Thomas Jefferson

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Swinging Through the Season

Posted 10/19/2016 by Morgan VandeRiet

The TJ boys' golf team was proud to play in the 4A Regionals golf tournament in Fruita, CO. (L to R Devin Mauro-Gallegos, Eddie Aldridge, Roger Nakagawa, Coach Stacey Fornstrom, Jessie Aldridge.) photo by Randy Nakagawa.

The boys’ golf team had another strong season ending with the top players participating in the 4A regionals tournament.

The boys’ golf team had an eventful season that took them to several golf courses around the state. Their season began before the 2016-2017 school year started, so they had plenty of practice to have a solid season.

Software engineering teacher Stacey Fornstrom has coached the TJ’s boys’ golf team since 2004, with social studies teacher and girls’ golf coach Mark Smith as an assistant coach. Fornstrom said that throughout the season, the boys improved every week. He explained that as the season continued, the players worked on avoiding hitting shots out of bounds and “[their] short game got a lot better, so they weren’t missing shots on the green.”

For their All City League tournaments, the boys finished strong with second place in the Denver Prep League standings with a team score of 235. Junior Roger Nakagawa finished the All City League matches with a 75.75 average and earned 1st Team All-League Honors, with freshman Eddie Aldridge and junior Jessie Aldridge earning 2nd Team All-League Honors. The top scores for the City Cup at Willis Case Golf Course were an 81 for Eddie, 79 for Jessie, and 75 for Nakagawa. This year, the team’s City Cup score of 235 was five strokes better than last year’s, and the best team score since Fornstrom began coaching at TJ. “I’m proud of the jumps that we as a team have made. [The players] keep getting better and better and we’re having more competition,” explained Nakagawa.

Following the end of the league matches, the boys headed four hours away to the Adobe Creek Golf Course in Fruita, Colorado, on September 19th for the 4A regionals tournament in a strong attempt to qualify for state. Nakagawa, Jessie and Eddie Aldridge, and senior Devin Mauro-Gallegos were the top varsity players who played at regionals. Unfortunately, the team did not play as well as they had hoped, and ended up with a team score of 260, placing 11th out of 16 teams. “Overall, it was a pretty positive year. Just a little hiccup at regionals,” Fornstrom reflected.

As for next season, the coaches elaborated that practicing and playing during the off season is key in order for the boys to return next season more confident than ever. Although none of the boys qualified for state, they are looking forward to making improvements for next season. Nakagawa explained, “I’m looking forward to another chance for regionals, hopefully next year I’ll be able to win state and bring that back to TJ.”