about the next shot," he said. "I think from being a swimmer, where you compete against yourself and the clock, and even as a safety in football, you have to face what's in front of you. You have to be in your own head and nowhere else."

Patience has been a big part of Brennan's growth as a golfer.

"Like a lot of kids, when I started, I just wanted to smack the ball as hard as I could," he said. "Now, I try to play smarter shots and keep myself in control."


L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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