Peabody senior Athan Goulos is an interesting athlete: in the fall, as a co-captain on the golf team, he tries to drive a little white ball as far as he can, then putt it a few inches; in the winter, he throws a 12-pound shot put as far as he possibly can for the Tanners' indoor track team.
The 18-year-old lives on Lowell Street with his parents; his older brother Theo attends Bridgewater State University and older sister Andrea attends Wheelock College in Boston. Both Andrea and Theo graduated from PVMHS.
Goulos was seven or eight years old when his grandfather John Parianos first exposed him to the game of golf in the family backyard in Peabody.
“I’m a member at the Ferncroft Country Club in Middleton, and I really enjoy playing there and at The Meadows and the Salem Country Club,” Goulos said. “I like playing at Tedesco, they have a really nice course as well.”
Unfortunately for Goulos, Marblehead and Swampscott high schools, which both use the Tedesco course that splits the two towns on the edge of Salem, switched conferences this season, so they’re not on the Peabody golf schedule this fall.
Goulos hopes to continue his golf career in college, preferably at a southern school.
“I definitely want to go someplace warm and play golf,” he said.
Goulos has been checking out prep schools and more than likely will do a year of PG work after he leaves PVMHS.
“If I don’t get into the college I’m looking for, I’ll go to prep school, improve my grades, work on my game, get more experienced, and hopefully get into a good college to play golf,” he said.
“People think it’s kind of strange that I throw the shot put, but most people don’t realize how much leg work goes into the upper body work to throw, and that strength really helps my golf game,” Goulos said. “I played some baseball and was able to really drive the ball -- a good baseball swing is like a good golf swing, and the stronger you are the better.”
“My grandfather and my dad (John) were both good golfers, and it was fun to work with them, learn with them, watching them play; they gave me a club and I really enjoyed it,” Goulos said.
He lists his parents and his biggest influence, and his biggest supporters, helping him get the training and the coaching he needs and driving him all over the place, north, south, east and west to play in golf tournaments.
Goulos does not play a varsity sport for Peabody in the spring, jumping right into tournament golf all over the area in the spring and summer months.
Staying in shape is a year-round job for Goulos, staying fit for the track team, and working with a trainer to be the best golfer he can be.
“It’s nice being an athlete at Peabody High, we have so many great athletes here, especially in my senior class -- really, really good athletes, Hayley Dowd for soccer, Catarina Rocha (track and cross country), a lot of very good athletes coming out of Peabody, Pat Ruotolo for baseball,” Goulos said. “There’s just a great mix of good athletes in Peabody.”
The Peabody High golf team just closed out the regular season at 9-4 with a victory over Lynn Classical, and Goulos is a big reason for the team’s good fortunes.
“The strong point of my game is that I’m able to hit my irons very far, my drives are over 300 yards consistently, it’s easier for me to get closer to the pin with a pitching wedge after a good drive, when my competitors are still taking iron shots,” he said.
Goulos said he’s like to improve his shots from 100 yards and in, and get better at chipping and putting.
“My parents are unbelievable, they have to deal with me every day, and they have to drive me all over creation, all over New England to these tournaments I play in, and these tournaments aren’t cheap,” he said. “It costs a pretty penny to play golf and I’m very appreciative for everything that my parents have given me.”
“My parents have taken me everywhere I’ve needed to go to play golf my whole life," he said. “The best advice someone gave me about golf was to enjoy the game, whatever happens, happens.”