In the days leading up to their match against rival Loyola, it was common to hear members of the boys’ golf team say, “If we beat Loyola, we’ll win CIF.”
Well, the Wolverines lost that match last Thursday, but the latter part of that saying isn’t out of the question quite yet.
Loyola won, but only by the slimmest of margins: two strokes.
“We need to stay confident in our team,” Brandon Kewalramani ’17 says. “We only lost by two shots, which is nothing for team play, and we did not have anything close to our best stuff. So we know that we can easily beat them on any given day.”
Daniel Furman ’16 shot the team’s lowest round at two under par, but Trey Fearn ’16, who typically scores near the lowest on the team, shot six over par. That day, Kewalramani and Chase Rosenblatt ’18 shot 2 over, Alex Hong ’19 and Owen Calvin-Smith ’17 shot 1 over, and Bryant Wu ’17 shot 3 over.
“I wish we could treat it like it was just another match, but for some reason we can’t,” Fearn said. “If we keep working hard I know we can [move forward.] Our ambitions extend far beyond just Loyola.”
All but one member of the team who played the Loyola match qualified for the CIF Individual tournament by having a combined score for two tournaments in the Mission League top-24. There, they will be competing against the top players in the Mission League, many coming from Loyola, with the top nine scorers advancing to the CIF Sectional tournament.
For some golfers, the key to CIF success will be poise.
“We know we can advance far,” Kewalramai said. “We just need to stay patient and take it one stage at a time.”
Others are excited for the challenge playoffs bring.
“It will be easier to play at the higher level,” Fearn said. “Better players force their competitors to keep up. There will be more pressure, but there is nothing we cannot handle.”
Other than Loyola, the Wolverines have breezed through the Mission League, easily dispatching every other school. They beat Granada Hills by over 60 strokes.
A week before facing Loyola, the Wolverines competed in the second Mission League tournament. They lost to Loyola as well, and by even slimmer margins: one stroke.
“It may have hurt a lot losing in two close matches, but I have faith in my teammates and myself,” Fearn said. “Those just were simply not our best days.”
As of press time, results of the team’s final league match against Crespi on Monday were unknown.
The Wolverines get their chance to exact revenge on Loyola on Thurday in the third and final Mission League tournament.
A week later is the Mission League Individual Championship at Lakeside Cosuntry Club, and May 8 brings the CIF Individual Regionals.
When somebody asked Fearn what the highlight of his season has been, he responded, “To be honest, it has yet to come.”