St. Anselm’s Abbey School graduating senior Carlo Pizzano’s nearly lifelong interest in golf has landed him a scholarship to Loyola University Maryland, where he will hit the links for the liberal arts university in Baltimore.

Pizzano traces his interest in golf to “when I was 4, 5 or 6 years old, and my siblings and I would do First Tee at Paint Branch Golf Course,” Pizzano said.

Sponsored by the World Golf Foundation, the First Tee program introduces the sport of golf to young people as a way to promote character development.

“My mom also played golf when she younger and in the Navy. She taught me everything to know about golf,” he said.

Pizzano is the son of Donna Forbes and Robert Pizzano of College Park. The family – which includes his older brother Robert, who graduated from St. Anselm’s in 2015 and his older sister Anna, who graduated from Elizabeth Seton High School in 2017 – attend Holy Redeemer Parish in College Park, Maryland.

“I played golf as a casual sport until about I was about 12, and then I got into competitive golf when I switched from competitive baseball,” Pizzano said. “Then when I was 15, I chose golf as my number one priority, but still played baseball and basketball as ‘second hand sports.’”

He earned varsity letters in all three sports while at St. Anselm’s

After nearly a lifetime of playing golf, Pizzano said he understands that “some people think golf is slow,” but to him, “it is still has high intensity.”

“What I’ve always enjoyed is making the final putt in a tournament. It is sort of like having a 3-2 count, bases loaded when you come up to bat to win the World Series. That moment – its exhilarating.”

Right now, Pizzano admires golfing great Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. Koepka, a 28-year-old American golfer currently ranked number one in the world, last year won the CJ Cup in Korea, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.

“He plays so steady,” Pizzano said of Koepka. “He’s a guy like me and he kind of came out of nowhere.”

Outside of golf, Pizzano served as president of the senior class. He was also part of the school’s Rosary Club, praying the rosary from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays; and a member of the Investment Club, “which got me into investing, and I’ve put money in the market.”

In addition to that, he managed to keep a healthy grade point average.

“My parents always told me, ‘use your time wisely,’ and I took that to heart,” Pizzano said. “At St. Anselm’s the way our schedule works and the way our teachers help, I always found time to put my head down and work. If I needed help, I went to a teacher.”

Pizzano said that he is grateful for his Catholic education.

“A Catholic education gives you an opportunity to live what you believe in, in an environment that is way more supportive. There is a fundamental understanding of respect, loyalty,” he said. “At a Catholic school, everyone is together. There is great support from classmates and teachers, and a general respect for each other in the classroom.”

Pizzano’s entire education has been in Catholic schools. He attended Holy Redeemer School through the sixth grade. He attended St. Anselm’s from the seventh grade until graduation.

“Every day at noon, the monks have midday prayer. For the longest time, I would go once a week. I would go, and it was a time for me to be meditative, be at peace, be with God,” Pizzano said. “Having that time with God – the quietness and reading the Psalms – brought me to a greater humility and a greater understanding of myself and balancing the stresses in my life.”

He added that “being in their (the monks) presence meant a lot to me. That is just something you do not get in any other school.  For those 30 minutes of my life, I was pretty happy, and that is something that I am grateful for.”

His preference for Catholic education led him to choose the Jesuit-sponsored Loyola University Maryland for his higher education.

“I wanted to have the opportunity to keep my faith and be in the presence of others who feel that way,” Pizzano said of his college choice. “Believing in something and having faith are important. To keep learning about my faith will make it stronger.”

At Loyola, Pizzano plans to study mechanical engineering.

“For a long time, I actually wanted to do Engineers Without Borders. My dad has gone to Panama to build bridges, water tanks, buildings, all sorts of things for a little village,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go and build things for people who aren’t able to for themselves or who do not have the proper learning.

He added that he is also considering a stint in the U.S. Army or Navy, with the hopes of helping construct bridges.

“I want to be a part of an organization whose primary responsibility is to build,” he said. “I like to be hands on, I do not like sitting at a desk.”