Despite struggling to come out victorious in the 2016 season, the South Pasadena High boys’ varsity golf team looks to move up in the ranks this year.
The Tigers’ season came to a close last year in the Rio Hondo preliminaries as they were unable to meet the 80 stroke cutoff. As the 2017 season opens, the ambitious team is attempting to improve its overall record.
The group did not lose any key seniors, allowing the boys to focus solely on bettering their game. This year’s captains, seniors Andrew Son and Elliot Lee, will be pivotal in advancing the South Pas team forward. As instrumental players, they are expected to set the bar high and guide younger team members through this upcoming season. Sophomore Josh Ramos, one of the team’s top scorers last year, will support the seniors and lead the team especially in tight games.
Under the direction of two-year coach Ed Smith, the Tigers aim to stay motivated and play hard in order to boost their overall record of 2-10 from last season.
“This year we want to improve. Our main focus is to score better than we did in the previous season,” Smith said. “It would be great to make it to playoffs, but it may be tough with opposition like San Marino and La Cañada.”
Aside from the pressure to improve last year’s record, team spirits are high. This year the Tigers will be seeing some new faces, such as freshmen Jason Gomez and Andy Chung. Despite the individualistic nature of golf, the addition of several newcomers is expected to change the group dynamic.
“Team chemistry is crucial to a good season. I think our overall team chemistry and improvements will turn us into a more competitive team this year,” junior Brandon Zhu said.
The Tigers are currently in preseason with a rigorous schedule of two games per week. The team’s first league match will be on Thursday, March 23 against La Cañada.