Published July 06. 2013 4:00AM Updated July 06. 2013 1:44PM
Nick Kamireddy has enjoyed his share of golf highlights, including playing in the state tournament all four years at Norwich Free Academy.
But one of his most memorable moments had nothing to do with his impressive high school career.
Kamireddy paired with a local athlete to win a Special Olympics Connecticut fall tournament last September at Sleeping Giant Golf Course in Hamden.
He's volunteered two years with the organization, working with a Special Olympics golf team at Shennecossett Golf Course and at a driving range in Groton.
"To go and win the gold medal was really nice," Kamireddy said. "You could tell she was really happy and excited. I always enjoyed helping out.
"I didn't know if I was going to have fun in the beginning. After the first time, I remember leaving and saying this is so much fun and so cool that they're excited about the game."
While at NFA, Kamireddy, The Day's 2013 All-Area Golfer of the Year, took an active role in school and community service events.
He participated in a Varsity 'N' Club event that donated canned goods and worked on a fundraiser for the Norwich Salvation Army. He was also on the student advisory board and took part in Celebrate NFA, a community event in the spring.
His parents gave him a gentle nudge toward community service and he did the rest.
"My parents wanted me to be involved, meet new people and help out the community," Kamireddy said. "Last year and this year I really got involved."
He relishes a challenge. A high honor roll student, he took a heavy load of Advanced Placement courses at NFA.
On the golf course, Kamireddy compiled a strong resume as a varsity golfer. He was a four-time All-Eastern Connecticut Conference selection, four-time team Most Valuable Player and earned all-state honors as a sophomore. He also had the lowest scoring average on the team every season.
"He's very competitive," NFA coach Bob McPhail said. "Very few people have had the impact on the overall program that he has had."
As a senior, Kamireddy owned the best differential (3.08) in the ECC Large and ranked third overall in the conference. He tied for second in the ECC Open, firing a 76 to lead the Wildcats, who lost to champion Killingly by just one stroke.
On the final hole in his final match of his high school career, Kamireddy scored an eagle 3 on the 18th hole at the CIAC Division I Championship at Fairview Farms in Harwinton.
He finished with a 79, not bad when you consider he had a 10 on the third hole.
"Honestly, I don't know how I recovered," said Kamireddy, who qualified for the state tournament as an individual. "Another point in my life if I had a 10, I would have been done. The next 15 holes I was 1-over.
"... It made me happy thinking my last hole in high school I made a nice eagle."
McPhail will certainly miss Kamireddy, whom he first spotted years ago at then-Pautipaug Country Club in Sprague.
Kamireddy, who started playing at the age of three, basically grew up on the golf course.
"I remember when he was eight or nine years old, I'd be up at Pautipaug with my (team) and almost every day a little kid showed up with his dad at the driving range. He used to drag his golf bag behind him.
"That kid was Nick Kamireddy."
This fall, Kamireddy will attend Northeastern University in Boston, a city he's always loved. He'll feed his competitive fix by playing for the school's club program. He'll major in engineering.
He plans to continue to perform community service.
"I always find it enjoyable to help out other people and do whatever I can to improve what's around me," Kamireddy said.