Enjoyable. Productive. Successful. That is how varsity golf player Gannon Schram, varsity golf player described this year’s boys’ golf season.
The boys’ golf team set the expectations high for the season, with the intent of making state as a team. And as the season waged on, the boys experienced many wins, but did not end up making it to state as a team. However in spite of that, varsity golf player David Ventura said they still had a good run during the season and a great time.
“We did not succeed in our goal [to make state],” Ventura said. “However, we did well during sectionals, so we [were] pretty happy with ourselves to be in 4th place out of 16 teams.”
This outcome can be attributed to the level of difficulty the boys’ experienced in their division which was especially competitive this year compared to previous years. This year, like previous ones, the boy’s golf division included many highly skilled teams such as Glenbrook North, Evanston, and Niles West, Jeffery Paek, varsity boys’ golf coach said.
“We’re in by far the toughest conference in the state, [but we still] competed well with all of these teams,” Paek stated.
During the season, the varsity boys had a devastating loss to Glenbrook North that added to their motivation. In this match, they tied GBN 144-144, which forced North and South to go into a playoff. The boys’ ended up narrowly losing to North by 1 point at the end of the playoff, Ventura said, a loss that stood out throughout the remainder of the season and pushed the team to do better.
“I think [the loss to North] did play a huge factor [in our mindset],” Ventura said. “When we lost to GBN, we were pretty bummed out, but we were telling everyone not to get into their head and move on from that part of the season, since this match was not as important as the state-run we were going to have later in the year. It was important for [us] to have that positive mindset.”
That positive mindset, willingness to step up, and drive to do better was expressed throughout the golf season by the contribution from the younger classmen, Schram said.
“[The underclass men] have been able to play in most of our matches and contribute low scores to contribute to our wins,” Schram said. “If someone isn’t playing as well, the freshmen are stepping up and fulfilling that role.”
During practice, the boys’ shared support and competitiveness with each other, through a simulation game of the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is an activity where the varsity boys’ would split up into two teams, similar to the real Ryder Cup, a biennial golf match between the United States and Europe. Each team member played nine holes and whoever won one hole would gain a point for their team. When each match was done, the teams would add up their points, and whoever had the most points won.
“[It was] fun to have a little team spirited [competition] instead of having it all individualistic,” Schram said. “Having a match with another person was fun.”
For Matthew Shin, varsity golf player this activity was all about the reward the winning team would receive at the end of the activity, which would be a gift card to Chipotle.
“One of my friends actually joked [that] I tended to play much better when Chipotle was on the line,” Shin said.
Its this dynamic the boys attributed to the fun they experienced during the season that outweighed the wins and losses.