(The Gulls Graduate feature series is intended to share stories about our 2019 Class that the casual fan may not be aware of. We hope you enjoy this feature series as we prepare for our student-athletes to leave The Nest, onto bigger and better life adventures and successes.)
BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott men's golf student-athletes Christopher Billings (Portland, Maine), Carter Knox Hinesburg, Vt.), and Dylan Seeber (New Hartford, N.Y.) are set to graduate this Saturday with lofty resumes in tow. Here is what they had to say about their time at The Nest.
ECGULLS: Finish this sentence, Without Endicott…
BILLINGS: I would not have been able to gain such great hands-on internship experiences, and gained the skills I needed to succeed in the work world. Without Endicott, I would not have been able to gain so many friends through golf and campus life and friendships that will last a lifetime.
KNOX: Without Endicott, I would not have grown into the person I am today. From being a captain of the golf team, to an orientation leader, to a LIGHThouse leadership retreat member, and everything else in between, Endicott has shaped me into the leader I am today.
SEEBER: I would not have been able to reach my goals of becoming a student-athlete, and I would not have made the connections that will help lead to a future job.
ECGULLS: What are your plans after graduation?
BILLINGS: My plans after graduation are to work for a hotel company in the Boston area, as a manager in training to help work my way up into the hotel industry.
KNOX: My current plans are to move home for the summer and find a job in the Burlington, Vt. area. I think it is important to get my feet under me first before jumping into the corporate world and possibly moving back to the Massachusetts area. I am currently interviewing with multiple companies back in Vermont, but do not feel a heavy pressure of needing to jump right into a job after school. I would like to enjoy the summer months as best as possible. Everything has a time and place and things always work out in the end.
SEEBER: My plans after graduation are to continue playing golf for Endicott while attending graduate school at The Van Loan School, which is something I do not think that I would have done had I not transferred to Endicott.
ECGULLS: Is there anything now that is obvious to you, that you wished you had known as a freshman?
Billings: The one thing that is very obvious now, that I wish I had cherished more is how fast college does move. Everyone says it, but four years really does go by in a blink of an eye. I would tell my freshman self to make the most of every minute of school because when it is over, it really is over for good.
Knox: Go out of your way to make connections with professors, advisors, and campus staff. These relationships that I have built with staff like Brianne McGann, Cathy Butler, and Dean Torrance were so helpful and just made each day better when you saw them in the hallway or popped into their office for five minutes and end up there for an hour.
SEEBER: I wish that I listened to the people who told me it was going to go by so fast because it truly did.
ECGULLS: Aside from winning two CCC Championships, do you have any favorite moments from over the years?
Billings: My favorite moments from my college golf career are the trips we would take each weekend during the season. The van rides to and from tournaments are some of the best memories I have from not only golf, but also all of college. The bond I was able to build with Coach Tom Smith and teammates will be something I remember forever.
Knox: As a result of winning the CCC's, I have had the privilege to be the only student-athlete in the Endicott men's golf program to play in two NCAA Tournaments in 2017 and in 2019. Those are just such surreal experiences and an important moment in my golf career. Both years we had great teams with incredible team chemistry, so it made the trips that much more fun and memorable. You are on such a large stage of golf that feels like the Masters.
SEEBER: I transferred in my junior year after Endicott won a title the previous year when I wasn't here. After seeing the guys win the way they did, it made me know what I was coming into was special and I was super excited to be a part of it. My first two weeks here during preseason were pretty memorable because the guys welcomed me in like I had been here since my freshman year. Those guys will be some of my lifelong friends.
ECGULLS: What were some challenges that you had to face both on and off the course? How did you overcome them?
BILLINGS: Some challenges I faced on the course came every spring when I would always seem to slump scoring wise as we were coming out of long winters, which made it tough to play well in the spring. I really had to work hard at my game to get it right for tournaments at the end of the spring such as for our conference championship. It takes a lot of hard work, determination, and grit to get your golf game and mental game right for the spring season.
KNOX: Time management was one of the biggest ones, due to the nature of golf our practices and how many holes we would play, they took anywhere from three to five hours. School always came first, but you had to really look at your calendar and plan out what assignments and work you needed to get done each day in order to make the time to practice. On the course, golf is such a mental game that you had to learn to stay within yourself and not get so down on yourself because of bad shot or number. Over the last two years and especially my senior year, I finally understood that golf is just golf and it is not the end of the world if you do not do great each time. Learning to control your mind and emotions and stay positive on the course is the biggest challenge of golf.
SEEBER: I think some of the challenges that I faced were more mental which is something I am hoping to clean up before the start of the season this fall. However, I believe one of the biggest challenges that we faced as a team was the winter. As most people know winters are pretty rough in this part of the country, and if we didn't have the practice availabilities that we had from our coach up in Atkinson, N.H., I don't think we would have been able to prepare enough for the spring.
ECGULLS: What made you choose your majors?
