Phoenix Golf Tees Off to States

This year has been a successful one for the Phoenix, progressing through Districts and Regionals, and shot for honor and glory at the State Tournament.


Lars Nyman

Aiden Patel walks towards the golf hole to line up his next shot at the Brambleton Golf Course during the District Tournament.

Rock Ridge’s golf team has been advancing from one tournament to the next, propelled by senior Sydney Hackett, who scored 3rd overall at the AJGA Championship this summer and recently broke a school record for scoring -5 on 9 holes. Freshman Aiden Patel was also a vital player in the District match. Now their team is moving to the State tournament after close qualifications from the District and Regional divisions. 

In last month’s District’s match, Hackett and Patel shot  -3 and -2  below par respectively, giving the team a major advantage on the way to Regionals. At that competition, Hackett shot -2 below par, while Patel shot a more modest +9 above par. This score was not a crippling loss for the team, however, with Senior Rashmith Repala shooting a +3 above par, propelling the team to States.

Top player and team captain Sydney Hackett made a splash at 2019’s regionals, completely winning the event, and has since kept the team flying high. Hackett has been a long-time ace, also competing in All-State her sophomore and junior years. Her service as team captain also cannot be ignored, encouraging and mentoring her teammates helping them improve their form and strengths, which was vital in taking them all the way to States.

Hackett and the team are supported by other great golfers like Patel. Patel is a long-time player, since before elementary school. He has emerged as a superstar rookie upon entering Rock Ridge this year, and had just recovered from a hand injury in time for Districts. He scored -2 par, giving Rock Ridge the advantage. “Everyone’s my rival, since I want to be better than every school,” Patel said. 

The golf team has enjoyed their full season return from a season shortened by Covid-19. “Playing for Phoenix is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” freshman Maira Sadiq said. 

Coach Joseph Sheptock supported the team throughout this past year, helping the Phoenix overcome their rivals, the Titans and Lions, leaving the Phoenix and the Loudoun County Captains representing the county at States.

The Golf season for the team concluded with the States competition, which brought together high schools from across the state, along with local Loudoun County High School.  Blacksburg High took home the gold, led by the prodigious Jake Albert, followed closely by Jamestown. Loudoun County tied for 3rd with Great Bridge High, and ultimately, Rock Ridge scored 6th out of the 8 competitors, beating Salem and Powhatan.