The list of Turlock High athletes moving on to the collegiate level continues to grow.
After Tuesday, the Bulldogs can add two more players to the list of student-athletes who will continue their education at the college level along with the opportunity to play their sport at the next level.
Turlock's Sarah Garcia and Bergen Benedict both committed to play golf at California State University, San Marcos after each receiving athletic scholarships.
“Playing college will mean more competition, which I love very much. I enjoy being challenged. I love playing golf,” said Garcia.
“I had a few other offers, but San Marcos was my favorite because of the campus, all the things they offered and it's in San Diego so the weather is awesome,” Benedict said. “They also play on what seems like hundreds of different golf courses, which I think are amazing, so that’s why I picked it.”
Both of their road trips began in their first year at the high school level.
After contributing largely to one of the most successful golf programs in the valley, Garcia and Benedict leave behind a successful legacy that began their freshmen years.
Garcia was a two-time Most Valuable Player for the Bulldogs, with Benedict as the runner-up the past two seasons.
As a team, they captured four league titles, along with two undefeated regular seasons.
They each received All-Academic honors and were two-time first team All-League selections.
If these accolades weren't enough, they grabbed one Division title and a Section title during their four-year career.
“The two have proven to be successful and have pushed each other and others so they are hard workers and coachable and I think that program will be lucky to have both of them,” said Turlock girls golf head coach Mary Krupka. “These girls are good enough to do athletics and academics and be okay.”
Both Garcia and Benedict credited Krupka with helping their individual games and team ethic.
“We have that family unit that Krupka taught us and we have a lot of our team with beginners but we have the older players teach the younger ones,” said Benedict. “That helps us play together and win matches and it's definitely helped my game and confidence.”
“She has just taught me so much,” Garcia said about Krupka. “She has always been there supporting us and especially as a freshman she treated us as family members.”
Benedict and Garcia each decided to attend San Marcos after both took an interest when they contacted the head coach this past summer.
“Sarah and I tried out together our freshman year and it was kind of an automatic friendship, but going into college we thought we would be going to different schools,” Benedict said. “So it just worked out perfectly that were going together but, no, we did not plan on both of us signing to the same school. I am excited for the experience and taking it all in and I get to do what I love and follow my dreams.”
“I am very confident they will be successful,” Krupka added. “They are changing swings and doing things to make their game better in the long run with some big changes and developing the game to be consistent and they have a game plan, no doubt they will be successful.”