By Austin Block
A third place finish in the Mission League finals allowed the boysâ golf team to sneak into CIF playoffs. In the first round of CIF, the team finished third, guaranteeing itself a spot in the second round.
In the second round, the Southern Section team finals, the team finished 19th out of 24 at Redhawk Country Club and missed out on state playoffs.
The Wolverines finished with a 6-6 overall and league record and finished third in the league standings.
The team eked out a crucial 196-195 win over Loyola in its second to last match of the season, and it fell in another close match to Loyola 209-205 two days later to end the regular season.
Over the course of the season, the team played six head-to-head two game series against its league opponents. The Wolverines were swept in their first series, swept Alemany in the second, and then split their last four series.
Captain Jeff Wibawa â10, committed to playing for Rice University, won Mission League MVP and Charlie Benell â12 was given All-League honors. Both he and Wibawa qualified for CIF individual playoffs.
In the first round of CIF, Wibawa shot a 73 and moved on to the second round. Benell also shot a 73 but was disqualified for taking an illegal drop from a water hazard.
“I am extremely happy and proud of this season, in many ways more so than any other season,” Head Coach Scott Wood said. “We lost three Division I golfers and were dead in the water halfway through the season.”
Wood attributes the contributions of many different players to the team breaking out of a mid-season slump.
“We had young players like Max Goodley â12, Andrew Sohn â13 and Michael Aronson â13 come into their own, as well as hard workers like Ernie Zaferis â11 and great players like Charlie and Jeff take the team on their shoulders and will themselves into the playoffs and to the second round of CIF, same as last years team,” Wood said.
“The fact that they got to playoffs by defeating Chaminade, Loyola and St. Francis to close the season gave them the confidence and belief that they were looking for all year,” Wood said. “All of the adversity served us well, we never gave up, and we rode our momentum into the playoffs and got the absolute most out of our team.”
The team will return next year without its captain and best player.
“We are going to miss Jeff Wibawa first of all because he may very well be the best golfer ever to play for me at Harvard-Westlake,” Wood said. “On top of that he was an extraordinary leader.”
If Wibawa places in the top 24 in the second round of CIF playoffs he will advance to the state championship qualifier and have the chance to compete for a state title.