RCC golfer earns OEC Player of the Year honors

By Nicholas Peralta

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In one of the most successful seasons in Riverside City College’s golf history, Everett Najera stood out amongst the pack as one of the most dominant players in all of California.

With the 2017 RCC golf team acquiring numerous accolades this year, along with an OEC and CCCAA South Regional championship, Najera has quietly garnered one of the most prestigious seasons in the school’s history.

Everett has been player for over a decade, refining and crafting his game in anticipation for a career following his college tenure. Following a quiet 2016 as a freshman, Najera knew that coming into this season a change-up was needed in order to elevate the status of not only himself, but that of the school he represented.

“Last year was a disappointment, as far as how much talent we had on the team,” said Everett of the 2016 season. “So this year we wanted to come out firing from the get go, we won our first tournament and the rest is history.”

Najera was adamant that in his sophomore season, he would look to accomplish all that he could. Knowing that this season would be his opportunity in planting the roots of his future legacy.

“Our mindsets coming back this year, there was a different vibe out there that we needed,” Everett said. “We wanted it, and I said ‘Let’s go out there and let’s do something this year, let’s make a statement.’ Rather than just playing golf, it became more of like a business to us. Just because we were nearly dead last last year doesn’t mean we can’t come back stronger this year.

Everett’s goal to improve this year was simple, work harder than the opposition. A sentiment heavily influenced by his father.

“This past year I devoted my entire time to just getting better,” Najera said . “Whether it was on the course or off the course, working out in the gym. Talking to my father a lot helped. He’s my swing coach, and my dad is probably one of my biggest mentors. And I told him before the season started that I was going to dominate. I had this feeling that something good was going to happen this year.”

Something good indeed as Najera would secure multiple accolades. Not only was Everett a part of the regional champion team, but on his own Najera garnered five medalist honors, was an all-state player, and earned the prestigious OEC Player of the Year honor.

“It was crazy. Probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had as a golfer,” Everett said. “I kept pushing this year, kept pushing my team, getting the team better. To actually be Player of the Year is pretty phenomenal. It is a great feeling.”

Everett was not oblivious to the aid and benefit he and his fellow players received under the guidance of head coach Steve Sigloch.

“He pushed us a lot this year,” he said. “Last year, he saw the potential in us that we had. He was always trying to push to practice more, he was always trying to get us out on the courses. He contributed a huge part.”

Coach Sigloch got to see for himself the potential blossom on the course during this season and in Everett, he sees a future great in the making.

“He’s ready to play at a four-year school,” Sigloch said. “His work ethic was second to none. You could see the improvement from last season. I can see him going on to play well at the professional level.”

As Everett concludes his sophomore season, he looks ahead to the future where he has no doubt he will become one of the best the sport of golf has ever seen.

“My main goal has always been to go down as one of the greatest golfers ever,” Najera said. “I have a long way to go but I see myself entering a golf tour, and just gradually building my status. I definitely have no doubt in my mind that I can do it, it’s just a matter of when and not if anymore.”