Seniors lead Grace Academy golf teams

Grace Academy junior Ryan Bronder chips the ball onto the putting green as he and a few teammates play horse at Cedarcrest Golf Course.   - Danielle Szulczewski
Grace Academy junior Ryan Bronder chips the ball onto the putting green as he and a few teammates play horse at Cedarcrest Golf Course.
— image credit: Danielle Szulczewski

MARYSVILLE — Two seniors will play a key role in leading the Grace Academy boys and girls golf teams this spring.

After a heart condition threatened the life of then-junior Grant Weinberg early last season, he was sidelined much of the season, returning to the course in time to compete in the district tournament but failing to qualify for the state competition. Now a senior, Weinberg’s health kept him off the soccer field and basketball course this year, but he has been approved to return to the golf team.

“He came back, he’s our No. 1 golfer this year and we’re praying that he has a whole season this year,” said Grace coach Don Voges.

Also returning from last year’s district tournament on the boys’ side is sophomore Dylan Falk. Both boys picked up golf during high school, but have shown growth.

Weinberg took up the sport as a freshman and showed a natural aptitude, Voges said, counting hard work and a solid drive as the player’s strengths. Falk’s family has played golf and the sophomore learned the sport from his father, who is a golf instructor.

“Last year was his coming out year as a freshman, seeing whether he likes it or not, and he seems to,” Voges added.

The coach aspires to send both players to the state tournament this year, which will be held at the Tri-City Country Club in Kennewick.

A third Grace golfer seems like a probable state golfer — senior Ariell Eneix represented the Grace Academy girls in the state tournament last year, where she placed seventh. Golf is a family activity for the Eneixes as well. Ariell started playing at a young age and is the third of her siblings to compete for the Eagles on the links.

“She has a very well-balanced game. She knows all the strokes well. She’s a very dedicated and hard worker,” Voges said.

The rest of the boys and girls teams are composed of a mix of young players, new players and a couple of up-and-comers.

Grace Academy competes in a small league that just got a little larger this year. Bellingham-area school St. Paul’s Academy joins Lopez Island and Highland Christian in the league this year. Grace will meet the Knights in the teams’ first league encounter at Snohomish Golf Course March 24.

With such small schools, golfers from Grace and Highland Christian often compete in other sports throughout the year, creating something of a rivalry between the schools.

“But being that golf is an individual sport as much as a team competition, the players are friends on and off the course,” Voges said. “Participating in other sports, they’ve seen each other before. It’s a friendly one.”

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