Boys’ Golf Defeats Irvine High 206-241 in Final PCL Match of Season: Portola Proceeds to CIF


Tyler Kim

Over the 2021-22 season, boys’ golf has managed to remain consistent since the start. “I would say we’ve stayed pretty flatline, which is kind of just golf,” coach Wind Ralston said. “Golf is really up and down; you can get hot for a couple games and then cool down.”

Boys’ golf (7-5) triumphed against Irvine High with a final score of 206-241 on April 28. The game, held at Portola High’s home course, Rancho San Joaquin, was the final league match this year prior to playoffs.

Throughout a successful season, the team was able to move from Division 4 to Division 2, according to boys’ head golf coach and social studies teacher Wind Ralston. 

Junior Daniel Cheong attributed the overall strength of the team throughout the season to the new underclassmen.

“I mean they’re freshmen on varsity for a reason, you know. They have two years ahead of them; they can all improve,” Cheong said. “A lot of our team is young, so even in later years, we’ll have a strong foundation to build our team off of.”

One such freshman is Tyler Chang, who said he looks forward to continuing a playful rivalry with fellow teammate and freshman Enzo Fukushima in future seasons. 

Chang managed to make the most birdies within his group during the match, describing the feeling of scoring under par by two strokes as “really nice.”

“It almost feels like I could one day beat Enzo, but I’m gonna keep working on that for next year,” Chang said. 

Another standout player in the game was sophomore Kai Campbell, who Ralston cited as having experienced the most growth since the beginning of the season.

“I played really well; at the start I wasn’t doing so great, but I came back three over,” Campbell said. “I focused and really just visualized all my shots to do that.”

Golf is a unique sport in that it heavily tests the mentality of players throughout the course of a long two-to-three-hour match resulting in “too much time to think,” according to Ralston.

“As someone who plays golf, I know how hard it is to consistently make good shots and do it day in, day out,” Ralston said. “So the fact that the kids are getting better at a higher level, I’m excited about it.”

With the season winding down, boys’ golf prepares to drill and train for CIF events throughout mid-May. In particular, the team will continue dialing down aspects of the game to score better, such as chipping and putting, according to Ralston. 

“We’ll work hard, we’ll continue practicing even if PCL is over, and, hopefully, we’ll bring home some type of award,” Cheong said.