EG golfers share experiences with Type 1 diabetes

Alex Para, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Golf coach Brian Buccarelli only needed to make one accommodation for his golfers Zac Montemayor and Carlson Carlson:

Keep the apple sauce and the sweets on hand. 

This is so that Montemayor and Carlson can manage their Type 1 diabetes, a condition they have both had since they were elementary school. Despite their conditions, the two Elk Grove golfers have found success on the course in 2022.

The Mayo Clinic defines diabetes as a chronic health issue that affects how the body breaks down glucose. Montemayor and Carlson received their diagnoses at a young age. For Montemayor, it came around Thanksgiving when he had just turned 7, following symptoms of thirstiness. For Carlson, it was when he was 10 years old. 

“When I first got diagnosed, we had to take classes on what to do for this or that, how much insulin to inject,” Montemayor said. “But now it’s all on me. I don’t really talk to the nurse about it.” 

For that, both Montemayor and Carlson have a continuous glucose monitor (GCM) and have a remote insulin pump that doesn’t take them away from what they’re doing.

Montemayor initially tried out for golf freshman year and found that the coach, Buccarelli, was, in his words, “a cool guy” who just enjoyed golf, which encouraged Montemayor to try out. 

Carlson’s golf roots, on the other hand, go way back to when his grandparents would take his older brother Dean out to the golf course at a young age.

Being the younger brother, I saw the success and thrill Dean had gotten from the sport and decided I wished to follow in a similar path,” Carlson said. “Once I joined the team, I realized just how great the sport was, as well as the people involved in it, as I consider members of the golf team to be some of my closest friends.”

That closeness has paid off. Earlier in the season, the Grenadiers beat Fenton by 13 strokes and took 3rd at Buffalo Grove Golf Course. They also nabbed sixth place at the Mustang Invite, finishing 20 strokes behind Prospect, 11 strokes behind Conant, and beating Hoffman Estates by six strokes. 

Carlson and Montemayor’s teammate Peter Pantazis represented Elk Grove in the boys golf sectionals at Poplar Creek Country Club, but he did not qualify for state. 

Despite the end of the season, Carlson left other Elk Grove athletes with some parting advice about joining sports.

“Do it, because some of the best memories you’ll make at EG will be in the sports world, and there will always be staff and students that’ll help you succeed,” Carlson said.