As it has been for the past six years, it was a two-horse race between Denair High and Ripon Christian High for the Southern Athletic League (SAL) title in boys golf. And for the seventh consecutive season, the Knights came away with the championship while the Coyotes came in second place following Wednesday’s league tournament at the Tracy County Club.
Though they weren’t able to knock off Ripon Christian, the Coyotes will still be sending a pair of golfers to next week’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI tournament.
Wednesday’s SAL tournament was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but wet weather forced events to be postponed by a day. Despite the wet conditions, juniors Ethan Gonsalves and Landen Borges were some of the best on the course.
Borges qualified for the Section tournament with a 111, while Gonsalves shot a 76, a score that Deair head coach Greg Gaudio described as “spectacular.” Next week will be Gonsalves’ second career Section tournament appearance. Last season at the event, he qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Master’s tournament and fell just six strokes short of qualifying for NorCal Regionals.
“The weather postponed the tournament from Tuesday to Wednesday, [and still not great golf weather, but manageable. I was proud of my guys for their honesty and integrity on the course,” Gaudio said.
The Division VI Section tournament will take place on Monday at The Ridge Golf Course in Auburn. The 170-acre, par-71 course is one of more than 200 courses designed by Trent Jones Jr. It is a course with several hills – including a 100-foot elevation change – with lots of rock outcroppings and 48 bunkers.
“Tough course, but very manageable,” Gaudio said. “I am hoping the weather is a little better, but who knows. I expect the two golfers who are representing Denair to do their best and once again play the game as gentlemen.”