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Valley Journals

Juan Diego golf team back on course

May 07, 2018 03:42PM ● By Catherine Garrett

The Juan Diego Catholic High girls golf team has placed fifth and sixth at their region tournaments this year. (Photo courtesy Jason Anderson)

By Catherine Garrett | c.garrett@mycityjournals.com 

Second-year coach Jason Anderson watched his Juan Diego Catholic High girls golf team finish last in region last season and decided the focus for the off-season would be to have his team continue to play the sport so they could enjoy it.

“If you don’t continuously practice you lose muscle memory in your swing and basically start over each year,” he said. “This makes it very hard to improve.”

Using that same philosophy, Anderson hopes his squad will work hard, learn and have fun. “If we put in the work, we have a great chance to make state this year,” he said. 

Key returning golfers for the 2018 Soaring Eagle team are Tyler Tibolla, BreeAnn Mason and Riane Rendon. Three new players — Alexus Winter, Shayne Farnsworth and Megan Stratton — will “have an impact right away” on the Soaring Eagle varsity squad, according to Anderson. 

Also on the team this season are Alexis Jones, Sophia Mammano, Devyn Patterson and Martha Werner.

Anderson is being assisted on the coaching staff by Adam Eby. “He has been a great addition this year,” Anderson said. “Having two coaches helps us give each player more focus on their individual needs which will allow them to improve at a faster pace.”

“These girls are tough. They play in freezing rain, snow, wind and never complain,” Anderson said. “They also fight hard to make the best of every shot and situation. I could not be more proud of all of them. They have all become daughters to me.”

So far this season, Juan Diego was led by Rendon and took sixth at El Monte Mar. 20 and improved to fifth at Mount Ogden behind Stratton’s performance two days later.

“I thought we played well during both tournaments considering three of our 10 girls have never played in a tournament before,” Anderson said. “Things are going well. The girls have improved and are having fun.”

The team’s top finish was at Oquirrh April 19 with Mammano – who placed seventh individually – leading the squad to a fourth place showing.

“The girls did great and we improved again,” Andersen said.

Juan Diego is also scheduled to compete in tournaments at Oquirrh, Mountain View, Riverside and Stansbury. The 4A state championship will be held at Sunbrook May 16–17.

“I think we have a great shot to make the state tournament this year,” Anderson said. “The girls have been working hard and improving every day.”