The year following a championship season can be hard for high school teams who must deal with losing team leaders while attempting to maintain consistency. But sometimes those worries don’t exist; sometimes the tides align in a way that seems almost too perfect. Such is the case for this year’s Turlock High girls golf team.
This season’s Bulldog squad is packed with experienced golfers— seven seniors to be exact— who have spent the past four years together compiling three Central California Conference Championships along the way. Now, with returning CCC MVP Hannah Gong and co-captain Zara Lopez leading the way, Turlock has its sights on another CCC title and a potentially undefeated season.
“These kids are leading the way for the younger players,” Turlock’s Head Coach Mary Krupka said of her returners. “I’m very fortunate.”
Kelsi Valenzuela, Darcy Woods, and Sofie Bates round off the top five golfers for the Bulldogs and will be joined by sophomores Sarah Garcia, Bergan Benedict, and Michaela deBos. The amount of talent on the team creates problems for Turlock in terms of rotation and match inclusion, but the positives far outweigh the few negatives when it comes to competition.
“These girls should be able to repeat,” Krupka said.
An undefeated season and a 2012 CCC Championship are realistic possibilities for Turlock this season as is a repeat MVP performance from Gong, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another Bulldog claim MVP honors.
“Any one in my top seven could be MVP of the league,” Krupka said. “It’s up for grabs.”
Turlock’s first league test will be taken Thursday against Atwater High at the Turlock Golf and Country Club at 3 p.m.