Golf Squad Wins NCS Tournament

Layla Wright, Staff Writer

Despite unfavorable conditions and scoring mishaps, the boy’s golf team won the North Coast Section championship at the Lone Tree Golf Course in Antioch on May 14.

Head coach Gary O’Neill admitted that the conditions were unexpected. “The greens were somewhat inconsistent – mostly hard and fast, but there were times where they were surprisingly slow,” he said. “All in all, they presented a tough challenge, as players could not take the speed for granted.”

Even so, the 6 Cougars were well-prepared for the tournament. Sophomore Hayden Catron said that everyone on the team had improved since last year and that teamwork helped bring success. “Our whole team works really well together, and the 4 seniors really hold us together,” he said. “Even though me and Baron [Szeto] are younger than the other four guys, we have a great chemistry, which helps us all.”

The team topped a field of more than 20 schools, including De La Salle. “We were determined to beat De La Salle- we can’t stand losing to them,” said senior captain Jay Thomas. “They are a private school and they recruit, so we were pumped.”

Thomas said the squad felt confident going into the tournament, especially compared to previous years.  “Last year we had a really good team, but we just didn’t form,” he explained. “We had some of our worst runs we’ve ever had. I think the fact that 4 of us were juniors didn’t help because we were all stressed out. Our goal this year was to make it to NorCal and possibly state.”

While each golfer plays an individual round, the Campolindo players maintained a sense of common purpose. “The best part was that we played as a team. You can’t really play as a team in golf because it’s more individual, but we did,” said Thomas.

As the final players made their way over the course, teammates and coaches struggled to calculate the team scoring. O’Neill said that he and the other coaches were struggling from “heart palpitations as the NCS tournament came to a close.”

Thomas added there were a few issues that added drama to the tournament. At one point their was concern that Baron Szeto had signed the wrong score card. “So we really won by 2, but we ended up winning by 1 because he signed for the wrong score but we still won so that’s all that matters,” said Thomas

“We didn’t think we’d win NCS- we thought we had a shot, but that was going further than our goals,” added Thomas. “So I think what made our team great this year is that we were all so focused and determined, and we never gave up.”