By KARISSA GONZALES
Through the wet and windy conditions, Vandegrift golf had the strength and determination to get through the long two days to bring home the gold and silver.
Last week on March 29 and 31, both the boys and girls VHS golf teams brought home first and second place trophies from district tournaments. They qualified for regionals later in April.
The tournament lasted two days, and some players felt that the pressure ramped up for day two.
“Before the start of round two, I was a little more nervous because I was holding onto the lead, and knowing that everyone in the field has a target on your back can be a little intimidating,” senior Andrew Tan said. “Thankfully, I was able to stick to my own game, and it was enough to win me the tournament.”
Junior Tyler Blackwell said he knew coming into the tournament that he was swinging well but he was not sure about his putting since he had not gotten to practice it as much as he would have liked.
“I need to put in some work on the greens before regionals,” Blackwell said.
Despite his nerves, freshman Alejandro Mata found that being around his teammates gave him a leg up in the competition.
“On day two of the tournament I was paired up with Tyler” Mata said. “Getting to experience those putts with a Vandy team member was awesome because we hyped each other up, which became my favorite memory from this tournament.”
The tournament was a productive one for players like freshman Shelly Areepitak, who finished with an 82, her best score this year.
“I think that I’ve learned not to expect every day to be the same,” Apreepitak said. “It’s nice to know that I have it in me to play well but I need to find consistency first. I should try to think about my next shot and not dwell on my previous shots or holes too much.”
Tan stressed that although the team’s achievements were thanks to months of practice, a healthy mental state is also key. He advises younger golfers to not put too much pressure on themselves.
The team is practicing for the upcoming regionals starting April 18 for the boys teams and April 20 for the girls teams.
District titles feel great, said Mata. “However we can’t let our guard down as we are going to face harder opponents in regionals. We need to step up our game to give them a scare.”
Karissa Gonzales is a Vandegrift senior and she wants to pursue broadcasting or sports journalism as a career. Gonzales plays golf for VHS and additionally enjoys socializing, being outdoors, or hanging with little brother Christopher.