Successes multiplying

Senior Rock Bridge golfer John Trecha an accomplished math student
Monday, April 30, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:54 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008
Rock Bridge golfer John Trecha scored a 35 on the math portion of the ACT. Last year, Trecha formulated a new way to evaluate players’ scores, based on the difficulty of the courses played.

Rock Bridge golf coach Doug Daniels often jokes about an e-mail he received from senior John Trecha last year.

Trecha was struggling to make the Bruins’ varsity roster, and he sent Daniels a message explaining how to better calculate Rock Bridge’s individual scores.

Boys Class 4, District 5 tournament

  • WHEN: 9 a.m. today
  • WHERE: Meadow Lake Acres Country Club, New Bloomfield
  • SCHOOLS: Camdenton, Jefferson City, Rolla, Smith-Cotton, Helias, Troy Buchanan, Washington, Timberland, Holt, Hickman, Rock Bridge

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Daniels’ system was simple. The five lowest scores throughout the season were the Bruins five varsity players. Trecha’s suggestion, however, was a mathematical equation that would factor in the difficulty of courses.

For example, Trecha said that Jefferson City Country Club’s course is more difficult than L.A. Nickell Golf Course.

“If you play better at a harder course, you should get rewarded,” Trecha said, smiling. “It was just a suggestion...but coach (Daniels) is a fan of averaging.”

Daniels laughs even more about his response to Trecha’s e-mail.

“I said, ‘I’m not sure how I can make a degree of difficulty on that, John. I’m not that smart,’” Daniels said.

Few people are.

Math is the subject that makes many high schoolers cringe, but for Trecha calculating logarithms or speeding through long division is as simple as Sesame Street addition.

He scored a 35 on the math portion of the ACT, which is one point less than perfect.

“I was expecting a 36,” Trecha said. “Math is my best subject and probably my favorite. I don’t really enjoy it, but it just comes easy to me.”

Trecha says he sees similarities between golf and math.

“The main reason I like math is because it’s a lot of logic, and I like to think logically,” he said. “I think golf deals with a lot of logic. I try to play the smartest play for each hole. I’m not really a risk taker.”

Trecha has improved his standing since sending the e-mail. He has climbed as high as the No. 2 spot on the varsity roster behind returning state qualifier Joe Neal.

“(Trecha) is the most improved player on the team,” Neal said.

Daniels said the the reason for the improvement is Trecha’s physical maturation.

“The last couple of years I’ve hit a growth spurt,” Trecha said. “I’ve grown about eight inches in two years.”

Although golf will be strictly a leisure activity after high school, Trecha will have plenty of time to brush up on postulates and theorems.

He said he plans on attending college and pursuing a major in business or engineering.

Trecha has traveled all over the country recently, touring the campuses of the University of Michigan, Wake Forest University and Emory University in Atlanta.

Trecha’s father is a graduate of Michigan, and his mother graduated from Ohio State, making for an interesting pair.

“During football games, the house is split down the middle,” Randal Trecha, John’s father, said. “One side is maize and blue, and the other side is scarlet and gray.”

Randal Trecha said he has let John work through the college selection process on his own, and hasn’t let his own biases interfere. John Trecha said he is leaning towards Wake Forest.

“I’d be happy if he went to either place,” Randal Trecha said. “He’s been a really easy kid. It’s been worry-free for us with him. He’s a quiet kid with a real good demeanor about him. We are pretty proud of him.”

Before he chooses his college, Trecha will tee off as the No. 3 golfer for Rock Bridge at today’s Class 4, District 5 tournament. Players from 11 schools including Hickman, Jefferson City and Helias are set to tee off at 9 a.m. at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club in New Bloomfield.

Even though Trecha is on the varsity squad now, Daniels said Trecha brought up the scoring suggestion again this year.

Daniels agreed to double the scores at Jefferson City Country Club’s golf course, so nine holes at the more difficult course equal 18 holes on any other course.

“I went up and told him, I took your advice John,” Daniels said with a laugh.

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