March 11th, 2016
By Sandra Hernandez, Ariana Segura & Miriam Arias
To play golf, there is “a lot of etiquette to it, which most people don’t know,” said PHS boys head coach, Mr. Campagna. For the past couple years, Phoenix High School lacked golf players. This year, fortunately the numbers went up. The girls team has a total of fourteen players and the boys golf team has twelve players. There was an opening for the boys golf team and Mr. Campagna saw the chance and took it. He tells us, “Golf is in my family. My grandfather was a golf coach, my father was a golf coach, so I grew up playing golf. I thought if an opportunity came up I would definitely take it, and here I am.” Girls team Coach Lonna tells us how “this is [her] second year as the varsity head coach,” and she is excited to see her team develop in the pathway to success.
Also, this year is the first year that Phoenix High School is using Centennial Golf course as a practice facility. Our golfers are lucky enough to be at one of the longest courses here in Southern Oregon and be sponsored by them. We asked PHS senior player Brandon Calhoun and he answered quite simply with, “because it’s fun and you get to miss school to be out here.” Like Engle explained, “Golf is real complicated game. It’s probably one of the hardest games you’ll ever play versus bowling, tennis, basketball.” It is a complicated game because you have to have certain mechanics to be able to hit a round ball with a square club. One has to be able to be in the right positions and be able focus on multiple factors while swinging the club.
As the season progresses the coaches already have great expectations for their team. Some of those are to “have boys that are dedicated” to come out “everyday playing in the wind or rain, snow or ice,” mentions Campagna. He also expects his boys team to “get better individually as we begin getting better as a team.” Coach Lonna’s expectations for this season is “to go into regionals, to play in the regionals as a team instead of individuals. So we have 14 girls right now on our team and our goal is to be able to bring five girls to regionals and then hopefully go to state.”
As we continued, we asked our coaches what the difference was between this year and last year. Campagna answered, “This year was different from last year because I didn’t coach last year.” As for Coach Lonna, she states that “this year we have a bunch of nice ladies. The first day of practice I went home and I was real giddy because to have this many girls out here that want to play golf. Last year was a transition year for us.”
Phoenix High School will be competing very soon in their first golf tournament of 2016. The boys team competes on the first day of Spring Break, March 16th. They will be out at Centennial, our local course, so Pirate sports fans be sure to come out and support your Pirates. As for the girls, their first tournament is Monday, March 14th at Rogue Valley Country Club where they will be competing against a bunch of 6A and 5A teams. Best of luck to Phoenix High School’s boys and girls golf teams.