The Girls Golf Team: A COVID Year

By Ella Schaffer, Staff Writer

Pictured from left to right: Chloe Guzik 24’, Anika Dewjee 22’, Grace He 23’, Michelle Liang 22’, and Coach Simpson

The girls Payton golf season ended with its last practice on September 28th along with a few matches that went past that date. Led by Coach Rick Simpson, the golf team has 9 players. The team’s two seniors, Anika Dewjee ‘22 and Michelle Liang ‘22, lead the team as captains. The small team included freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior players and two teams: junior varsity and varsity. An anonymous golf team member said that she “really liked having the small team. Unlike sports with really big teams, in golf it’s really easy to get to know everyone.” 

Dewjee explained how “the team qualified for cities and came 3rd” and how she “came second place as an individual at city.” She thought that the season was “very fun.” Dewjee and Liang also advanced to regionals and then to sectionals. 

COVID restrictions didn’t interfere with the season this year other than the wearing of masks. COVID restrictions were more relevant during the last golf season. “The team practiced normally this year. I’m glad that COVID did not inhabit the team’s ability to meet, compete, and practice,” said an anonymous golf team member. Practices were still held at Jackson Park, Marquette Park, and South Shore golf courses. Practices included practicing playing nine hole games, putting, and hitting at driving ranges.

“The 2021 season was transformational for Payton Girls golf in several ways. As we have enjoyed a long tradition of winning and accumulating multiple city championships as well as individual champions, the 2021 team truly had to survive on their own merits,” said Coach Simpson. “We had no returning champions and our Seniors for the first time felt the burden of carrying the team. This was the perfect season for our underclassmen golfers to develop! I believe that our team learned that championships are not given, but earned. Most importantly, all of our girls were given a chance to participate in the competitive process.” Despite the varying levels of ability, every member of the golf team was able to compete. 

Coach Rick says that he “look[s] forward to the 2022 season with this group of young ladies!” Although the season has ended, the team looks forward to next year.

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