Lady Bruin Golfers Nab League’s South Di­vi­sion Ti­tle

Riverbank News - - SPORTS - BY RIC McGINNIS

River­bank High School has an­other sea­son for girls golf in the books, this time with a 12-0 record and a trip to the Sec­tion Tour­na­ment. And it’s a team of pri­mar­ily se­cond-year play­ers who went un­de­feated in their di­vi­sion, with two of them tabbed as all-league se­lec­tions.

With un­der­stand­able pride, coach Is­mael Mer­cado is prais­ing his whole team, but es­pe­cially An­gela Calderon who is a re­turn­ing all-league golfer from last year. She joins Cit­lalli Martinez on this year’s al­l­league ros­ter.

“Both are se­niors and both are only se­cond year golfers,” Mer­cado said.

In fact, of the five-girl ros­ter, four of them are just se­cond year golfers, in­clud­ing se­niors De­siree Gar­nica, along with Calderon and Martinez. Vanessa Mer­cado is the only ju­nior. Se­nior Marci Capetillo is a third year golfer.

And of Vanessa Mer­cado, the coach said, “She made the sec­tion tour­na­ment last year and will com­pete again this year.”

The coach was named as the Val­ley Foothill League’s South Coach of the Year; the Trans-Val­ley League golf girls play in what they call the Val­ley Foothill League, with North and South di­vi­sions. River­bank took down op­po­nents in­clud­ing Gus­tine, Ripon Chris­tian, Hil­mar, Moun­tain House, Hugh­son and Ores­timba.

“I am ex­tremely happy for our golf team and very ap­pre­cia­tive to have helped th­ese girls ac­com­plish some­thing that has not been done be­fore at River­bank High,” said Mer­cado. “I’m happy to have been part of this great sea­son and thank­ful to have coached th­ese great young ladies. Golf can be very chal­leng­ing and very frus­trat­ing and to have th­ese play­ers per­se­vere and stick to­gether through­out the year was very awe­some to wit­ness and be a part of.”

River­bank took se­cond in the mid-year tour­na­ment to Ripon Chris­tian in the South di­vi­sion and was the low scor­ing team for the South in the year end tour­na­ment, tak­ing top hon­ors on Oct. 16 at Micke Grove.

“We play in the Val­ley Foothill League. The VFL is made up of other leagues in our area, the Trans-Val­ley League and the Mother Lode League. The VFL is made up of two di­vi­sions, North and South. We com­pete in the South di­vi­sion,” ex­plained Mer­cado. “Our home course is the Escalon Golf Course. Our per­sonal best score at Escalon was 167 against Moun­tain House.”

Four scores are counted in league play. Teams typ­i­cally play with six play­ers but River­bank went through the sea­son with five.

River­bank won the South di­vi­sion ti­tle with its 12-0 record. Escalon High School came in on top of the North di­vi­sion, at 11-1 and claimed the over­all ti­tle with first place show­ings in both the mid-year and end of year tour­na­ments.

“This team was full of sur­prises. We won our first four matches of the year, but our big test was against the de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons, Hugh­son, at River Oaks. We beat them in a very close match, 167 to 171,” said Mer­cado of that piv­otal Sept. 14 meet­ing. “From that point on the girls picked up mo­men­tum and con­tin­ued to play well.”

The Sec­tion Tour­na­ment was sched­uled for Mon­day, Oct. 23, at Micke Grove Golf Course in Lodi af­ter The News went to press. The Masters Tour­na­ment will be held on Mon­day, Oct. 30 at The Re­serve at Spanos Park, Stock­ton.

News Edi­tor Marg Jack­son con­trib­uted to this re­port.

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED

For the first time ever, the River­bank girls golf squad has scored a 12-0 sea­son in their di­vi­sion and were sched­uled to play in the Di­vi­sion 5 Sec­tion Tour­na­ment in Lodi on Mon­day, Oct. 23. Pic­tured, from left, coach Is­mael Mer­cado, Cit­lalli Martinez, An­gela Calderon, De­siree Gar­nica, Marci Capetillo and Vanessa Mer­cado, who is a ju­nior. The other mem­bers of the team are se­niors. Calderon and Martinez made the all-league se­lec­tion this year; Mer­cado was the South Coach of the Year honoree.

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