Boys’ golf ends CCS drought

May 6, 2018 — by Leo Cao and Alex Wang
Photo by Now and Forever Studios

Coach David Gragnola speaks to his team earlier this year.

 

After a long hard-fought season, the boys’ golf team qualified for CCS, a feat last achieved four years ago.

By placing second in the league tournament, just two strokes behind traditional powerhouse Palo Alto on May 1, the Falcons achieved their top goal for the season.

“We were all really excited,” junior Daniel Kraft said. “Everyone played really well; it was some of the best scores from the team I have seen in league finals.”

Kraft, who plays in the No. 3 position, said he played an average round that day, but his score was only enough to be fifth on the team, which means that the whole team stepped it up.

The No. 1 player, sophomore Kevin Sze, led the team with a score of one under par, enough to place second in the entire league tournament behind Jalen Xing, a player from Monta Vista who shot four under.

The top two teams from the league tournament qualify for CCS, with one other qualifying based on regular season record.

“It was a big win for our team,” freshman No. 2 player Michael Burry said.

Of the top six travel team players, three — Burry, and twins Albert and Geoffrey Jing — are freshmen, and Kraft is a new student this year.

With a team comprised almost entirely of new faces, many people who knew the team thought they would not make CCS, but Coach Dave Gragnola said it was a “epic” to prove them wrong.

Recalling his experiences on the golf team at his old school, Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., Kraft acknowledges that the Saratoga team is better. After transferring here, Kraft has had his first taste of qualifying for a regional championship, earning a chance to meet other talented golfers.

“I’ve made friends with everyone on the team even though I’m new,” he said. “We’re pretty close.”

This tight-knit group of golfers will need to play well on May 8 in CCS at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey, Burry said. With many good teams looking to qualify for NorCals, it will be tough.

“The players need practice rounds there in order to perform,” Gragnola said. “We are looking forward to gaining experience playing under pressure and I think we will surprise a lot of people.”

 

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