The boys’ golf team is on a roll. On Sunday, September 25 they won the Cape Cod National Invitational tournament, and just over a week later, on October 6, they finished in the top ten in the Bay State Conference All Star Match. These wins are a huge accomplishment for the team since before the past couple of weeks, only occasionally had Boys golf been invited to, and scored so well at selective matches. In fact, the team has only been invited to the Cape Cod Invitational once before, in 2019.
“I’m not even sure if we’ve ever won a tournament before,” said player Michael Votapka ’23.
Coming out of two years of masked practices and the confusion of close-contact tracing, the team’s hard work finally paid off.
Votapka explained why winning the Cape Cod invitational was such an accomplishment. “Since they invite all the top teams from every division in Massachusetts, whoever wins the tournament is basically the best team in the state,” he said.
The team credits their continued success to their dedication to the game. Coach Kenneth Bateman agrees that the team has a core group of players who are incredibly hard-working and truly love the game.
“Because they [players in the core group] work so hard, the number of really bad days are few and far between,” said Bateman.
Votapka points out how unlike teams from other schools, many Wellesley players only play golf and are committed to practice year-round. This level of dedication is what makes them so good, he says.
“A lot of players on the team are very committed and passionate. We have a winning mentality,” said Votapka.
This all sounds very impressive, but for those of us who do not completely understand how a golf match works and why winning matters, Votapka describes how in golf, teams actually have a low chance of winning.
“In other sports, it’s usually one team vs another team, so there’s a 50 percent chance of winning. But in golf, especially individually, you can be going up against 150 other people, and as a team, we go up against about 12 other teams,” said Votapka.
Looking to the future, the team hopes to keep up their winning streak through the Baystate championship, beginning on October 17 with a South Massachusetts sectional match, and potentially onto nationals. Though he knows that winning would be difficult, coach Bateman is confident that his team will continue to play hard and bring their all to each match.
“The thing with golf is that you could have a really good day or you could have a really bad day. Do we have the potential of having a really good day? Absolutely. I believe the boys that they can do it, but you never know what could happen with other teams.”
Despite the immense challenge that making it even to states offers, the team is determined to keep up their winning streak all the way to nationals.
“That would really be a cherry on top,” said Votapka.