Swinging into the new season: Girls varsity golf team lowers overall score from last season

Yealin Lee, Videographer

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The sun beamed down on Sycuan Golf Resort as the varsity girls golf team played for about five hours in 98 degree weather. Glistening drops of sweat roll down the girls’ faces as they concentrate during one of their biggest matches of the season. 

Overall, the team was able to accomplish some of the goals they made this season. Many of the athletes were able to lower their personal best scores, by reducing their score from 50 to 40.

“This year we placed third overall in our [league]. It’s very good considering we lost two girls and two of our players were new to the sport. For me, my scores improved a lot compared to last year,” junior and girls golf co-captain Hannah Cancel said.

Varsity girls golf player and sophomore, Samantha Bianes said that a huge part of their success was due to their varsity girls’ golf head coach, Mike Wegenka. Wegenka’s previous experience in golf allows the athletes to continue decreasing their strokes: the number of times it takes for a player to make it into the hole during one round.

“Our coach is really supportive and helpful because he himself also plays golf. Additionally, he makes sure we have a positive mindset and makes sure it’s a positive  environment,” Bianes said.

The team’s score has decreased, but that is not the only change about the 2019-2020 season. According to Wegenka, having the same players for multiple years, which will happen next year, is a benefit because the athletes will be familiar with each other.

“As co-captain I try and help the girls as much as I can with developing their techniques and skills. I also try to give positive messages while on the course,” Cancel said.

The girls made it to CIF, and are able to compete with other schools to move up ranks. These accomplishments of competing at the state level and and joining CIF lets them know that they are doing well.

“We made CIF again this year, and a couple of the girls made CIF individually that didn’t make it last year, which is great. We also made [the] CIF play in match, which will be [held on October 29] against Torrey Pines, and Eastlake in a tri-match,” Wegenka said.

The coach’s and girls’ main goal this season is to win league. Mater Dei Catholic High School (MDCHS) is one of BVH’s girl’s competitors.The competitions with MDCHS, who Bianes calls “very good” makes the players nervous for the competition, but also encourages them.

“[MDCHS] is a very good team, and we have them in our league. They have been state champion [for the] last couple [of] years. Knowing that we have a state championship team next door, that we have to play a couple times a year, that’s a good sign because we are losing to the best there is in the whole state,” Wegenka said.

According to Cancel, there are improvements that could still be made and the girl’s golf team has already planned it out. Their main aim at the beginning of this season was to practice more often so they would be able to adjust when coming back to the season and gain more experience. 

“[We can improve by] getting out on the course for practice more instead of staying at the range and putting green. We improved [from last year] because we had more practice days than before,” Bianes said.

Despite the slow start to the season, the support system in the girl’s golf team is strong, according to Cancel.The cooperation of their teammates lets them learn from each other. Since Wegenka can’t supervise everyone at once, the athletes learned to rely on each other.

“They all get along really great and I give them a lot of leeway because it’s an individual sport. I can’t be out there coaching them when they are playing, they got to do it on their own. It’s nice to know that they can count on each other and play well together,” Wegenka said.

Marina Santana De Valdez
Junior and girls golf captain Hannah Cancel strikes the ball at the 13th hole at the Sycuan golf course on Thursday Oct. 24th. Cancel was in the 3rd group with three other girls from Eastlake High School, Otay Ranch High School and Mater Dei Catholic High School.