The mission of the Wylie East High School news site is to inform, educate and entertain readers. Established Jan. 13, 2011. Principal: Mrs. Tiffany Doolan; Adviser: Ms. Kimberly Creel

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The mission of the Wylie East High School news site is to inform, educate and entertain readers. Established Jan. 13, 2011. Principal: Mrs. Tiffany Doolan; Adviser: Ms. Kimberly Creel

Blue Print

The mission of the Wylie East High School news site is to inform, educate and entertain readers. Established Jan. 13, 2011. Principal: Mrs. Tiffany Doolan; Adviser: Ms. Kimberly Creel

Blue Print

Road to regionals: A preview

Raider golf team discusses their journey to regionals and what the qualification means for them.
photo credit: Myra Wied
Golfin’ off // Several players of the varsity golf team walk across the course during afternoon practice. The team was all smiles finding out about their regional qualification. “The team was very, very excited. Everybody was very proud of each other, whenever we qualified,” senior Jalen Gimenez said.

Twelve strokes. That’s the number which secured the Raider golf team’s spot for regionals during their district tournament March 27.

For the first time in program history, the boys golf team finds themselves with a ticket to regionals in Waco next week, beating Wylie High and clinching second place in district behind Sachse High School. 

“It’s a one in a million type thing, especially being the first ones to do it,” senior Jalen Gimenez said. “It’s really accomplishing as a golfer that’s been playing for as long as I have, because it’s really hard to do.” 

The journey for the regional ticket was not an easy one, yet the team showed resilience despite the long, anticipating line of the multiple schools competing for the ticket. 

“It was a grind,” junior Kannon Kovar said. “Coach Spicer said we had to put together one of the best two rounds of the year and told the team that we can do it. After the second day, we all pulled off low 80s, we were beating Wylie High and we were going to regionals after that.” 

Resilience accompanied by inspiration, another driving factor in the team’s win for the regional ticket. 

“When we found out we qualified, it was really inspirational, in a way,” Gimenez said. “The team worked together and we exceeded our goals. We were confident in that, but we exceeded our goals pretty well.” 

The conditions in the long, winding line for the regional tickets seemed almost ideal for the Raider golf team: cool weather, solid performance from the team all-around and a crosstown knockout by 12 strokes. But the hard work from the team, together, is what made the anxious wait in line worth it. 

“We’ve been playing all year, we had different guys show up at some good times,” Coach Matt Spicer said. “We had four, five guys that peaked at the right time. Everybody played well together, our grind is how I’d describe our journey.” 

The district trophy and regionals ticket mark the team’s success this year, but they aren’t indicative, in the slightest, of the team’s underlying buzz around the qualification. 

“I’m so excited,” Gimenez said. “It’s a surreal feeling, going to regionals especially after learning how to play golf in my beginning stages. Regionals has been my goal since I started playing golf for Wylie East, so qualifying was a weight off my shoulders and also a huge, huge inspiration.” 

The team’s ticket for regionals has left some golfers merely awestruck at the outcome.

“I felt special [knowing we qualified],” Kovar said. “And the team felt accomplished and very proud of each other.” 

Qualification means that I’m capable of doing things, and it shows that if you put hard work and determination in what you love to do, you’re gonna get something out of it. As for everyone in Wylie East, it means anything’s possible.”

— Jalen Gimenez, senior

The regional qualification doesn’t only mark the team’s elation of school history in the making; it also marks a higher standard now set for the Raider golf program for the current squad and future golfers. 

“I hope the qualification sets a bar for the next group that’s up, we have a good freshman class that’s coming up, so setting the bar high and seeing what it takes to make it to that level,” Spicer said. “It’s a lot of hard work, and it takes time and effort. It’s really good for the years coming and this year, of course, for those boys.” 

With the Region Two tournament just around the corner, the golf team prepares for their regional trip, packing a bag full of weeks worth of practice with them. 

“Practice, practice, practice, practice: practice short game, practice playing, practice hitting on range, that’s all it is right now,” Spicer said. “Rinse and repeat, making sure we get our drills in, get our work in, hit plenty of balls. Just going out and playing holes, making sure we’re leaning on each other as a team.” 

Alongside their weeks worth of practice in their bag, rests their perseverance as a team and individually.

“Regionals was a goal that everybody was seeking to accomplish, whether that be going out there and playing really good or going out there and not doing too good,” Gimenez said. “One thing I keep in mind is that we got to where we are and whether we play bad or really good, we still carry that grit into the next stage.”

However, like every trip, everyone brings along their own bag, packed with their own belongings; for the North Texas PGA senior, Gimenez anticipates leaving a mark on the school. 

“As a senior, I hope to do my best, personally,” Gimenez said. “I hope to leave regionals and Wylie East with a reputation. And being a part of the first team to do it is something I also really hope to leave the tournament with.” 

For the TXGA junior Kovar, he aims on leaving his best on the course, keeping in mind to be satisfied with the regional ticket.

“Just going out there, having fun and putting a couple of good scores in,” Kovar said. “And just enjoying the experience.” 

As for Coach Spicer, he hopes his team goes out and competes, never throwing in the towel too soon. 

“I just want them to go out there and compete and have fun,” Spicer said. “Just go out there and compete the best they can. Bad things happen, so just keep going, keep competing, never quit, never give up, and lean on your teammates. If the first day doesn’t go well, go out there the second day and compete. And if the first day does great, keep on doing it and keep competing.” 

The Region Two tournament takes place April 14 and 15 on the Bear Ridge Course in Waco. The team anticipates taking on a variety of schools, ranging from Sachse, The Woodlands, Rockwall, Rockwall Heath and Conroe Springs, but the competition doesn’t kill the team’s elation around their regional ticket. 

“I feel excited, I’m excited to see how they do, they worked hard, so just go out there and see what happens,” Spicer said. “See how good they can play and do everything they can hope to do.” 

Twelve strokes, but a first time trip to regionals, the team not only heading to make school history, but also hoping to leave the same air of inspiration the team took in after their qualification. 

“Golf here has taught me a lot of things: how to work, how to be determined,” Gimenez said. “I still think that anything’s possible if you put your mind to it.” 

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About the Contributor
Lobna Bougacha
Lobna Bougacha, Contributor
I’m like Hannah Montana if being a contributor for the Blueprint while being a senior about to graduate was my secret identity…  Now it’s not so secret, but like Miley and Hannah, I’d say I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’m Lobna, I love hanging out with my friends, writing (of course), running and watching the Premier League. I hope you’re a fan of the stories I put out the same way I’m a fan of Arsenal (Come on you Gunners) and Morad. Did I already mention I’m a fan of Morad? And Arsenal? Anyways, like Morad once said, “Siempre en mi lugar, siempre soy peculiar (‘I’m always in my place, I’m always strange’)”, so catch me roaming the halls at East either talking with somebody or heading to find somebody to talk to… and definitely tell me “hi” if you see me! I can’t wait to get as many stories written down before the end of this year! It’s been a dubeast year so far,  and I can’t wait to see how it ends!

Comments (3)

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  • A

    AdriannaApr 12, 2024 at 7:54 pm

    Definitely proud of this team. Wonderful accomplishment. Keep it up!

  • G

    GloriaApr 12, 2024 at 6:28 pm

    Awesome story! Wishing our Raider golf team all the best 🙂

  • L

    lobna b.Apr 12, 2024 at 5:10 pm

    special thank you to myra wied & nina alemayehu for helping me get this article done!!😁