The Eastwood golf teams closed out their 2015-16 seasons on a high note, sending several players to regionals, which will be held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The Eastwood Boys won the District 1-6A title outright, finishing strokes over Coronado High School in the District Tournament at Lone Star Golf Club. Senior Michael Salazar won the individual title, finishing 5 under par for the tournament.
Salazar attributed his and the team's success to hard work, and overall familiarity with the course.
"It's our home course, we play here almost every day." Salazar said. "I think that really worked in our favor, paired with all the work we did throughout the season. Overall, the team played really well, and we all came together to get the result we wanted."
Junior Noah Gutierrez, who finished second overall, was surprised at his own individual finish, but agreed with Salazar on the home course factor.
"I was really surprised I played as well as I did, but as for the team, I feel we really lived up to our potential, I knew we could pull it off if we all worked for it," Garcia added.
The girls' team finished second in the tournament, behind Coronado High School. The team qualified for the regional competition nonetheless, which took place April 13-14, in Arlington.
Senior Julia Enriquez believes the team fell a little short of their true potential, but she was extremely proud of the result regardless.
"The team worked really hard, and I'm really proud of how we did." Enriquez said. "We may have come up a little short in the end, but I feel like we all improved a lot individually."
Freshman Amanda Portillo, playing on the varsity team in her first year at the high school level, agreed with Enriquez' sentiments, though she felt a little more pressure due to her youth relative to her varsity teammates.
"I really felt it in the beginning, especially because my sister used to play for the team a few years ago, so there was that." Portillo said. "But later on I realized that I was playing my own game, not anyone else's," .
When asked about things the team could improve on for the regional tournament, Portillo and Enriquez both agreed the team could work on the mental aspect of the game.
"I think we just need a little more practice playing under pressure, in the clutch," Enriquez said.
"We just need to remember to play for the team and not for ourselves, and to have a little self assurance," Portillo added.
Nonetheless, the girls remained optimistic about regionals. Portillo, who will not be able to attend the tournament due to a volleyball event, has faith that the team's sense of unity will take them far.
"They have a lot of motivation, especially for the seniors." Portillo said. "We're like a family, so we want to play well for them."
Enriquez remained faithful as well. "I know we've already improved so much from last year as a whole, so I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do out there," she stated.
The Trooper Boys team finished tied for 11th Place at the 2016 UIL Class 6A Region 1 Boys Golf Championships at the Waterchase Golf Course in Arlington, Texas.
The team tied with fellow El Paso team Coronado High School, at 51 over par as a team. Senior Michael Salazar finished tied for 17th place individually with 6 other boys, after shooting 75 and 72 over two rounds, good for 3 over par.
Junior Noah Gutierrez tied for 47th at 12 over par for his two rounds, and Sophomore Alex Delgadillo finished tied for 56th at 14 over par.
Both Salazar and Gutierrez felt both they and the team could've done better, but were happy with the results nonetheless.
"We had a shot at doing something pretty big after the first day, but we just couldn't catch a break the second day," Salazar said.
Both agreed that the team could've improved on the mental aspect of things.
"If we'd have relaxed and played the game instead of letting some bad holes get in our heads, I feel we could've gone pretty far, but I'm pretty proud of how we did no matter what."
The Trooper Girls finished their tournament in 12th place, at Rolling Hill Country Club in Arlington, Texas.
At 159 over par, the team edged out Coronado, who shot 173 over par. Individually, senior Ally Chavez finished tied for 57th at 40 over, and senior Julia Enriquez finished tied for 59th at 41 over.
Chavez felt she could've done better, but was content regardless, knowing she left it all out on the course.
"We definitely didn't give up, that's for sure. Even in our tough situation, we kept on," Chavez chimed.
Enriquez agreed, adding that the team improved because of this tournament either way.
"This tournament gave us a lot of experience, experience I know the team will use next year to go even further. I'm so proud of how far we've come," Enriquez said. "I'm really excited to see where the girls take the team next year, because I know they'll go far."