AV’s girls varsity golf team has best season on record and sends Jaclyn Laha to the Olympic U.S. Open


Players: Brooke Yi (21′), Charolette Ryoo (21′), Rachel Shaw (21′), Kate Lynn (21′), Kyra Howard (23′), Nikita Jadhav (23′), and Jaclyn Laha (23′)

Matthew Carter, AVT EIC

Amador Valley’s golf team’s motto has always been “make awesome happen”. The girls varsity golf team did exactly that this year by being the best golf team in Amador history. Team members Brooke Yi, Charlotte Ryoo, Rachel Shaw, Kate Lynn, Kyra Howard, Nikita Jadhav, and Jaclyn Laha weren’t able to attend a state championship due to COVID, but were able to compete in local competitions and broke records doing so.

“Together, the seven of them, was the deepest and strongest team that Amador Valley High School girl’s golf program has ever had. They won every single match they played this year with dominance. They shot low 180’s which is equivalent to winning state championships,” said golf coach Mr. Bello.

In terms of scoring for golf, when you take nine holes and you add up five players, you get a total. 180 is par (the number of strokes a skilled player should need to take to complete a hole). Our Amador girls have been averaging low 180’s which is beyond exceptional for a high school golf team. 

“The saddest thing about the pandemic year is that this team did not get the appropriate attention or acknowledgement of their supreme awesomeness… but that doesn’t mean that there was a lot of loss… The fact that these girls show up to every match to play, is awesome… there’s a lot of value to high school sports,” said Bello.

Not only did they win big and thrive as a team, but sophomore Jacalyn Laha won herself a spot to compete at the women’s U.S. open this summer.

“I went to a qualifier with about 54 people, and the top 2 people would qualify to get to the U.S womans open which is a big tournament for professionals. I think it’s like the biggest women’s tournament in Arizona, so I was a little bit intimidated at first, but I was trying to stay calm, and it was good.” says Jaclyn Laha (‘23).

Even with the unfortunate setbacks of this crazy year, the girls have persevered and thrived in their sport.

Such a high honor and portrayal of skill brings pride to not just Laha, but her teammates and coach as well.

“I cried for a full day practically when I told people. I was so overwhelmed with joy. I’ve coached since 2003 at Amador, and I’ve coached 22 seasons of golf, and to see someone go to the professional level and see their excellence… that is really remarkable,” said Bello.

Laha has been golfing since she was seven years old, and sticks to a strict schedule of practicing for three hours every day on her own or with her teammates. With the skill and commitment Laha shows in golf, it’s obvious the sport will take her great places.

“I really want to be professional. I think it’s a really cool sport. I love how competitive it is, it’s an individual sport but you get to play on a team. I love that about the sport,” said Laha.

With her talent, Laha brings a special something to the already near perfect golf team. She alone did not win every single match this season. All seven of the incredible varsity players deserve enormous credit for the work they’ve done this year.

“The 2021 Amador Valley High School varsity golf team exemplified true champions. They represented the school as true champions of character and talent and team. To put all those together makes special. It’s obviously a special year, in not all the best ways, but it’ll be unforgettable,” said Bello