Turlock and Pitman High's varsity girls’ golf teams have always boasted great players over the years and this season looks to be another positive outing for the Bulldogs and Pride, respectively.
For the Bulldogs of Turlock, the goal is simple, but the prize will be a challenge if they hope to achieve a 13th consecutive Central California Conference title in the upcoming year. The team will rely heavily on three seniors: Elena Machado, Allie Malmberg and Anoop Bains.
“This year we are young, but we are more mature and we had plenty of people who have played and it is a rebuilding year but I feel confident,” said Turlock head coach Mary Krupka. “I feel real confident with this group. Could be the dynamic and what they’ve done in the offseason but I am confident.”
Last year, the Bulldogs split the CCC title with Buhach Colony after tying with a score of 503.
“I thought 2015 was a good year because it was difficult and the girls had to perform and had a tough challenge, but it was good to get a piece of the title to keep the streak going,” said Krupka. “But I am not sure how the league is looking. They are all tough, but we have goals as well.”
Some of those goals include a significant increase in team bonding and being more outspoken in regards to teammates, said Krupka. He wants them to be more vocal and animated.
“I want them to be encouraging and I want them to have fun. I think we’ve been real serious lately but I want them to be a tight group,” said Krupka.
Aside from the three seniors, look for Courtney Malmberg, Brooke Adams and basketball standout Sarah Musselman to provide the Bulldogs with the top six spots for the 2016 year.
“I have had some strong bold personalities lately but the girls seem to have an even keel which is nice,” said Krupka. “I feel league is open to anyone but we are going into our matchups assuming everyone is really good and we want to improve, but I think they can handle it with their maturity.”
On the other side of town, Pitman goes into the year having lost one of the best in the area in Taylor Beckwith, but coach Kris Shaw brings on some young talent into the mix to make a unique roster that has at least one player from each grade in the top six spots for the upcoming season.
“We are missing our MVP from last year in Taylor Beckwith but we have a strong and team-oriented group of returners this year,” said Shaw. “My expectations for these girls are that they are competing for a team spot into the playoffs.”
Some of the senior leaders include Nikita Samra and Paige Day.
“Obviously, losing Taylor is a hard hit, but we have four returners,” said Shaw.
Those returners include Samra, Day, along with junior Collette Sommerville and sophomore Meredith Ball.
The two freshmen coming in include Lindsay Schammel and Gizelle Flores.
“That is why high school sports are so fun. Teams can change dramatically from year to year,” said Shaw. “It’s a successful year if we can mold life-long golfers. I love the sport and I want the girls to have fun, compete for their school and become life-long golfers.
“Unfortunately, golf is a dying sport due to drought and expense. Many golf courses have closed within the past couple years, but we, as coaches, are hoping we can bring youth to the course,” Shaw added.