New girls golf team at Upland off to strong start

Upland High School has added not just one sport, but a couple of them. This year the school is fielding a girls golf team, a boys volleyball team and a full girls wrestling team.

The girls golf team is off to a 3-0 start heading into a match today against Bishop Amat at Mountain Meadows. The Highlanders are not in a league but do have a complete schedule so they can qualify for the CIF Southern Section postseason. They will be going as far as Van Nuys and Fullerton and are making multiple trips deep into Riverside County.

The go-ahead was given in May. Vicki Raus, an English teacher at Upland, stepped in as coach, She has always been part of a golfing family, with two younger brothers who played at Damien and then went on to play for the Air Force Academy.

“We always had golf on the television, That was our sport,” she said.

There were four girls competing on the Upland boys team last year, one of whom graduated. Those returning three – seniors Jenny Ho and Amanda Gomez and junior Amelia Castro — were the start of this team.

From there Raus did everything she could to get the word out. It worked. Now there are 20 players, 14 of whom had not played a full match until this season. Some even had to borrow a set of clubs.

“I am not surprised because this is a large community and everyone has been so supportive,” Raus said. “It is a very encouraging start.”

There appears to be a good foundation for the future. The team’s top player is freshman Gabrielle Lawrence, who is from Upland but wanted to play so badly she was debating going to another school before hearing Upland was adding the sport. Another freshman, Julie Silva, has also been consistently in the team’s top five.

“It really has been a lot of fun starting a team from scratch,” Raus said, “It has already been so rewarding

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