The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

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Swinging to success: Varsity boys start their season

(From Left-to-Right) Jaxon Bandelier, Alex Mata, Connor Redmond, Miles Kritzer play at the UT Golf Club on the 15th green in the 3rd team qualifier of the season.
Coach Aaron Ford
(From Left-to-Right) Jaxon Bandelier, Alex Mata, Connor Redmond, Miles Kritzer play at the UT Golf Club on the 15th green in the 3rd team qualifier of the season.

Motivation, hard work, discipline, and competition are the keys to “ultimate success” as defined by the Vandegrift Boys Golf Team. The team strives to follow these four principles in their practice and execute their skills where it matters most. As Coach Aaron Ford, head golf coach, said, “If we can create a competitive culture and practice and we don’t take any days off, then our team should have ultimate success in the end.” 

The varsity boys start their season at the Bart Ranger Memorial on Sept. 15-16 at the Pecan Valley Golf Course in Fort Worth, TX. With all the improvements this past year, the team has set high goals that they are determined to achieve. After falling short of qualifying for the state championship last year, the team is striving towards the same goals this year with high motivation: place at the state championship and perform as best as they can. 

“We missed out by a couple of strokes last year,” said Coach Ford “I know the guys set a team goal this year to get back into contention for the state championship.” 

 The varsity team is returning with 15 of the 16 boys from the past season. “I think we have a much stronger and a more mature team this year.” Ford said. “I think this year our strongest aspect is our youth and our depth.”

Coach Aaron Ford started his coaching career in 2015 at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, OK and became the head coach of Vandegrift Golf in 2021. Ford made significant changes to the golf program since 2021, and with these changes, the girls golf team won the State Championship last year!

“I love coaching at Vandergrift in high school golf just because it brings a different dynamic to competitive golf; Vandergrift’s golf program is better than the college teams that I’ve coached,” says Ford.

When Coach Ford started, he made changes in the golf program by incorporating a physical and competitive aspect for the team. The team has really found this has helped to improve their games the past season. 

“I really want to congratulate Coach because of the program that he has made in the past year that I was with him,” junior varsity team member Alex Mata said. “ I feel like it has really helped me improve, especially in the physical aspect where we have been doing some weight training, speed training, etc.” 

Alex fired his personal best of 67 in the team’s 4th qualifier of the year, and is determined to achieve his goal of placing top three at State. 

“We really need to unite and use every bit of motivation that we have to inspire everyone else on the team to try to get better,” says Mata. “I would like to win a tournament individually and then more stats-driven would be to average under 75 for the year in tournaments.”

The boys are determined this year to work as hard as they can and push each other to get better everyday. 

“Everybody is working on their own game and when you have teammates who are there to help you and push you further, it really helps, especially when you’re playing with better players.” said senior Veer Sabhikhi.

 When asked about his individual goals for his senior year on the team, Sabhikihi’s eyes are on an individual title and to consistently place in the top five this season for the team. He believes that “golf is 90% mental” and is working on mastering the skill of managing himself during high-pressure situations. 

“I’ve been focusing a lot on forgetting what happened [in the past] and focusing on the next shot, and it’s really helped to not bring myself down and make the round better,” said Veer.

The varsity boys golf team is confident that they will achieve their goals for the upcoming year. With the “whatever it takes” attitude, the team is fully committed to not only improve their own game, but also to push their teammates for the title.

“I’m excited for the new year for Vandergrift boys golf” said Coach Ford “I know we’ve set some team goals and we’re going to work hard to accomplish them this year!”

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About the Contributor
Swetha Sathish, Staff Reporter

Swetha is a junior and is super excited to serve her first year on staff and have an amazing new experience this year! Apart from newspaper, she is a part of the Varsity Girls Golf Team. Outside of school, Swetha enjoys playing golf and other sports, travelling, biking, photography, and spending time with family.

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