While commonly overlooked, the Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) golf team has had yet another successful season.
The season began on February 28, when the team played Chatsworth High School at the Woodley Lakes Golf Course. The team lost their second match against Palisades High School by only one stroke. In April, when they played Palisades for the second time, GHC won by 11 shots.
The 12-player team practices out at Porter Valley Country Club, where they focus on putting, driving, and short game. Because the team is very competitive, they do a lot of skill challenges and competitions. This keeps their practices both focused and fun.
“The best part is these boys get to play golf. Since golf is a very demanding sport mentally, the team has done an excellent job keeping it light when in between shots and practice drills,” head coach Chris Ancheta said.
The team sometimes spends up to four or five hours each day practicing. Many of the top players also compete in tournaments on the weekends in order to sharpen their game.
This year, multiple players have shot even or under par in matches: the team captain, junior Ryan Ruaysungnoen, and sophomores El Kim Bumacod and Leo Cheng, all have done it. Sophomore David Wong leads the team with a score average around 1.6 over par. His personal best was a dominating performance where he shot three under par in a match this year. Wong also won the individual city title, shooting three under par 69 at Wilson Golf Course.
For the team, the future seems bright with the improvement of two juniors, Raffi Ajemian and Dylan Sokolowski, who have individually brought down the stroke average to around four over par. With six solid players on the team, they should be competing for multiple city titles throughout the next few years.
“I expected that the team would be the frontrunner for the city championships. This particular team has a goal of going to state, and if they all do their best we have a shot at competing against the top teams in the state,” Ancheta said.
On May 15, the team traveled to the Wilson Golf Course to compete against Birmingham Charter High School in the City Finals. Aside from Wong, sophomores Leo Cheng and El Kim Bumacod, and juniors Ryan Ruaysungnoen and Dylan Sokolowski rounded out the top five scorers for the Highlanders. All five will compete in the SoCal Regional tournament at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena on May 23.
Ever since Ancheta started coaching the team in 2006, the team has placed top three in the city for 11 consecutive seasons. This will be the third City title GHC has claimed in the past four seasons (2016, 2018, 2019).