The dynamic with golf both at the high school and even college level, teams will have their number one and two golfers set in their lineup as the players they expect to put out the top scores for each and every match. Normally teams that struggle are the ones that don’t have definitive golfers for those roles.
But that dynamic is actually the recipe for success for Valley Christian.
The Trojans are one of the top teams in division III and really one of the deepest teams of any division including divisions I and II who play in the fall. They have six golfers who on a given match, can put forth the top scores for the team. Something that is truly rare for a team that is eyeing a state title next weekend in Prescott.
“Yeah we are really a deep team,” said senior Gavin deFisser. “It’s been really fun in practice because we have been competing against each other and competing against each other. “It’s been really a great group of guys because we have been able to use that to have fun with each other and it’s been able to build us up and grow closer instead of the competition be a bad thing.”
“Most high schools have players who are mostly one or mostly two,” mentioned sophomore R.J. David. “You really don’t have a lot of teams where people will switch through five which is very unique for us.”
deFisser is going to be playing golf at the collegiate level beginning next season at William & Mary where he also looks to begin a path toward medical school. David has been an amateur star both with Valley Christian and on the junior golf circuit. When he was 14 he played in the U.S. Team Championship in North Carolina where he took second place and last summer, made it all the way to the elite eight in the Arizona Amateur in which he was the youngest competitor.
In addition to deFisser, and David, seniors Trevor Lambson and Davie Rocha, junior Evan Miller and sophomore Garrett deFisser that round out the impressive Trojans roster. Out of these six that compete, Coach Scott Longanecker believes three can shoot under par in any given match with the other three being around or a couple strokes over par. The depth that he has to work with allows him to approach the team differently that most others.
“We actually rank the team each week by the way they finished the match prior,” explained Coach Longanecker. “A lot of schools will do qualifying before a match where they’ve got to perform in the match to establish their ranking for the next match. So it kind of keeps them playing good golf when they need to play good golf.”
This mentality with the team not only create a dynamic where the players are not only competing against other schools, but also their own teammates to have one of the top four scores representing the team.
“I’ve played one through five this year on our team’s positions for the matches,” mentioned deFisser. “Sometimes I’ll come in with a decent score and think I did pretty good but the rest of the team played outstanding that day and I’ll be the number five the next match. You can just never say.”
“The nice thing is these kids, though very competitive, they all really care about each other,” stated Longanecker. “So they almost root for each other to maybe have that chance to play the number one one week.”
Valley Christian tees off for a state championship in Division III from Antelope Hills Golf Club in Prescott beginning Friday, May 15th.