Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Teeing up Fore Success

Posted 11/10/2017 by Madeleine Abram

TJ concludes the 2017 fall season on a high note. (L to R: Stacey Fornstrom, Andrew Villescas, Roger Nakagawa, Mark Smith)

Two Spartans represented TJ at the Colorado State Golf Championship.

On October 2nd and 3rd, the annual Colorado State Golf Championship resurfaced after a series of immensely competitive and highly selective tournaments, comprised of hundreds of high school students. Amongst the final 84 competitors were two TJ students yearning for the title of 4A Colorado State Champion.

Seniors Andrew Villescas and Roger Nakagawa are both vital members of the boys’ varsity golf team, which they’ve been a part of since their freshman year. As a result of their extensive experience, the boys have been able to engage in an abundance of opportunities including the recent Colorado State Golf Championship. In order to qualify for the state championship, one must first compete at the regional level competition held in Montrose, Colorado at the Bridges Golf Course. The Spartans ranked 4th overall at regionals, however Villescas placed 16th individually, and Nakagawa tied for 12th. From here, the top 21 players out of 84 potential qualifiers were granted the unique opportunity to compete at the state tournament at Raccoon Creek Golf Course in Littleton, CO.

“On tournament day,” Villescas stated, “ I went out super early and due to the cold weather and rain, the green was frozen. This makes putting in particular super difficult because you can’t accurately gauge how the ball will roll.” However, despite these challenges, Villescas prevailed and shot an 86 on the first day, ranking 36th out of 84 golfers, and shot a 93 on the second day. “When I first found out I made [state], I didn’t know how to react. This was actually my first time going to state, so I was super excited,” Villescas went on to explain. Both Nakagawa and Villescas were merely a few putts away from qualifying for state in these past few years. However, this was not Nakagawa’s first time at state. Nakagawa competed at the state competition his freshman year. “I love being able to compete in a major tournament where I represent and play for TJ, my coaches, and my school,” Nakagawa said. At the state tournament, he placed 12th after tying for 4th in the first round, shooting 75 and 81.

Despite the results of the tournament, the boys were gifted with the honor of competing at the most prestigious high school level golf competition in Colorado. Villescas stated, “It was an incredible experience to be able to spend my last season of golf representing TJ.” Overall, the Colorado State Golf Championship was an excellent conclusion to both the golf season and the high school experience of Villescas and Nakagawa.