Crystal Springs golfer David Madding played quite the joke on coach Ed Larios following the Gryphons’ West Bay Athletic League match at Poplar Creek Golf Course in San Mateo Tuesday.
“I came over to get his scorecard and he said, ‘Coach, I really screwed up,’” Larios recounted. “I said, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘I shot a 68.’ I said, ‘What?’”
Turns out he was just pulling Larios’ leg. Not only did Madding not shoot a 68, he fired a new school and high school record at Poplar Creek with a 5-under par 31.
“Two years ago, Ethan Wong from Menlo shot a 34 and that was an outstanding score,” Larios said. “There have also been some 33s.”
But none lower than Madding’s score Tuesday. Madding played a bogey-free round on the front-nine of Poplar Creek, draining five birdies. The amazing thing is, Madding could have gone even lower.
“He was putting for eagle four times,” Larios said. “David’s not even our No. 1 golfer. Our No. 1 (Rashad Jaymes) shot [an even-par] 36 after being 3-over for the first three holes.
“[Jaymes, who played in the first group with Madding] said David was on fire. He said it was real exciting to watch.”
Making the score even better is the fact Madding is not a golfer by trade. He’s a soccer player. He was named the WBAL’s Midfielder of the Year and Larios said he will be attending Williams College in Massachusetts this fall to play soccer.
“I didn’t expect this. I expected it from [Jaymes] because he’s a much better golfer and he puts in the time,” Larios said. “David is a great athlete. If he dedicated himself to golf the way he is dedicated to soccer, he could be a great golfer.”
Not that Madding doesn’t have any golf experience. Larios said Madding and his family are members at Burlingame Country Club and that Madding told him last week he played Olympic Club in San Francisco and shot a 92 on that challenging course.
Poplar Creek is a walk in the park compared to Olympic Club.
“Poplar is a course you can do that (go really low),” Larios said. “There’s not a lot of trouble there.”
Given Madding’s go-for-it style, Larios said he wouldn’t have been surprised if Madding did shoot a 68.
“The last time we played [Poplar Creek], he had a 48,” Larios said. “He just goes and attacks. [He plays] high risk, high reward. He’s that kind of kid.”
So, did Larios have to add up Madding’s score several times to make sure it was accurate?
“The one thing I don’t have to worry about is if [the Crystal Springs players] can add,” Larios said. “They have to check my addition. I don’t check theirs.”
The series of “firsts” continues at the revamped El Camino athletic facilities.
With a new all-weather field and track installed last summer/fall, the Colts hosted their first-ever “Bell Game” football game against rival South City in November, while the boys’ soccer team hosted its first Central Coast Section playoff game in nearly 30 years in February.
Thursday will be the latest first for the Colts, as for the first time in 20 years, they will host a track meet when Oceana, Jefferson and Woodside travel to South City.
“[The kids] are really excited. It’s big time. We have close to 80 track athletes alone because (of the facilities),” said El Camino athletic director Jeff Cosico. “I was a student at El Camino in 1994 and as a senior, we held one. Twenty years ago, everyone had dirt tracks so it wasn’t a big deal. But it got to the point where everyone else was getting these new tracks and we stopped hosting [meets].”
Cosico said the facilities have sparked a renewed interest in El Camino athletics by the student body. He expects to see more athletes turning up to try out for teams because of it.
“(Longtime El Camino student, coach, teacher and administrator Eric Jacobson) and I are both PE teachers and we both see the difference,” Cosico said. “(Before the new facilities) a lot of the local kids were going elsewhere to play sports. Back with the old facilities, a lot of kids were turned off. Now, hopefully we get kids wanting to come our way to play.”
In addition to hosting track meets this season, El Camino will looking to set another first at the end of the school year: the plan is to host, for the first time, graduation ceremonies outside on the field. Cosico said graduation ceremonies had always taken place in the gym previously.
Nathan Mollat can be reached by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You follow him on Twitter@CheckkThissOutt.