Two golfers play with Bruins players and alumni

Published in the September 6, 2018 edition

TYLER LAGASSE, left, and Nate Simons, right, pose with Tuukka Rask. (Courtesy Photo)

STOW — It has been a busy couple of weeks for golfers from the Hillview Golf Course Special Olympics Tournament Team. During the weekend of August 25-26, several team members competed in the Special Olympics Massachusetts Tournament of Champions at Stow Acres Country Club. Then, on the day after Labor Day, two golfers from Hillview helped to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics by participating in the 15th Annual Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at The International in Bolton.

The Tournament of Champions, the state championship for the summer season, one of four state-wide tournaments throughout the year, featured over 1,200 athletes competing in bocce, cycling, fishing, softball and sailing as well as golf. Seven golfers from the Hillview team competed at Stow Acres.

Tyler Lagasse and Keith Peabody won gold medals in their divisions playing 36 holes over two days independently. Isaac Williams and his Unified Partner, Dan Johnson, and Nate Simons and his Unified Partner, Geof Simons, played 36 holes over two days in alternate shot format in the same division. Williams and Johnson finished with the silver medal and the Simons team placed fourth. Anna Davidson, playing in her first August Tournament, competed in the Individual Skills Competition.

NATE SIMONS with Boston Bruins President Cam Neely. The NRHS grad played in Neely’s group and got to meet many members of the Bruins, past and present, at the Bruins Foundation’s annual golf tournament. (Courtesy Photo)

The Hillview Golf Course Tournament Team recently completed its fourteenth season in North Reading. Golfers play practice rounds to establish handicaps for seeding in the state tournament and receive instruction from Hillview GC golf professional Chris Carter and his staff. Fifteen golfers and Unified Partners participate with the team, which is organized by North Reading resident Geof Simons.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. To help mark the event, the Boston Bruins Foundation recently announced a pledge to donate $1 million to Special Olympics Massachusetts over the next three years as well as promoting inclusion and overall health and wellness.

On Tuesday, the Bruins Foundation kicked off the partnership by inviting two Hillview golfers to participate in their Annual Golf Tournament. Tyler Lagasse, who in July finished second in the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, and Tuukka Rask, goalie for the Boston Bruins, hit the opening tee shots to start play. Tyler and Nate Simons were each stationed at a par 3 hole on the Oaks and Pines courses and hit a drive for each foursome that passed through. Tyler and Nate were great ambassadors for Special Olympics as they interacted with current and former Bruins players and other Bruins Foundation supporters.

Tyler, a student at UMass Lowell, also participates in Special Olympics skiing. Nate, a graduate of North Reading High School and Riverview School in Sandwich, is a full-time employee at Children’s Hospital in Boston. His other Special Olympic sports are flag football, basketball and swimming which he plays with Brookline, where he lives independently.