A second consecutive undefeated regular season has earned the Turlock High School boys golf team with a back-to-back Central California Athletic League title and a Division II CIF-Sac-Joaquin section championship.
The Bulldogs began their big winning spree on May 2 when at the CCAL championship tournament by the Creekside Golf Course in Modesto. They were led by Clark Van Gaalen, who shot a course best 69. Teammate Christian Maggard came in only three strokes behind with an impressive 72. The trio of Keean Young, Elias Rabine and Nihal Gill each shot an identical score of 76 while Grant Old pitched in with an 83. Combined, the team of six put up a score of 369 to clinch another undefeated season.
“I’m just super proud of the team we have, from the freshman to our seniors,” said head coach Jason Boswell. “This was a goal of theirs from the start so seeing their hard work ethic payoff is really fun.”
Turlock continued to achieve championship caliber results the next week when they competed at the Division II CIF-Sac-Joaquin section tournament at Swanson Park in Stockton. Just as it was at the CCAL tournament, the Bulldogs posted a team score of 369 to claim the section title.
After his dominant showing in the CCAL tournament, Van Gaalen once again led the Swanson Park field with a score of 65. Maggard again came close behind after shooting a 71. Young and Rabine also posted scores in the 70s and they shot 74 and 77 respectively. Meanwhile, Gill posted an 82 and Old rounded up the team’s performance with a 92.
Boswell praised his team for their effort and highlighted the leadership displayed by Van Gaalen and Maggard throughout the season.
“Obviously having one of the best players around with Clark Van Gaalen sets the tone really. The you have Christian who has been amazing,” Boswell said. “We've just had a unique blend of good golfers and they all get along. Together, this team has the lowest scores I've ever had. Typically with golf, you might have one or two guys who can go low, but as you know, my number one through three players can all go under par and that makes a huge difference.”
Boswell also stressed the fact that the 369 score posted at the section tournament would have even been good enough to best the Division I and III winners of Vista Del Lago High School and Davis High School. He explained that each division tournament was played on a different course so it’s hard to tell how each school would have matched up head-to-head, but he will soon find out as all six section-winning teams will face off in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Masters tournament on May 16 at the Elkhorn Golf Club in. Stockton.
“Because we were able to post better scores than the schools we’ll be competing against at the Masters, we feel like we should have a chance to compete next week,” Boswell said. “Their confidence level is really good right now. They feel like they can compete and a lot of times, that's a big deal when you feel like you have the potential to win a tournament. We’ll see what happen, but I'm just super excited for the kids.”