Regalas: A Together Family That Tees Up Different Balls Pete Jr. Blasts Out Of Pete Sr.'s Football Trap


October 07, 1990|By PAT O'MALLEY

Like father, like son.

Not quite when it comes to the Pete Regalas.

Dad coaches football at Old Mill while son, Pete Jr., is a standout golfer at Severna Park High.

It's a unique situation in that often times a youngster is influenced by or even forced to do what his dad does.

We hear so many times how dad is reliving his past and what he could have done through his son. The Regalas offer a sharp contrast in allowing a young man to seek his own niche.

"His mother (Judy) had a lot to do with his playing golf," said Pete Sr. "She knows how rough football can be after watching my games for so many years."

Judy Regala was a student at the University of Maryland when she met Pete Sr. at a disco. Pete Sr. was a place-kicker on the Towson State football team, and thus, Judy was introduced to football.

For the past eight years, Pete Sr. has been head football coach at the county's largest public school, Old Mill. Before that, he coached the junior varsity at Old Mill for several years.

Yet his only child, Pete Jr., never tried football, which is surprising to jocks like me, but not to Judy. "When you only have one child, you want him playing the safer game and golf certainly is," said Mrs. Regala, who admits to encouraging young Pete to try the links.

At the same, Mrs. Regala didn't force her son and wouldn't have discouraged him from playing other sports.

"Pete (Jr.) always has known what he wanted to do and has worked hard at it," she said. "It's really nice that he realized early that golf was what he wanted."

Young Pete chose golf over football, soccer, basketball, baseball and lacrosse and is not sorry he did.

"He never played youth football, and I guess if he had tried another sport it probably would have been basketball," said Pete Sr.

What Pete Jr. plays, and plays well, is golf, and despite not being influenced by his dad in football, he and his dad are very close through that game played on the greens.

"I used to take him along with me when I started playing golf with Old Mill coaches and friends, and he got into it at age 7," said Pete Sr. "He had success early and usually when that happens, a kid will stay with that particular sport. He stuck with golf."

Young Pete, who is now a senior at Severna Park High, started playing tournaments at 10 and got hooked on golf.

"The first tournament I ever played in was the Jimmy Flattery (in Catonsville, Baltimore County) Juniors when I was 10, and I finished second," young Pete recalled. "Right then, I decided to take it seriously and I've been working at it ever since.

"My dad is the one who has helped me most especially in the early years, and recently Larry Ringer, the golf pro at Navy, has been working with me. My dad and I usually play at Bay Hills Golf Club, and Dad goes with me to tournaments."

Despite the contrast in their first loves, each is very supportive and interested in the other, and they are very close. This golf game has become a family passion.

While Pete Sr. is out on the gridiron, Pete Jr. is out on the greens working on his swing, and it makes for interesting conversation around the dinner table.

"Dad and I talk about both sports at dinner, but I get in more about my golf because I tell him hole-by-hole what happened that day," said Pete Jr.

His mom says dinner in the Regala household is "like a restaurant." The conversation and varied times make it that way.

"We try to have dinner at 7 or 7:30 every night, but that changes depending on what everybody is doing," said Judy, who keeps busy with her own fund-raising business, Educational Marketing Concepts.

"They talk about football and golf at dinner, and yes, they bring the games home with them. They never forget what happened. When either has a bad day, I hear about it, but we all talk about it.

"I keep telling Pete Sr. that he can't play the game for the kids when he's feeling down and all he can do is get them ready and coach them best he can."

So far this fall, dinner has been mostly good news with the Old Mill football team off to a great start including its first win (28-0) over Annapolis since 1983, and young Pete's performance out on the course.

Just a couple of weeks ago, young Pete won the prestigious Westminster Invitational in Carroll County. Some 120 golfers took part in the event, which is of state tournament proportions, and Pete Jr. shot a 76.

This past Thursday at Eisenhower Country Club in the District V Tournament, young Pete finished a disappointing third with an 80. Alex Sutton of Howard High won it with a 76 and Broadneck's Steve Finneran was runner-up at 78.

Going into the Westminster tournament, Pete Jr. wasn't shooting well, and part of his problem was mental. His high school coach Wayne Mook helped straighten that out.

"Coach Mook had a long talk with me on my game and he got me back on mental track. That led to the Westminster win," said Pete Jr.

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