The Diamond Bar High School girls golf team hopes to swing its way back to being CIF champions this season.
Since 2014, the team has only had individual players win CIF titles. Just last year, the team got close, reaching the CIF finals, but came up short in the end.
Although the team lost players such as senior Crystal Wang this year, who was second overall in the state individuals, the team still has plenty of returning talent. So far, the team is undefeated, winning their first five matches by large margins.
Head coach Tony McCabe mentioned senior Kailie Vongsaga, juniors Angelica Kusnowo and Esther Lee, and sophomores Alicia Kuo, Emma Han and Michelle Chang as key players this season. The coach also said the team has a strong group of freshmen this year.
“I think we had the best summer we ever had. The players were playing all the time. We are looking forward to going farther than we did than last year,” McCabe said.
While most sport teams in DBHS devote many hours to team practices, the girls golf team only practices during competition season, and instead holds a mock tournament to determine who will play for the team. Each player has private instructors who refine their golf skills and practice on their own time.
Vongsaga, a co-captain alongside Kusnowo, said she rushes to complete her homework to practice her swings for approximately two hours daily.
“I would love to get four hours but usually for school nights two hours. If I am off season, I would choose random days. If it is tournament season, I would definitely practice every single day,” Vongsaga said.
While McCabe was the school’s athletic director, he pushed, along with Principal Reuben Jones, to move to the new league. After the school moved to the Mt. Baldy League this season, the girls golf team has became a freelance team, playing whomever they choose.
“I thought it would be good for Diamond Bar. We had finished at the bottom overall the last three years. We were fifth place out of six teams. If you take all the sports for three years and add them together it’s not very good,” McCabe said.