South Tahoe Vikings put young team on golf course
Whether its gusty winds, slick greens or a downpour, golfers have no control of the elements in their sport.
Veteran South Tahoe High coach Mike Patterson certainly has a number of factors working against his program as the Vikings prepare for their season-opening tournament on Wednesday at Wolf Run Golf Club in Reno.
Gone is Kyle Mazzoni, the best player in the program’s 15-year history. Last season, Mazzoni became the first Viking to win a regional medal by placing fifth, then he finished a school-record 11th at the state tournament.
In all, only four of 13 players return from last year’s squad. Seniors Kaz Kosciolek, Gavin Booth and Paul Passaretti and sophomore Payton Guttry form the foundation of the program.
“Gavin, Kaz and Paul all have some varsity experience, but none of them played a lot last year,” Patterson said. “We will play two guys who haven’t played high school golf.”
Patterson’s young team didn’t benefit from the weather last week. Tryouts were delayed by rain and snow, depriving the team valuable practice time.
As young as the Vikings are, the team will have to grow up in a hurry because of the realignment of schools in the Sierra Division. South Tahoe has qualified for the regional tournament seven of the past nine years.
“All of the top golf schools, with the exception of Reno and Spanish Springs, are in our league,” Patterson said. “We’re definitely in a much tougher golf division, and it’s going to be really tough for us.
“We’ll be a little rusty early in the season. The more time we spend on golf, the better it’s going to be for us.”
Patterson has been the only head coach in the program’s history. He said the players will again benefit from the instruction of Steve Madison and Tim Mazzoni.
“I really enjoy working with the kids, and I’ve been very lucky that Steve Madison has been with me most of my 15 years,” Patterson said. “It’s not something I could do without his help, and Tim Mazzoni’s. Those two guys keep me going along with the kids.”
2009 South Tahoe golf schedule
Date Venue Time
Wednesday Wolf Run 11 a.m.
Friday Genoa 11:30 a.m.
March 26 Wolf Run Noon
March 30 Lakeridge Noon
April 2 El Dorado 3 p.m.
April 7 Fallon GC Noon
April 21 Genoa Lakes Noon
April 23 Carson TBA
April 27 Arrowcreek 11 am.
May 6 Lake Tahoe GC Noon
May 11-12 Regionals at Thunder Canyon TBA
May 20-21 State at Red Hawk Lakes TBA