Is the golf team playoff bound?

Over the last couple of years, the Golden Valley boys’ golf program has had minimalsuccess.  In 2014 they had their best
year ever. 

Sophomore Jonathan Kang won
the league MVP and player of the year.
Kang was also the first individual in school history to make the CIF
individual playoffs. Kang advanced
farther than every other Foothill League qualifier, falling six strokes short of
making the state championship.

Kang also led
the team to a second-place finish in the fourth league match of the
year at Valencia Country Club, defeating West Ranch and Valencia for the first
time in program history. The boys’ golf program missed the CIF playoffs
by three strokes.

This year, their chances to make it to playoffs
seem to be a lot better since they have their top three players  returning.
Those returners consist of Kang, Ray Asuncion and Kameron
Hobbs.  These three golfers will be
counted on to lead a very young team to heights never before achieved.

Being a first-year player in a program and being asked to
contribute is difficult for anyone.  For
sophomore Asuncion, his freshman year was just that.

“I played to the best
of my ability but I know I need to improve my iron game,” Asuncion said. Being part of a team to
barely miss out on the playoffs has sat with Asuncion the entire off-season.  “I was devastated that we missed by such a
small amount. It motivates me to work harder for this season.”  

Winning a championship for any individual or team is a
difficult thing, however people in the sports world say that defending that
championship is the toughest. Kang, now a junior, is hoping to do just that as he heads into this season as the
defending league MVP. 

After asking him
how last season was for him he explained to me how he was proud of himself and his
team for making it so far but personally devastated that they didn’t make it
to the playoffs. He says that he personally needs to work and improve. Kang states
that team chemistry is at an all-time high, forming a bond between him and his
teammates.

After having the best
finish in program history, Coach Tony Moskal feels this may be the year the
Grizzlies break through.  “We have our
top three returning golfers in Kang, Asunscion and Hobbs so I think they’re
ready to go out and compete.” 

With a
solid nucleus of three players the team is in good shape.  Needing to find three more is a task Moskal
thinks they’ve accomplished.  “Senior
Brian Bedell quit baseball to come out for the golf team and he’s going to play
our No. 4 spot.  He’s got a real solid game
and he is going to contribute.”

The
other two spots are up for grabs as Moskal says, “I’ve got three other guys for
two spots.”

In the always tough Foothill
League the Grizzlies are getting ready to compete and improve on their finish
from last year.  They’re off to a pretty
good start this season with four qualifying scores and a school record score of
183 on nine holes at the Encino Golf Course.

“It was a day where everything came together,” Moskal said of the record
score.  “We’ve never had one player shoot
under par in any round and for us to have three shoot under par shows that this
group has the ability to put up some low scores,” continued Moskal.

With a solid group of returners and some JV
players ready to step into varsity sport the future looks bright the 2015
Grizzlies.

—Matthew Durra 

image

Defending league MVP Jon Kang with the Newhall Cup Trophy.

image

Junior Ray Asuncion with an approach shot.

image

Junior Kameron Hobbs warming up before a non-league match vs. Chaminade.