BILLINGS: I chose Hotel Management here at Endicott because I knew that there will always be jobs in the hotel industry. I have done a lot of traveling in my life and stayed in a lot of different hotels so I kind of gained a passion for hotels and travel over the years. As for why I chose Endicott, it was their hospitality program, the beautiful campus, and the chance to play golf at the collegiate level.
KNOX: I choose Business Management as I knew I wanted to be in the business world but did not know where exactly. Having a general major as I do, it left a ton of opportunity in all fields for me. I chose Endicott for the golf program, the internship program, and the beautiful campus Endicott resides on.
SEEBER: I choose Endicott because it was a school that I actually previously looked at in high school, and had already visited a couple of times before. After those visits, I loved the school which made it an easy transition for myself to come here. Along with that, I choose my major [business management] because I really enjoyed the business electives I took at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), plus the people in the business school were so welcoming, they helped me stay on track for graduation and I would not have been able to do it without them.
ECGULLS: Do you have a favorite place on campus that you will miss?
BILLINGS: The one place on campus that I might miss the most is the ocean view I had from my dorm, Hawthorne during junior year. Another place I will miss is the view from peace rock and taking the drive down Hale Street along the ocean. The location of Endicott is a big aspect and plus of the campus and is something that every student misses once they are gone.
KNOX: The LSB [Life Science Building]. Almost every night freshmen, sophomore, and junior year, I would go to the LSB for about an hour or two and just do my homework in the classrooms. Often times my best friend Ronnie Peck would join me as we were in many of the same classes. It was just a very quiet and great space for myself to focus on my schoolwork.
SEEBER: Honestly, I will miss the beaches the most. It may only be something we can only utilize a couple of months out of the year, but those couple of months make it worthwhile. They are also not a bad place to practice bunker shots too.
ECGULLS: What are some of your favorite memories during your time on the team?
BILLINGS: My favorite memories from being on the team are the van rides and trips we would take each weekend to tournaments. We had some of the best laughs and best times in the van rides. My coach was a big part of that, he always kept the vibe loose and fun, which I think helped us relax for tournaments.
KNOX: Practices at Essex County Club will stick with me forever. The course there is top 100 in the nation and our team is very fortunate to play there. We would always have matches with each other and play Ryder Cup-style golf. These are the moments that I will miss the most as great friendships were made during those practices.
SEEBER: I will never forget the van rides we had to tournaments, especially this spring. We really came together as a team through those van rides, which made going away on weekends and nationals much more special as the season went on. It will be something I tell my kids about someday.
ECGULLS: What are you going to miss the most about being part of the team?
BILLINGS: I will miss the camaraderie and bond that each team had during my time at Endicott. Each year we had a different team, but kept a part of last year's team a well. We always had fun and were successful no matter who graduated, or who came into the program.
KNOX: The van rides and competition. The van rides with our coach and team were some of my favorite memories as we all liked to have fun and Coach Smith was a riot. Additionally, the competitive aspect to practices and matches/tournaments will be something I will miss dearly.
SEEBER: I will miss the guys and Coach Smith. We had such a small team so we are all really close, and Coach Smith created an environment where everyone is able to play well and have fun. We would always say on road trips that no one had more fun than us.
MORE ON CHRISTOPHER BILLINGS
Billings had a strong senior year for the Gulls as he was selected to the All-CCC First Team. The First Team honor followed a year in which he finished second on the team in stroke average with a 78.87. Billings finished with three top-10 finishes on the year, he finished second at the CCC Qualifier in the fall, tied for sixth at the Bowdoin Invitational, and tied for eighth at the CCC Championship.
Outside the golf course, Billings completed internships at the Sable Oaks Marriott in January of 2016 and most recently finished up his internship at the Portland Harbor Hotel.
MORE ON CARTER KNOX
Similar to Billings, Knox also had an outstanding senior year as he earned an All-CCC First Team selection, and for the first time in program history, he was chosen as the CCC Scholar-Athlete. On the course, he posted a team-best 76.31 stroke average in nine events, over 16 rounds of play. He posted three top-five finishes which included second place at the CCC Championship, tied for second at the Bowdoin Invitational, and tied for fourth at the UMass Dartmouth LaFrance Hospitality Invite.
Academically, he posted a 3.79 cumulative GPA as a Business Management major with a minor in Communications. Having earned Dean's List honors in six semesters, Knox will graduate as a three-time Academic All-CCC honoree, while he completed his semester-long internship at ProQuip USA with their marketing and sales teams.
MORE ON DYLAN SEEBER
Seeber had a solid senior year for the Gulls. He had two top-20 finishes which included a 12th place finish at the Lafrance Hospitality Invitational, and a tie for 19th place during the CCC Championship.
When he was not on the course, Seeber completed his internship with Pavia Real Estate and Sullivan Contracting. By completing this internship, he aspires to be in the business field upon graduation from the Van Loan School.
The trio helped Endicott win two CCC titles during their time (2017, 2019). The most recent title came this spring as the Gulls had an amazing comeback after being in fourth place after day one of the CCC Tournament.
(Photo Credit - Ben Barnhart)