Oak Park leads league

Boys’ golf team finishes first at Oak Park Invitational


Boys Golf Team posing in front of North Ranch Country Club prior to the Oak Park Invitational where the team took 1st place.” and here are the names left to right : Gylles Alford, Trevor Meikle, Ishan Vallamsetty, Hunter Keaster, Kyle Bessey, Nicolai Cascione, Kelly Dobson, Luke Tribe, Luke Basile, Darren Chiu, and Austin Liu.

The boys’ golf team is currently competing to place first in the Coastal Canyon League and earn a spot in the CIF Championships in May.

The team, in their 2019 season, are competing at the varsity level. The varsity team consists of eleven athletes, ranging from freshmen to seniors, and is coached by Head Coach Donn James.

Varsity golf team captain and senior Luke Basile has been a starting player for four years and is excited about the team’s potential for his final season as an Oak Park High School player.

“We’ve had some solid teams in the past but with our returning upperclassman and some key freshman additions, this is the strongest team with the greatest potential of any year I’ve been a part of the team,” Basile said.

The team’s season began with a non-league match against Oaks Christian High School on Feb. 25, which was a loss for the Eagles with a final score of 372–388.

Junior golfer Kelly Dobson has been on the team since his freshman year and felt that the loss against Oaks Christian was not typical of the team. He explained that since it was the first match of the season, those who were competing were not the usual starters, but were returning members from the previous season.

“It’s tradition to allow returners from last year [to] play the first match, so we did not end up playing our best six guys,” Dobson said. “We put up good numbers and we’ve beaten Oaks [Christian] at every other tournament we’ve played.”

The Eagles are now 6-1 overall, meaning they have six wins and one loss. In league matches, they are 6-0 and currently leading the league.

Dobson said he is confident that the team will continue to be a top competitor in their league and hopes that it will lead them to be able to compete in the CIF championships in May.

“This season, we are projected as one of the more dominant teams in SoCal,” Dobson said.

According to head coach Donn James, the last time the team attended the CIF championships was in 2018 and he is almost sure that the team will continue the streak this year.

“I can almost guarantee we will qualify for CIF Team regionals [this year],” said James. “We already have the qualifying scores, so all we have to do is finish in the top three in league and we are in first place right now.”

On March 18, the team competed in the Oak Park Invitational, a non-conference match held at the North Ranch Country Club. This event was hosted by the Oak Park team and they were able to take first in the invitational.

Basile expected that his team would do well because of their constant training, even though North Ranch Country Club is known to have one of the more challenging courses.

“We work hard and play harder,” said Basile.

The team finished the invitational in first place out of 27 teams, leaving James very pleased with the team’s performance.

“I’m very happy with the performance and glad all the men were able to play,” James said. “The winning team of Luke Basile, Darren Chiu and Austin Liu proved our top three can compete against the top three of any high school team around.”