Golf preseason is in full swing for local high schools. Turlock, Pitman, Turlock Christian and Hilmar High have been hitting the golf courses as they strive for another successful year with some new and also returning golfers.
Turlock and Pitman look to compete in the tough Central California Conference, while TC strides for over a decade of league champions in the Southern Athletic League. Hilmar will look to compete and make a title run in the Trans Valley League after finishing second last season.
Last year, Turlock High marked its decade of champions after winning the CCC the previous 10 seasons, the only thing is they lost two of their stronger golfers, yet return their two-time league MVP in Teo Chiesa, who is the general on the squad for head coach Jason Boswell.
“He [Chiesa] has worked so hard this summer and wants to play college golf. Being a senior he has the experience and we’ll look to him to be that huge factor since we lost two of our key guys from last year,” Boswell said.
Turlock already beat Merced, finished second in the Oakdale Tournament and beat Monterey High on Monday thus far.
Some of the other key pieces to coach Boswell’s puzzle will consist of Logan Adams, Zevey Lopez, Bret Potter, Ryan Seagars and Bailey Old.
“It’s going to be a team effort to win it all and that is what we’re looking at this year,” Boswell said. “We are going to need everything from everyone. These guys have to be ready to play every week.”
It is never easy to win multiple league titles let alone continue to do so, after 10 years, but Boswell feels confident that this squad could do it.
“We are going to have to play our best to win because there’s so many good teams in the CCC. Last year we could not play well and win but this year we have to score and play well to win,” Boswell added.
TC golf enters the year as the undisputed SAL champions since the 2004 year, when it used to be called the Mountain League.
“We have had some good talent come through and that has really helped,” head coach Jeff Cederlind said.
TC’s biggest threat will be posed by Ripon Christian who finished second in the SAL and toppled the Eagles in the section tournament by six strokes.
The Eagles parted ways with two seniors who graduated but coach Cederlind returns four juniors, one senior and welcomes a newcomer in junior Garret Keas.
The four juniors will consist of Logun Lundquist, Kameron Vogt, Egan Farrar and Cory Paris. Ryan Cederlind will be the lone senior.
“It’s going to be tight again with RC and even Big Valley has a pretty good team. I feel we have a decent shot this year to go as far as we want to,” Cederlind said.
Last year, the Hilmar Yellowjackets tied with Escalon for second place in the Trans Valley League after topping out with a 9-3 record. Ripon would eventually win league after the ‘Jackets came within two strokes.
The section tournament would be a lot closer as the ‘Jackets fell by one stroke, 430-431.
This year, the ‘Jackets will need to rebuild as they lost five of last year’s six on the roster with a fresh group of faces.
“One guy coming back… that’s it and this year our goal is to make playoffs and be in the top three. We have some improving to do to get there but that’s our overall goal,” Hilmar head coach Ty Pettigrew said.
Azevedo won league MVP last season as a sophomore and returns as the top guy in his junior year.
“Landon [Azevedo] is great and ranked top 5 in Nor Cal and he’s a pretty good player,” Pettigrew said. “We just expect to make postseason it is a different sport, we don’t have many spectators, these guys want to learn a sport to play and to get better and compete and learn how to play better.”