Boys’ golf: youthful team looking for success in upcoming season

By Alex Nakagawa

Assoc. Sports Editor

It was a rough stretch of multiple injuries and opponent scandals for the South Pasadena High School boys’ golf team last season. From collarbone injuries to an incident where a La Cañada golfer lowered his score untruthfully, humility was an attribute that the golfers at South Pasadena needed to integrate into their play. This year is no different for the Tigers who finished 3-9 overall last year.

SPHS alumnus Henry Sue departed from the team last year in his final season as the young and inexperienced varsity team’s captain. As he walked off from his final match in the CIF Southern Section Regional Boys Golf Championship, Sue affirmed his confidence in his team as he passed the reigns down to his teammates. Long-standing girls and boys’ golf coach Henry Goto retired from coaching after this season’s girls’ golf season ended back in the fall.

The team brings in a brand new group of faces to the team. Former South Pasadena High School mathematics teacher and former varsity football coach Ed Smith led the varsity team for the first time after Goto’s retirement on the team’s first match against Polytechnic School on March 3. The Tigers could not come up in front, and fell to the Panthers 205-251.


Leading the team this year will be the five returning golfers from last year’s squad. Sophomore Elliott Lee led the Tigers with a score of 47. Senior Cristian Cotaya finished with a 49. Sophomore Andrew Son and senior Robert Lee finished the day with 51 each. Junior Eddy Moon was sick during today’s match and was unable to play, but hopes to return for the next game on March 24. Junior Myles Mullen played today as the team’s seventh golfer; therefore his score did not count towards the team’s total.

“I was proud of how everybody played today,” Son said. “I hope we can bring a higher level of play against teams in our league as well.”

Freshmen Damian Ugalde and Brandon Zhu debuted in their first varsity match against a tough Panthers team that beat the Tigers by a substantial margin last year. They both ended with scores of 53 and 59, respectively.

“The coach is really fun and kind,” Elliott Lee said. “Today’s [game] went pretty well today but there is definitely room for improvement.”

South Pasadena will have two weeks to prepare for its first league match-up against San Marino on March 24. The Tigers plan on practicing hard on their own to prepare for a tough schedule against teams such as La Canada and Flintridge Prep.

Photo courtesy of Cristian Cotaya