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Scorpions tee off at home on Thursday, March 7

The Sedona Red Rock High School varsity golf team will open its season on the road against Camp Verde on Tuesday, March 5th, prior to its home opener on Thursday, March 7th at Oak Creek Country Club. They will face Chino State Williams. Valley vs. Camp Verde, 2:30 p.m. Chemistry and financial math teacher Joseph Hazlitt will be the head coach this season.

2024 SRRHS Golf Roster

Not pictured: Katrina Le

“I'm just here for moral support and to help the kids.” [and] help [Hazlitt] “As a new coach, I got to learn the ropes of what it takes to run a golf program,” said former coach Mike Webster. He noted that the game could be logistically difficult for many coaches because all games and practices are held off campus.

Oliver Payder tees off during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

“[Hazlitt’s] I felt the enthusiasm, which is great,” Webster said. “We have a young team this year: Lily.” [Williams], [Katrina Le]Oliver [Paydar] and leaf [Stevens] It's great for the sport of golf to have new kids coming back to the team. ”

Carter Pedersen tees off during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

Finding kids who want to play on sports teams has been a challenge in the Sedona-Oak Creek School District lately.

Lily Williams tees off during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

“Fortunately, we have a golf program this year,” Webster said. “I was on the fence about making it happen. So it's nice to see the community, the kids and everything coming together to get us here.”

Superintendent Tom Swaninger said at the February SOCSD board meeting that the district would ramp up sports marketing to students. Athletic Director Pedro Ortega Sr. said one of the avenues they plan to consider is social media video.

Oliver Paydar putsts a ball during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

“In softball, we [had] Last year we had 12 girls and now we have 16,” Ortega said at the start of the softball season. “On the baseball diamond, we [had] We have 11 to 12 children, and now we have 14. Sedona doesn't have a Little League program, but they are slowly growing. [for them] It's coming up. Then go for the chase. There are about 40 to 45 pieces. [who] It came out. The same principle applies when you look at tennis or golf and try to improve those problems a little bit. And obviously, push the middle school level and help grow our athletic programs. ”

Oliver Payder tees off during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

“Unfortunately, too many children have jobs but cannot. [play]'' said Hazlitt. “There were literally 20 kids who wanted to do it.”

Oliver Payder tees off during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers
Leaf Stevens tees off during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

Hazlitt grew up in rural Oklahoma and has fond memories of playing golf with friends there. She graduated from Choctaw High School there and then came to Arizona on a football scholarship.

“I was a pretty good football player. [and] I went to eastern Arizona. [College]'' said Hazlitt. “Then some of my friends moved out here and moved to Phoenix. [I] went to [Arizona State University] There I graduated in biology and did a lot of scientific research. I studied immunology…I love soccer, wrestling, and track and field. I have taught golf at other schools, but this is my first time teaching golf. ”

Hazlitt added that he has been teaching upper grades off and on for about 10 to 15 years since becoming a substitute teacher.

“I've never been to such a nice golf course with the red rocks in Sedona.” [in the background]'' said Hazlitt. “There's a power aspect to the sport itself that's fascinating…but I think it's a good way to relax and think about how it's interesting how a lot of business deals are done on the golf course.”

The power that underpins long drives on the greens is a trait that helped Paydar rank 45th out of 90 at the state level last year, and he said his long game has improved since last year. Told.

Oliver Paydar hits a ball during the Sedona Red Rock High School golf team's practice Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Oak Creek Country Club.David Jolkowski/Larson Newspapers

“Probably my irons,” Paidal said of his strength. “I was hitting them really well and they were going where I wanted them to be… Also, that's why last year I was able to go just by practicing every day during the season.” [to state]”

Pajdar added that last year's tournament average was 4 over par, but he hopes to improve on that this year. Improvement is a common theme for everyone on the team.

“You've improved a lot since day one…just think back,” Webster told Williams on the green. “You almost hit me with a ball on the chipping range… You've improved so much. You've improved so much. Now you're in your second year and it's going to get even better. .That's why it's amazing.”

Stevens added that he is looking forward to the spring course after missing the fall soccer season with an ankle injury.

“We used to play in father-son tournaments and we used to play here at Oak Creek,” Stevens said. “My dad would drive me around. He had his own golf cart. Even if I didn't have a tee time, I'd go find some random holes to play. I've been playing with him ever since we started doing this…It's a fun sport. I enjoy playing with friends, being outside and having a little break from everything.”

[We] “We won 205-210. We did pretty well,” Hazlitt said of the season opener at Camp Verde on Wednesday, March 6.

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