The Columbus Explorers golf team finished last season in a heartbreaker losing in a playoff to Cypress Bay High School to compete in the state championship. After that end to last season, they responded this year with one of the most successful seasons in the school’s history, playing with one of the youngest rosters in south Florida.
Riding on the shoulders of the lone senior, Rafa Martinez, the team was looking for nothing but success. Coming into the season not many people believed that the Explorers would do as well as they did. “We played for each other here; we succeed because none of us were selfish and wanted to win for each other,” said senior Rafa Martinez, who has recently committed to Barry University. “This team I’ve been a part of has helped me prepare for what lies ahead of for college with playing as a team and believing in each other,” he added.
Even coach Michael Marinelli doubted the team at the beginning, but mid-way through the season, his mind-set started to change. “As the season went on we started winning tournaments and started building confidence, and I started thinking that this team has a chance to do something special,” said Marinelli. As the season went on, the team did start to show success,winning their last four tournaments, including districts and regionals, leading into states. Even though they did not have the ending they would have liked performing poorly at the state championship, they still had one of the most successful seasons in the school’s history.
With having such a young roster, the team needed to look to a player who has experience and is going to return next year as one of the key players. Junior Jake Moscoso was that player. Last year as a sophomore he was one of the anchors in the playoff to go states against Cypress Bay, but they unfortunately fell short by one stroke. He also made third team all Dade as a sophomore. “The best part about our team is that we have created a bond that is inseparable and the trust we have in each other is key to be successful again next year,” said Jake Moscoso. He is one of the most important players for the Explorers returning next year and is going to have to be the leader of the team.
Overall, the success of the team is going to depend on how much each player believes in themselves and each other. It will not be a easy road back but it’s something the Explorer golf team is not afraid of.
Gabriel Gonzalez, and Jake Moscoso contributed to the production of this package.