By Mayumi Herrera
When love and passion meet hard work and enthusiasm, success is often the outcome. There is absolutely no better feeling than winning, especially when it comes to sports. Winning is the indescribable high after achieving that well-deserved, number one spot. Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) continuously motivates its students to achieve that rewarding feeling. Like in their classrooms, GHCHS students are just as hardworking, fierce, and competitive on the field, court, track, and golf course.
GHCHS’ girls golf team has proven their excellence as the West Valley League Champions and Los Angeles City Section Champions over the past six years. The girls’ outstanding performance under head coach Steve Thompson has become a tradition GHCHS does not anticipate losing any time soon.
“To be a part of such an amazing team, personally, makes me very proud. Golf is stereotyped as a long and boring sport, so it is great to see young students compete on a state level against other schools, while still being able to keep up with their schoolwork,” senior Susan Kim said.
Thompson took the job when girls golf was first introduced on campus 16 years ago and has been successfully leading the team ever since.
“Coach Thompson is a very supportive and wise coach. Because there are only 13 girls on the team, he is able to talk with us individually and have a strong sense of our strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately, let us know what to do to improve our skills,” Kim explained.
The small, prosperous team meets four days a week from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Knollwood Country Club. Despite the fall season heat, the girls challenge themselves by practicing their form and swing with a determined and concentration at each team practice.
“Monday through Thursday we are either practicing or playing. We play a full schedule of sixteen matches unlike other schools, and it is a big benefit being well prepared,” Thompson said.
Over the years, Thompson has worked with a large pool of diverse students, and this experience with young, purposeful athletes has handed him the key to success.
By giving each athlete an opportunity to play and pairing them with a teammate of a similar character, Thompson sets a devoted and humble foundation for the team and program.
“Everybody gets along with each other. There is no pettiness, bickering, or cliques between the members of the team. I try to match up people who are alike in personality so they feel more comfortable playing. We are also very fortunate to get good players who are also good people,” Thompson said.
Girls golf is the definition of honorable sportsmanship. It is clear that the close knit group of girls, as well as their coach, have driven the team to success, and all GHCHS students should be proud.
“We are the best kept secret on campus,” Thompson said.