Girls' golf team splits from co-ed. team for fall season

Gavin Libbey, Author

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After years of joining the boys in the spring, Palo Alto High School girls have generated enough support to bring back a separate girl’s golf team which began play earlier this fall.

According to junior co-captain Michelle Xie, a big reason for the decision to move the girls’ team is increased interest in the sport.

The co-ed team last year consisted of 12 students, but only two were girls, Xie and then-junior Annie Chen, who are the current co-captain of the girls’ team. In recent years, there haven’t been more than three girls on the team. The team only stayed co-ed because of low participation by girls, but with more girls interested this year, they were able to split the team. There are nine girls on the team this season, which surpassed the minimum number of six to fill out a roster.

“We determined we would split the team in two last year because we knew we had enough interest to form a girl’s team,” Chen said.

The decision to split the team was made last year by the co-ed team and the golf coach, Doyle Knight.

Another reason behind the split was because of how competitive the co-ed team was due to it being based on the boys’ team’s season.

“I know many girls were a bit intimidated playing with the boys and from their yardages,” Xie said.

“We decided to branch off to give all the girls the chance to play against girls closer to our level,” Chen said. “We’re also more relaxed and less competitive with one another.”

“Everyone on the team is super nice,” Xie said.

Having an all girls’ team also allows for a better bonding between the members.

“It’s definitely different from having a co-ed team,” Chen said. “The girl’s team enjoys doing and organizing team bonding activities more.”

“Having a separate team gives us a chance to bring together these girls,” Xie said.

The captains are confident in the new team, which is currently ranked near the top of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League. After playing five schools so far, the team has only lost one match against Gunn High School.

“I think we are one of the strongest teams in the area,” Xie said.

The team will play each school in the SCVAL twice before the championship on Oct. 22. Their next match is against Wilcox on Sept. 30. The team hopes to qualify for CCS Championships on Oct. 29, in Carmel Valley.