Seniors lead boys’ golf team

March 8, 2015 — by Oksana Trifonova and Arman Vaziri

With four key seniors, the boys’ golf team certainly does not lack experience.

With four key seniors, the boys’ golf team certainly does not lack experience. Despite the 2014 graduation of Christian Galvin, one of its star players from last year, the team plans to rely on its four senior key players to achieve success.

This year, all of the six competing players are upperclassmen, four of whom are seniors No. 1 Arman Vaziri, No. 2 Robby Gragnola, No. 5 Noah Jung and No. 6 Lukas Pettersson — the leaders of the team.

“It’s pretty fun having four seniors on the team because I have been practicing and competing with them for four years and they have made me a better player,” Gragnola said.

Furthermore, the  camaraderie among the seniors helps keep the team in a lighthearted mood, especially when there are stressful situations.

“I think having this many seniors gives the team a lot of spirit,” Pettersson said. “Since we have all known each other for four years, we have a lot of inside jokes and are very comfortable with each other, which makes it an enjoyable experience.”

Over their four years on the team, the seniors have gained lots of experience competing against other teams, playing different golf courses and learning from previous star players such as class of 2013 alumnus Robbie Parden and Galvin.

“I think we have an advantage compared to other schools because when it comes to a pressure-packed situation we know how to remain calm and embrace the challenge,” Gragnola said.

During practices, the top six players and coaches Dave Gragnola and Micah Hall try to spend some of their time helping the bottom six players, who don’t compete against other schools, to help prepare them for competition in the upcoming years.

“Yes, the team will definitely suffer when four of the top players leave, but I think that if the bottom six players practice hard during and off the season, they will have a chance to replace our spots next year,” Pettersson said.

Though the future is uncertain, the 3-2 team is focusing on its league matches this year, especially against rivals Los Gatos and Monta Vista.

The team dominated Santa Clara at home 200-280 on Feb. 23, with Vaziri being the medalist with a one over par 35. The next day they played a dual match away at Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club on Feb. 24 against Wilcox, who were defeated 220-227, and Monta Vista, who edged out the Falcons 215-216 and broke the Falcons’ two-year undefeated streak in league play. The team also suffered a 189-212 away loss to Los Gatos at La Rinconada Country Club on March 3; however, rebounded to defeat Lynbrook 171-201 at Deep Cliff Golf Course on March 5.

The team’s leaders plan to learn from their mistakes and focus on advancing to League finals and CCS. Despite currently only having played one match at home, the top players have still managed to keep their nine-hole scoring averages at around 40, only a few strokes over par.

“I think we have a good chance of going to League Finals, but making CCS is going to be tougher this year, since most of the other schools have either really improved or have talented freshmen join theirs,” Robby Gragnola said. “All of us have improved this year, but the other teams have too.”

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