Eastside Boys Golf: Districts Preview

When you think of high school sports, which ones come to mind? Football, basketball, soccer, and track are all popular answers. One that isn’t mentioned nearly as much is golf. Golf is a fall sport here at Eastside, and spans from the first day of school until early November. With the regular season behind them and districts ahead, let’s take a closer look at the 2022 boys golf team. 


The boy’s golf team is a 7-man squad and represents 3 grades at Eastside (no sophomores are on the team). Beckett Baldwin is the lone freshman on the team, accompanied by juniors Zachary Bargar, Nicholas Reyes, Aryaman Siriam, Noah Burkley, and seniors Eric Bennet and Benjamin Davis. Despite the grade disparities on the team, chemistry is something that characterizes Eastside’s golf team. No matter the circumstances, these players can count on each other for support and companionship on the course. 4 years of high school golf give Ben Davis and Eric Bennett a leadership position and attitude for the younger players on the team to look up to, but each individual brings something unique and valuable to the team. 


Count on Beckett Baldwin to have a great attitude in practice and in match no matter how his round is faring, and also to sink a clutch putt when needed. 


Zach Bargar is a fiery competitor who loves to have a bit of fun on the course when he can. As a year-round baseball player, the powerful fade he hits with his clubs is a threat to land close to the flagstick. 


Nicholas Reyes can always lighten the mood on the course with his clever humor, something valuable to team morale. With his improvements since last season, he was essential at the number 3 spot on the team this year.  


Aryaman Siriam is the only lefty on the team, and it’s always a challenge to see who can hit his clubs the best on the driving range. His calm demeanor perfectly matches his calm playstyle.


Noah Burkley was a new player on the team, but his baseball background gave him a great foundation for his developing golf swing. His improvement this year will no doubt carry into next season. 


Eric Bennet is a high school golf icon in Gainesville because of his great care-free attitude and hilarious presence on the course. His team spirit is unmatched, and plays a vital role in team chemistry.


Out of humility, the following paragraph was written by fellow writer Jakob Gorham. 


Senior Ben Davis is a 4-year varsity player, number 1 on the team, and one of the best golf talents Eastside has produced in the last decade. He holds two separate Eastside course records, and has individually moved on to regionals twice since freshman year. His skill and positivity make for the ideal captain.


With districts on Monday, October 24, the team is preparing to take on Palatka Golf Course, which requires good drives and accurate approach shots to cope with narrow fairways and tiny greens. The Rams have recently played the course in the annual Highway 20 Cup against the Palatka Panthers, a Ryder Cup style matchup between the two high schools. Unfortunately, the Rams weren’t able to take the Cup home this year, but gained valuable insight about the course’s condition and layout, which will be helpful at districts. 


Districts present tough competition every year for the Rams, and only the top three teams and individuals advance to regionals. The team is looking to move on for the first time in all of these fellows’ careers, but high schools like Tocoi Creek, St. Augustine, and Matanzas are looking to take that advancing spot away from the Rams. If the Rams stay focused and play their game, they have a shot at a regional berth in Pensacola. Wish them luck on Monday as they head into what may be the last match of their season.