Highlander golfers ready to tee off this season
By Aaron Valdez
La Habra Journal
The La Habra High School boy’s golf team is excited to embark on another promising spring season.
Last season, the Highlanders were engaged in a tight race between Sunny Hills and Troy High School for league title. After the smoke cleared, La Habra finished in a much respectable 3rd place and 10th overall in their CIF Division.
The biggest highlight of that season belonged to the team’s own, Mike Lascari for becoming the Individual League champion. It marked the first time in school history a Highlander broke a Sunny Hills’ 14 year win streak.
Coach Verdugo was and always will be proud of his team as he still looks to win that elusive league title. Now that the season is nearly underway, Verdugo firmly believes the boys can not only improve from last year’s results, but also play with pride and class whether it’s a win, lose, or draw.
The team has been working hard all school year long to prepare themselves for the road ahead. From late Aug. to Dec., Verdugo already had the team practicing two to three times a week in order to establish chemistry and polish their fundamentals. They have now begun to practice a full five days a week since the month of Jan.
Coming into this season, La Habra’s biggest strength is their depth according to Coach Verdugo. He currently has three seniors that are all playing at a high level. In addition, he also has three underclassmen, Mike Lascari, Ben Livesay, and Joe Egan whose skillsets can help the team snag some much needed victories.
Despite having such profound players on the team, Verdugo still wants to ensure each player provides a consistent effort in each match. When it comes to playing with the most confidence, the team seems to perform best on Westridge golf course since it is their go-to practice spot. Hacienda Golf club can also play in La Habra’s favor as both courses have been extremely kind to them.
As good as the La Habra boy’s golf program is, the school was lacking of a girl’s program. However, thanks to the perseverance of Verdugo, he has recently founded just that.
“I’ve been very blessed with great support from our Principal Dr. Zenner and our Athletic Director Mr. McCarrol in the creation of a Lady Highlander Golf Team. There is a huge need and opportunities for girl golfers at the collegiate level and it’s a great lifelong game that can help in their future business endeavors.” describes Verdugo.
Verdugo was glad to see a total of 20 girls with very little experience come out for the team and display their willingness to learn about the game. With only four girls having actual golf clubs, Verdugo claims he was very fortunate to have friends and family donate golf clubs to the program so that each girl had a set of clubs.
“Over this past year I have taught the girls the basics of the golf swing and the basic etiquette of the game.” adds Verdugo.
Now that the team is set, the Lady Higlanders will work diligently as their first official match will come next season. Coach Verdugo is looking forward to seeing the girls put their skills to the test and if the boys can edge out Sunny Hills and Troy for the league title.