BOYS GOLF PREVIEW: Lancers aim to maintain dominance


Image used with permission from Scott Enrico

Sophomore Caleb Kim swings his driver to hit the golf ball at Alta Vista Country Club against the Valencia Tigers Tuesday, March 7. The Lancers won this preseason match 197-211.

Coaches: Scott Enrico (head coach)

Top Returning Players: Caleb Kim (10), Jeffrey Kwak (12), Dylan Lee (10)

Top Newcomers: Andrew Choi (9), Noah Hitomi (9), Jonathan Jeon (9)

Last Season: The boys golf team ended the 2021-2022 season as Freeway League champions, keeping their streak since 2004, and placed third at the Southern California Golf Association Regional State Qualifier and in the CIF state championships.

“We played well when we needed to last season,” Enrico said. “Our boys really stepped up in each of the CIF qualifying events.¨

Outlook: After 18 consecutive Freeway League titles, the Lancers hope to continue their winning streak and qualify for the CIF state championships. First-year starter Jeon said the team’s biggest rival will be Troy.

“Last season, we crushed Troy,” he said. “I’m confident we’ll beat them this year again too.”

In preparation for the match against the Warriors, the team participates in competitions, including the Toyota Tour Cup, a 26-event tournament for advanced student golfers on weekends.

“It’s difficult waking up every Saturday and Sunday to compete,” Lee said. “However, I always consider it worth it not only for myself but to the team as a whole; I get more experience and practice while the team gets a better player.”

Additionally, Jeon said the team’s consistent practice will lead to high placements in CIF.

“It would be nice for us to make it to the CIF state finals,” he said. “I hope we place [in the] top three and improve from last season.”

To meet the team’s goals, Lee said that the squad needs to work on not only the physical challenges of the sport, but the mental struggle it brings as well.

“I found myself and some others struggling for the rest of the game after not playing well in the beginning [of the matches],” the sophomore said. “I think being mentally ready in all aspects helped me a lot.”

In addition to tournaments, the team utilizes the hitting cages on campus to practice swings but prefers to hit off-campus on courses such as La Mirada Golf Course to play practice rounds before the season starts.

“I like using [the new hitting cages] because it makes us feel like a part of the school instead of just practicing off-campus all the time,” Lee said. “However, it isn’t too practical, and I would rather practice on other courses.”

The team played its first match Thursday, March 2, against the Walnut Mustangs to secure its first win of the season and dominated the preseason with a score of 6-1. 

“Our hardest match was the last one against Mater Dei,” the sophomore said. “Even though we won, it made me try even harder to end our preseason with all wins.”

Despite dominance over the preseason, Kim said they look forward to improving against the teams they lost against in state championships.   

“Once our season starts, the matches are going to be significantly harder, which won’t stop until we lose,” he said. “However, I trust myself and my team to play their best and hopefully place second or first.”

Enrico said the team needs to maintain its high level of play while staying focused on the main goal to not let struggles that come affect the squad’s playing ability. 

“Our primary goal is to always support each other on the course, and our final goal is to do what we did last year — qualify all the way to state championships,” he said.

The Lancers won their most recent Freeway League match against the Fullerton Tribe Thursday, April 13, with a score of 169-198 to improve their overall record to 12-1. The team will next play Tuesday, April 18, against the La Habra Highlanders at the Westridge Golf Club.