By: Jenna Kreh
Hammond’s golf season has already come to an end for the 2019 fall season, but both the girls and boys teams had several exciting wins and personal bests along the way!
The boys team had two major wins this year, beginning with their first win against Mount Hebron on September 19. Later in the season they also beat Long Reach at the Iron Skillet Tournament on September 24, despite a loss to Oakland Mills. Coach Osborne said that the entire boys team improved a lot throughout the season, but a few specific players really stood out. “Tim Stryker really made leaps and bounds this year in his game,” the coach said. “He came very close to qualifying for the post season and improved to the number one position by the middle of the season.” Additionally, the coach spoke very highly of sophomore Connor Walls, saying that he “really turned it on for the second half [of the season].”
On September 17, our Hammond girls team beat Reservoir in an extremely close match, winning by just one point, bringing the score to 13-12. Reservoir has been a difficult opponent in years past, making this win even more impressive and exciting for our Hammond girls.
In their most recent and final game, the girls team played in the Iron Skillet tournament on September 24 against Oakland Mills and Long Reach. Long Reach had to forfeit, however the girls pulled out an impressive win against Oakland Mills, again by just one point, for an overall win in an extremely close game. This allowed them to protect ownership of the iron skillet trophy for the third year in a row. Senior Chinaza Ezeh earned her personal best of 10 points during the tournament, despite coming off a tough stretch according to coach Osborne. However, he said, she still managed to pull out “her best score ever for the team when it mattered most.” Additionally, junior Ashleigh Louie scored 12 points, her personal best as well, giving her a very strong finish to the season, according to the coach.
Next to Ashleigh and Chinaza, Coach Osborne mentioned one other player on the girls team who has shown major improvements. “I’ve got to give it to Gianna Caci,” he said, “for coming out new to the game this summer and still scoring points and being a contributing member of the team.” Gianna is a junior this year at Hammond, but she has not played for the golf team in past years. Osborne was excited to have her, saying that “It’s great to see new golfers come out and have some success on the scoreboard by the end of the season.”
Coach and teacher at Hammond High School Scott Osborne attributed the major improvements the teams had this year to resilience, flat-out mental toughness, and a “velociraptor-like team effort.” Additionally, the coach mentioned that this year he individualized practices more than in past years. “We had a team with a wide range of experience levels this year,” he said. “So, as opposed to group drills and team drills that have really been the way we used to run practice, I relied a little more on the seniors to work with [their teams], knowing what their squad needed to work on, and what each player needed to work on, and letting them take the lead in terms of individualizing what we needed to work on.”
Both the seniors and the underclassmen really stepped up to the challenge, earning high achievements in an impressive season, and making both Hammond and their coach proud.