ILS Golf ready to chip the competition


ILS golf team member readies for a putt.

Ryan Desalle, Writer

This year the ILS Golf team is expected to have an amazing season due to the increase of players and the practice the team has been putting in.

Head coach James Rydborn enters his third year as part of the program and expects a dramatic improvement in performance.

“This year for the first time we are going to have a fairly competitive boys team,” coach Rydborn said. “Last year, we struggled with numbers so this year we had about seven or eight people who tried out on top of the four players we already had, so I’m actually expecting the boys team to do fairly well.”

The boys team includes seniors Balthazar Cozer and Horacio Rodriguez, juniors Cesar Alfonzo and Iñaki Zuloaga, and sophomores Peter Hellebrand and Nikolas Salge.

“Girls team, we have the same three juniors from last year, and we added on a freshman and sophomore which are two of the better players,” Rydborn explained.

The juniors Emiliana Chediak, Emily Fernandez, and Veronica Eulate-Gimenez provide the experience for the club, while sophomore Mariana Naranjo, and freshman Carly Costaregni are also contributing.

As the golf team faces off Carrollton, which is a highly competitive team, The team feels like they have a shot at beating them. Although the team has recently increased there team members, they also increased there amount of practice. 

Both the boys and girls teams focused on training and development as the season neared. The team uses the Crandon golf course on nearby Key Biscayne for both practices and competitive matches.

ILS Golf coach James Rydborn preaches focus and preparation.

“Practice,” Rydborn said, “is a key part. Just trying getting the [players] into some type of routine, so that when we get to the golf course they kind of know what to do. They probably spend a couple minutes on the driving range, a couple minutes on the chipping range, and a couple minutes on the putting range.”

Coach Rydborn has his team ready and prepared this season for the challenges they face. He stressed the importance of the swing, noting a player without a good swing won’t be at his or her finest.

The players acknowledge the importance of practice as well. Junior Iñaki Zuloaga sees it as “the opportunity to get better and learn.”

Zuloaga notes the team’s ambition to represent the school and reach further than last year as a major motivating force.

The team has competed well in their first few matches this season. The girls team faced off twice against an excellent Carrollton team. Sophomore Mariana Naranjo led the team in her first match ever, shooting a 48. Junior Emiliana Chediak led the team in the second match with a low score of 51.

The boys team has split their first two matches, a loss versus MAST and a win over SLAM. Sophomore Peter Hellebrand led the team with a low score of 39 both days.

Although golf is a competitive sport, it’s a family and friendly one as well. The main reason Coach Rydborn loves the sport so much is that it brings him and his father together again just like it did during his childhood. 

The team is excited for a new year and new season and they can’t wait to show The ILS community what they have.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the golf team this year,” Zuloaga said. “I’m happy with my new teammates. I hope we have a great season.”