Last year was a special year for California Pintos golf as they won their first state championship in school history with a combind score of 671. Now, head coach Lance Boyd and the Pintos are back and set to defend their title in 2023.
Boyd believes this year's team could potentially be better than the state championship team last year because of the progress of the upperclassmen and the skill level of the underclassmen.
"All of our varsity players look like they have improved from last year. Will Boyd, Ayden Howard, Jackson Hackett, Jackson Cassil and Chase Schlup will be starting varsity at our first tournament, but they will have plenty of competition for their spots," Boyd said. "We also have six freshmen on the team this year, and I look for each of them to improve as they gain experience this season."
Boyd said their Tri-County Conference rivals have also improved their games in the off-season and both Eldon and Hallsville are the strongest teams heading into the season. California's season will be filled with tournaments that are designed to get them prepared for the task of defending their title.
One of those tournaments will be in South Carolina, as the Pintos were invited to participate in an out-of-state tournament with some of the best high school golf teams around the country in April.
"This tournament will be a great reward for the boys winning the State Championship last year. It will be a great team-bonding experience where they get to see great golfers from all over the country. I'm sure they will make California proud," Boyd said. "These boys were so happy to bring a State Championship home to California last year. They were excellent representatives of our community in the way they played and the way they conducted themselves. They are excited for another opportunity to win it all again."
The Pintos tee off their season on Monday at the Tolton Catholic Invitational in Columbia.