The St. Anthony girls’ golf team made history on Tuesday by beating St. Joseph 250-253 at Lakewood Country Club to clinch the first league championship in school history. The Saints (11-1, 7-0) are on an 11-game winning streak and were led by junior Sofia McGuiness, senior Eryn Cayetano and senior Emily Curtin.
The St. Anthony boys’ golf team also had historic success this year, and the two teams have gone a combined 24-1 with a pair of league championships.
We caught up with coach Chris McGuiness after the win to talk about this team.
Question: St. Anthony started its program just three years ago, so are you surprised you’ve had success?
Answer: We never thought we would reach the success we have had so quickly, especially with St. Joseph in our league. They have ruled the league long before we came along, and graduated a D1 golfer and tournament professional last year.
Q: Did the players start with any experience?
A: The entire team was new to the sport when they arrived. Many didn’t even own golf clubs. This season we have had strong showings in victories over St. Joseph, beating them all three meetings this year. We also have nice wins over Long Beach Poly, St. Paul, LaSalle (Pasadena) and Bishop Montgomery.
Q: Who are your team leaders?
A: Junior captain Sofia McGuiness was a CIF qualifier last year, and continues to improve. She had an even par (37) round this season at Lakewood Country Club. She is the anchor of our scoring, and when she is playing well, we usually all play well. USC tennis commit and senior Eryn Cayetano is our other captain and leads the team by her example of professionalism and work ethic. She manages her tennis in the afternoons with her personal 6:00 a.m. golf practice each morning. Senior AJ Edwards is also a consistent scorer who brings enthusiasm and fun to the team.
Q: How is the team chemistry, and where do they find motivation?
A: This is a group of girls who just love to be together and they work hard every day. They always fear the end of the season because they enjoy their time playing together. We graduate half of our starting six this year, so if we were ever going to win league, this was the best chance. Last year, a blank league championship banner was hung in our gym next to all the other, established sports, and it has been hanging there blank for the past year. Seeing it in the gym served as motivation because these girls couldn’t stand seeing that blank banner hanging with all the other banners full of championship seasons. We often talked about changing that so that we could walk in that gym with pride knowing that the banner actually belonged up there. Now they have earned that banner.