YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Eleven-year-old Yorktown Athletic Club golfer Liam Schwartz earned the Spring 2012 YAC Golf Leagues Harrison Apar Award for his play on the course.
The award is named after Harrison Apar, a dwarf who was on the YAC baseball and basketball teams. He later umpired and refereed for the two sports after his second heart surgery prevented him from playing.
Apar passed away in 2003 at age 15 and his parents, Bruce and Elyse, set up the Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation immediately after his passing. The name came from a proposal to the town board by seventh grader Brendan Frail, who suggested renaming Pinetree Field as the Harrison Apar Field of Dreams.
The YAC set up the award in Apar's honor in 2009.
Each season, the award is given to the player who perseveres most throughout the season and follows proper etiquette on the course, according to Liam’s mother, Kara Schwartz. Proper etiquette includes acting gentlemanly on the course, listening to coaches and avoiding throwing clubs.
Schwartz said she has seen the award given to players who struggle and continue to work hard but also to the best player in a given season.
Schwartz attends Crompond Intermediate School in Yorktown and has played on the club's golf team for five years. His mother said she and her husband were surprised Mohansic Golf Course pro Skip Marini, who also oversees the club's program and coaches golf at Yorktown High School, put Schwartz’s name in to receive the award.
When he won, they were overjoyed,
“We were just so beyond proud because here is a kid that has tried almost every sport and never really found the right one and then came golf,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz took up golf once her son started playing because she wanted someone to take him out on the course.
“The kid can drive a ball farther than I can and I take lessons,” Schwartz said.
The 11-year-old received the award at a ceremony Sunday at Mohansic Golf Course that featured a putting contest, barbecue and awards presentation. Each child received a participation trophy, and Schwartz’s team finished second in the league.
Schwartz said the award and the game have done wonders for her child.
“(He’s a) young kid whose confidence has just been boosted for the love of the sport,” Schwartz said.