BY ARIELLE CASTAGNA
On Nov. 14, senior Brenna Ozel reached a long-time goal of hers and signed a four-year contract with Sonoma State University.
The standout golfer won player of the year for the Gavilan Division of the Pacific Coast Athletic League just this year.
“I think freshman year I decided I wanted to take it to the next level,” Ozel says. “Like it was an option, but I didn’t really think I could do it.”
The possibility of going to school for golf led Ozel to start the process to take those next steps as a freshman.
“It was just playing a lot of tournaments and getting my scores down,” the senior says. “By sophomore year and the beginning of junior year, I started talking to coaches, and I talked a lot but it really came down to just visiting the campus, meeting the coach and feeling the vibes.”
The scariest thing for Ozel was meeting with the coaches and playing golf with them. With Sonoma being a top choice, it was intimidating, but Ozel expresses that it was the atmosphere and the people were positive and uplifting.
“I was really nervous, but it was such a rewarding experience.” Ozel says.
CHS golf coach Ross Kroeker says that Ozel finished this year’s season with medalist honors and wrapped up her high school career by shooting 73 at Laguna Seca.
“Once Brenna determined that her goal was to play golf in college and make that commitment, her discipline and dedication to improving her skills were impressive,” the coach says. “She committed to make important changes to improve her technique and put in the practice time to achieve them. In addition, she played a full schedule of tournaments to develop her competitive skills.”
The young golfer verbally committed back in September, going on to officially sign on national signing day in mid-November.
The CHS senior explains that the process itself presented challenges. Among the challenges was the question of whether it was the right decision. Since it would be such a big part of her future, the senior expresses that she struggled with self-doubt, despite reaching her goal.
Ozel goes on to say that committing to Sonoma State changed her work ethic and acted as a reminder of what all of the tournaments and practice was for.
“I’m most excited to just play on a team because of the bond you form with your teammates,” Ozel says. “That and being able to go places I’ve never been before.”