For the second year in a row, Turlock High has finished the Central California Conference season with a perfect record and a league title, a feat that was cemented with an 8-1 win over rival Pitman High at home on Thursday.
Though the win marks the second outright CCC Championship for the Bulldogs in as many years, it is the first with head coach Jack Schneider at the helm who left Turlock Christian High to lead Turlock's boys, many of which are his students away from school.
“I pretty much figured it was a foregone conclusion, really,” Schneider said of his expectations to win the CCC at the beginning of the season.
Turlock swept the singles matches on Thursday despite the absence of its number one singles player Alex Lima. In his place was sophomore Davis Griffin, a number one doubles player from a year ago, who defeated Pitman's Jeremy Moitosa in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.
“It was a change from last year,” Griffin said of this year's transition. “It's a different game. It's not about the powers. You've got to really focus and hit the serves well. Everything's more precise.”
Marco Andres, Ryan Asai and Johnny Brend also won their singles matches in straight sets while Davis Lazar and Kellen Ireland played to three sets, beating Pitman's Max Martel 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 and Dennis Lawson 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, respectively.
Pitman took its only win of the day in the number three doubles match with Ross Wheeler and Lorenz Lat beating the Bulldog team of Cameron Sparks and Ziya Ziya 6-4, 6-0.
The remaining doubles matches were won by Turlock in straight sets as Eilen Shabaz and Nick Vardeh defeated Gore Hayer and Noah Goldberd 6-1, 6-1 and the team of William Anderson and Carlos Inegues defeated Shawn Kahlon and Angelo Arce 6-3, 6-3.
“They're pretty much money when they're on the court,” Schneider said of his number one doubles team of Shabaz and Vardah. “They're really solid, very reliable.”
Turlock and Pitman now have four days rest before the CCC Singles Tournament on Tuesday in Atwater where Griffin and Lima will both be present to represent Turlock. Singles competition is expected to be stiff with Merced High's transfer student Juan Ciudad and Golden Valley High's Ceasar Nava expected to be frontrunners.
“My goal is to go as far as I can. If I can win, that would be great, but I just want to go as far as I can and get the most out of it,” Griffin said.
The CCC Doubles Tournament will also be played in Atwater on Thursday.