Sophomore Matthew Metcalfe
Sophomore Matthew Metcalfe
Provided by Matthew Metcalfe

Up to par

Matthew Metcalfe shares his goals and ambitions for this year’s golf season
In Nov. 2023 at Shadow Ridge Golf Club, Bonita Vista High (BVH) sophomore golfer Matthew Metcalfe swings his club to drive the ball down the course. Metcalfe’s contributions to BVH’s golf team have been staggering, with the young athlete reaching the top of the county rankings as an underclassman.

Every new sports season, athletes gather the drive and motivation to do better than the previous year as a way to keep striving to accomplish new goals and new standards for themselves. Sophomore Matthew Metcalfe is a part of Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) varsity boy’s golf team and has been playing for four years prior to high school. Last year as a freshman Metcalfe won Mesa League and describes how during this season he hopes to do the same and continue progressing throughout high school. 

“I would like to win Mesa League again and then hopefully go a little bit further than CIF. I even hope to win CIF as an individual. For next season, I hope to just keep practicing, getting better, working hard and hopefully come out on top,” Metcalfe said.

Head boys’ golf and PE coach Tony Valdez has been coaching both girls and boys golf since 2020. He plays a pivotal role in Metcalfe’s journey as he pushes him to perform to the best of his abilities and not let his young age become a determining factor against his competition. 

“Valdez has never given up on me, no matter what, even if I play badly. He always helps me keep my head up and push through. Last season, since I was just a freshman, he was always telling me, ‘you got it’ and not to be afraid of everyone,” Metcalfe said. “ He made me feel more confident against all the other competitors that were really good, like the seniors and the juniors.” 

Even as a freshman, Valdez always saw the starting potential Metcalfe had during his first year of golf in high school. Metcalfe placed in the top thirteen and could have gone to regionals if he placed one more higher. Valdez recalls his first impression of watching Metcalfe during tryouts and the things he was able to accomplish last season.

“When he came to me as a freshman, he was terrific already. I remember kids talking about him then when we had tryouts it was like ‘wow this kid can play’ and he proved that his freshman year he won the Mesa League Championship,” Valdez said. “He made it to the second day of CIF so he did a lot of good things last year despite it being his first year of high school golf. “

Another quality Valdez values in Metcalfe is his ability to adapt to other sports and incorporate the skills he learns into one another. Although Metcalfe is not an actual participant in any other BVH teams except golf, Valdez does encourage him to try out other sports as he sees how Metcalfe is talented in other sports as it will only improve his current abilities.

“Actually it’s kind of funny for a golfer, he’s a pretty good athlete. A lot of times golfers cannot play any other sports but Matt can play basketball and football,” Valdez said. “He’s a pretty good athlete besides being a top-notch golfer. I played three sports in high school so I’m a believer that the more sports you play the better. “

Playing golf requires various skills in order to be more efficient during games. With Valdez also teaching the weightlifting class, he trains his golf players to focus on specific muscle groups to improve their abilities further. Metcalfe describes the crucial training he prioritizes every week for golf.

“We have school practice once or twice a week, but I aim to train five times outside of it. Valdez has us focus on a lot of core, legs and upper body. Practice can really take a toll on your back and when you’re walking many days in a row, it gets tough, but it’s more mental than it is physical,” Metcalfe said.

Despite being an underclassman, Metcalfe has shared his dedication and leadership with the team. Senior Ryan Farmer has played for BVH’s varsity boy’s golf team since the start of his high school career and has been positively affected by Metcalfe’s leadership since joining the team. Farmer saw Metcalfe’s talent early on and firmly believes that helped them win last year.

“I wouldn’t say I had any role in Matthew’s continued development as a golf player nor have I taught him anything. However, I think he’s definitely taught me a thing or two about golf, especially about playing under pressure,” Farmer said.

Although Metcalfe is only a sophomore and considered to be young on the team, he embodies being a leader in terms of how he’s grown. Throughout the past two years on the team, he has created close bonds with the team and has been recognized by Valdez for how his age does not limit or reflect on how he plays on the course.

“I would say [Metcalfe] is a leader by his actions, maybe not so vocal but he’s only a sophomore I don’t throw that on any underclassmen at all. But I’ll probably start asking more of him vocally next year as a junior,” Valdez said.

For the next two years of high school, Metcalfe intends on playing golf for a while. He hopes to attain a scholarship as he’s been in contact with various schools. Valdez values his work ethic both on and off the course. 

“Matthew is a special kid, I have a great relationship with him. I wish I had twelve Matts on the team not just for the golf aspect but just for being a genuine and nice kid and making everybody smile,” Valdez said.

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Paula Pichay
Paula Pichay, Opinion Editor
I am a senior and this is my first year on staff for the Crusader as an Opinion Editor. I am excited to develop creative pages and collaborate with other staff members. I joined newspaper because I wanted to explore my interests and try something new. In my free time, I enjoy journaling and find newspaper to be an extension of that. Outside of the Crusader, I am Secretary for the Samahan club and a member of the Youth For A Sustainable Future club on campus. Follow me on Instagram: @paulacrusader

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