With medals around their necks, Bach Ngo and his other teammates on Urbana’s golf team stood proudly last October as they mugged for pictures with the Class 3A/4A state championship trophy.
An email that Hawks coach Frank Ferrari received about two weeks later may have elicited just as much excitement as the trophy that signified Urbana’s first state golf title in eight years.
“It just adds on to the whole experience [of winning a state title],” Ngo said Wednesday from Florida.
The email to Ferrari served as an invitation to the inaugural High School Golf National Invitational, which takes place Thursday and Friday at the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magnolia and Palm courses in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Ngo and four other Urbana High students — Jacob Ferrari, Michael Snyder, Tommy Coffey and Anphi Le — will compete as Team Maryland in a field that includes 24 other boys teams that performed well during the 2018-19 high school season.
The invitational also includes individual competitions with fields of approximately 200 boys and 100 girls along with a 15-team girls field. Le, last season’s Frederick County Public School individual girls champion, was given the opportunity to enter the individual girls field at the nearby Falcon’s Fire Golf Club but wanted to share the experience of playing on Walt Disney World Resort courses with the rest of her teammates, according to Frank Ferrari.
In essence, the chance to play in Florida serves as another prize for winning a state championship.
“We’re kind of making it a vacation,” Jacob Ferrari said. “I don’t think there’s anything we’re striving for. It’d be cool to see where we place against other teams all around the country.”
Parents and other family members of the golfers are also treating the trip as a vacation. Jacob’s mother, Michelle, and brother, John, made the trip to Florida. As Jacob and the rest of the golfers played a practice round on the Magnolia Course in temperatures that soared into the high 90s Wednesday, Frank and Michelle Ferrari, along with members of Coffey’s family, were relaxing near a swimming pool at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort.
The Ferrari family will stay in Florida until July 2, giving them the opportunity to visit Disney World’s theme parks.
On the course, the five players will not represent Urbana High School in the tournament. Instead of carrying around gear with Urbana High School’s logo, which includes gray polo shirts, the players will sport white polos on the first day of the event and red polos on the second. They will also wear black hats that include a white Maryland logo.
All of the players and their family members paid for their own travel and lodging expenses.
“That’s the cool part, is that we’re representing Maryland, but they get to represent each other,” Frank Ferrari said.
Ngo, a rising sophomore who is already thinking about competing at the next level, sees the tournament as a chance to impress.
“It’s a high school tournament, so there might be some college coaches watching,” he said. “So I’ll probably get some attention.”
The opportunity to play in the invitational surprised Frank Ferrari, who coached Urbana to three state titles from 2009-11 but didn’t receive similar invitations during that three-year stretch. He wondered how many of his golfers would be interested. After all, vacations and junior golf tournaments can fill up a summer schedule quite quickly.
“Even when I got the email, I was like, ‘I didn’t know who would want to do it or who would be available,’” he said.
Much to his surprise, the invitation generated plenty of interest.
“As we talked leading up to it today, it was about just have fun together, enjoy it, have a chance to compete on a great golf course and a great resort,” Frank Ferrari said. “Just have some fun, and that’s it.”