Nogales High School golf coach David Jimenez said he’s been hearing a lot of talk from his three top-seeded seniors about making the Division II state championship tournament this year.
So he made a deal with them:
“I told them, ‘You make it to state this year, I’ll buy you dinner.’ If they don’t, they buy me dinner,” he said.
So far, the players appear to be on track to get the better of the deal.
On Wednesday, seniors Diego Medina, Gustavo Acosta and Raymundo Ruiz teamed up with junior Luis Romero to shoot a combined 160, giving the Apaches the win in a three-team match with Rio Rico (220) and Desert View (249) at the Tubac Golf Resort.
Playing the resort’s par-35 Anza course, Ruiz had the best score of the bunch at 38 – and reminded his coach afterward that that was the score he had predicted for himself. Medina was next at 39, followed by Acosta at 41 and Romero at 42.
Two players improved their scores from Monday’s match at Santa Rita and one stayed the same.
“They want to make it to state. They’re shooting better. I told them on Monday that actions are worth more than words … I said, ‘Show me by actions, and we’ll see.’ And the results are right there,” Jimenez said, pointing to Wednesday’s scorecard.
Playing the course
Joseph Coil, a senior on the Rio Rico team, had the best score of the match at 37.
It was also the best score of his career.
“It feels very fulfilling, it feels very amazing because golf is really hard and it’s a very mental sport,” he said. “Afterward I started crying because I was really trying to hold myself together.”
Asked what made the difference for him on Wednesday, Coil said:
“The key for me was really playing my swing – not comparing myself to somebody else… I played the course and just took that into consideration: not playing so aggressive, be chill and just play the course.”
His strong showing on Wednesday earned Coil a congratulatory hug from his coach, Rico Quiroz. It will also serve as a big confidence-builder going forward, he said.
“I just look forward to what I can do, and make my swing better and just get better from there,” he said.
His brother, Rio Rico sophomore Tiziano Coil, shot a 53 on Wednesday, the second-best score for the Hawks. Freshman Gibram O’Campo was next at 57, and junior Gerardo O’Campo finished strong with a birdie on the final hole.
Michael Cota-Robles was the top golfer for Desert View, finishing with a 49.
Rio Rico and Nogales both return to action on Aug. 30 at the Tubac Golf Resort. The Hawks are set to host Cholla and Douglas on the Anza course, while Nogales takes on Palo Verde and Sahuarita on the Rancho course.