Corona golf team appears on course for long-awaited championship

Returning CdS junior Nathan Scherotter seen as key to Aztecs’ hopes


By Ethan Holly

With an impressive finish in last year’s 5A state tournament and its core players returning, the Corona del Sol golf team appears primed to win its first championship in over two decades.

“Two years ago we finished fifth in state; last year we were third. I think all anyone can ask for is to keep on improving,” junior Nate Scherotter said.

As a sophomore this past year, Scherotter played a key role in the Aztecs’ run, as well as being chosen by The Arizona Republic to first team all-state.

“I’d personally like to make all-state and all-city again this year,” Scherotter said. “Our team finished 19-4 last season, and when you look at our schedule I think that, if we work hard, we could go undefeated.”

Scherotter cites the determination of pro golfing legend Ben Hogan as a source of his own motivation.

“After Hogan was in a car accident, the doctors told him he would never play golf again,” Scherotter said. “Two years later he was out on the tour and he won two majors, so it’s just an inspirational story.”

With new rules effectively splitting 5A varsity athletics into two separate fields, the path to the championship was made easier for the Aztecs. The 2004 state runner-up, Desert Mountain High School, now will become 5A division two and will not compete against Corona in state. 

However, a highly rated transfer and two top-ranked incoming freshmen have made Hamilton High School an instant rival.

“Hamilton will be tough to beat,” Scherotter said. “Our team is just as good as theirs. If we play well there is no reason we can’t beat them.”

More depth

Corona junior Kevin Kruft is an example of the overwhelming depth that this year’s team has.  As a member of the JV team for the past two seasons, Kruft hopes to help aid this year’s varsity squad in its pursuit of a state championship.

“We had a deep team last year and I feel that this year’s team may even be deeper,” Kruft said.  “I’ll take our 12th man over anyone else’s in state.”

Top returning senior Mike Hedstrom is known to blast the ball 280 yards off the tee regularly best in state.

Although power plays a large role in golf, another important element is the mental aspect.

“I want to stay mentally focused this year,” Kruft said. 

“If something goes haywire I want to be able to keep going and finish the round. I have to know that the round is not over.”

With team dinners every week as well as times when the players get together to play poker or go swimming, the Aztecs are making a priority of becoming a close-knit unit.  They are cautious, however, about letting their friendships interfere with their play on the course.

“When you have friends it’s hard to keep mentally focused on the greens, but it can be done,” Kruft said.

Although the Aztecs have consistently posted one of the elite golf teams in state, you would be hard pressed to tell on the days of their competitions.

“I think our players would feel a lot more support from the school if people came out and cheered at our games,” Scherotter said. 

“It would be nice for the players to feel some recognition for all of their efforts.”