West Ranch freshman Zoe Campos has been golfing since she was eight years old.
Golf can be a lonely sport, with individuals focusing on their own game tournament in and tournament out.
Campos has learned to embrace the solitude that golf has to offer.
“It is really relaxing, but at the same time it is kind of stressful too,” she said, “but it is a way to get your mind off of things and just to focus on golf and nothing else.”
This year, however, Campos had a totally new golf experience when she joined the West Ranch varsity team.
She learned how to compete as part of a team and experienced the “team spirit” that surrounds prep sports programs. Although she won the CIF state title – as a freshman nonetheless – she cited her best memories of the season as winning the team league title and just being around her teammates.
Although she probably doesn’t need prep golf to bolster her resume (she’s headed to the Florida-based ANNIKA Invitational in January), Campos has chosen to compete with the Wildcats again next season.
“This year was a lot of fun and I don’t want to miss out any more,” she said. “I just really want to keep going throughout the years.”
The Cats welcomed Campos with open arms. How often does a golfer with experience in national amateur tournaments come around?
Throughout the season, it was said that Campos’ abilities heightened the sense of competition across the squad. It showed – West Ranch dominated the top four spots in the final individual league standings.
Campos herself won two league meets and cruised to a Foothill League individual title, averaging 37 strokes on the season.
She was named medalist at the CIF-SS Individual Regionals, then carded a 1-over 73 to advance to the CIF/SCGA Southern State Regional Championship.
Her 1-under 72 score earned her a sixth-place finish at the Regional Championship, which led to her CIF State Golf Championship appearance and eventual title.
“Having to always go out every weekend and seeing the (different schools were challenges), but other than that I just played my game and just really treated it as if it were any other tournament I would play,” Campos said of her journey to the state title.
After her prep career, Campos will play for UCLA and hopefully turn pro shortly after.
For now, though, she’ll be striving for more success with the Cats.
“I’ve improved on working together as a team instead of just individually,” she said. “I’ve always been on my own, but … being with the team has taught me how to work together and have more of a team spirit.”
Paige Harrison, West Ranch, freshman
Harrison finished second in the Foothill League and was one of four Wildcats golfers to finish in the Top 4. In her first year of varsity golf, she made the cut for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, but her 8-over 80 wasn’t enough to get her to the next round.
Noelle Song, West ranch, junior
Song may have finished third in league again this season after barely edging out teammate Mack Bailey, but her postseason journey showed just how good of a golfer she can be. The Wildcat made it to the CIF-SS finals and carded a 9-over.
Mack Bailey, West Ranch, senior
Last year’s All-SCV player of the year had a tough task in following up her 2016 performance. She managed to take medalist honors in two Foothill League meets. Bailey didn’t proceed to the individual postseason, but competed with her team in the CIF-Southern Section Team Championships.
Kimberley Tsai, Valencia, freshman
Tsai was the Vikings’ best golfer of the season, coming in at No. 5 in the final Foothill League rankings. She didn’t take home any medalist honors, but was one of the league’s most consistent golfers and tied for second in league meet No. 3.
Paige Heuer, Hart, senior
The Indians’ top golfer made a huge jump this season to the No. 6 spot overall in league after finishing 11th last year. She tied for second with Kimberley Tsai in the third Foothill League meet of the season.
Canyon – Shabana Poswal, senior
Golden Valley – Jasmine Reblando
Hart – Brooke Harrison, senior
Saugus – Marie Naud, senior
Valencia – Ashley Song, sophomore
West Ranch – Kati Pak