Lehigh men's golfer Aiden LeBlanc takes a swing on the green. The Lehigh men's golf team will head to Gladstone, New Jersey, on April 18 to face off against Lafayette. (Courtesy Hannah Ally)

Lehigh men’s golf sophomore Aiden LeBlanc plays key role


Coming off a first-year season with little playing time, Lehigh men’s golf sophomore Aiden LeBlanc has transformed into one of the Mountain Hawks’ key players. 

The team came home victorious in the Patriot League Championship last year, and LeBlanc plans to be a contributing factor in helping them do it again. 

“I didn’t really play a whole lot as a freshman, so that kind of motivated me to work a lot harder over the summer and over winter break,” LeBlanc said. “I want to try and win a tournament this year.”

LeBlanc started the season off well, now leading Lehigh as the fifth-scoring player at the ABARTA Coca-Cola Collegiate Invitational. 

The team opened up their season at the UC San Diego Invitational in late March, where he led the Mountain Hawks after shooting one over par. LeBlanc has continued to make an impact on the team, making multiple birdies at the Irish Creek Collegiate in North Carolina, where Lehigh placed 11th overall. 

Although much of LeBlanc’s success came from his work during the off-season, coach Henry D’Alberto stressed the importance of LeBlanc being able to strike a balance between determination and overloading pressure on himself during matches. 

“When he didn’t perform, he was too hard on himself,” D’Alberto said. “He’s backed off on that a little bit. He’s still obviously very competitive, but by being more accepting of the good and the bad it allows him to stay even keel and get the best out of himself.”

Senior Edmund Broderick said he has enjoyed watching the younger players, like LeBlanc, grow their skills. 

He said younger players can struggle with the adjustment from high school to collegiate sports, but LeBlanc has balanced the transition well. 

“(LeBlanc) has turned into one of the more mature players that we have during our rounds, and he’s able to keep more of a level head, which is important, especially in our long days out there,” Broderick said. “He’s become a great competitor and really has started to thrive in our qualifying and tournament play.”

This year, Lehigh is hosting the Patriot League Championship at Saucon Valley, giving them a home course advantage. LeBlanc said they have a deep team this year with a lot of talent, which makes him determined for a strong outcome. 

Beyond this season, the players are optimistic because of the growth their program with new talent coming in over the last few years. 

“It’s been a pretty amazing transformation. When I started, we were a pretty young group, with mostly underclassmen on the team with not much experience,” Broderick said. “The last few years have brought in some really great talent. I’m confident those guys have the ability to take over and keep rolling for our program.” 

Players like Broderick and graduate student David Hurly have been top contributors for the team over their tenure with the Mountain Hawks. With their impending departure, LeBlanc knows young players like him will have to step up to ensure the team’s future success.

“Next year, we lose three seniors who are three of our top guys,” LeBlanc said. “More than one person will have to step and fill that space we’re losing, but I know a bunch of guys on our team can do that.”

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