Sec­tion Golf Cham­pi­onship For Var­sity Cougar Boys

Escalon Times - - SPORTS -

“What a great way to end a ter­rific sea­son ... Sec­tion Champs ... Wow!”

That was the re­ac­tion of Escalon High School Boys Golf Coach Rusty Fach­ner com­ment­ing on the fact that his troops had just taken the Sac-Joaquin Divi­sion 5 Sec­tion Ti­tle.

“Ev­ery­one was ner­vous as the scores were com­ing in,” Fach­ner con­tin­ued. “The boys were ner­vous, I was ner­vous, the grand­par­ents and par­ents were ner­vous. When that last score came in and we saw that we had won by five strokes, it was a real re­lief. These guys are a re­ally spe­cial group of young men who worked hard to get what they achieved. I’m go­ing to miss them.”

Cas­tle Oaks Golf Course proved to be a tough track for the D-5 Sec­tions, but the Cougars hung tough and shot with the same con­sis­tency that they have shown all year, said the coach. Their team to­tal of 434 out­dis­tanced Trans-Val­ley League ri­val Hugh­son, which shot 459 as a team. In the win, Fach­ner noted it was three key play­ers who stepped up big for the Pur­ple and Gold.

“Nolan Rock­well was ter­rific once again and led the way for us. He’s done that for us the last half of the sea­son. With­out him go­ing low, we don’t have a chance,” stated Fach­ner. “But there were also two other guys who were re­ally big in help­ing us se­cure the ti­tle, Nic Lat­tig and Steven Gately. Nic put to­gether one of his best ef­forts of the year when it counted most. When he came with his 89, I knew we were look­ing good. And then Steve comes through with a 90. On a big stage like the Sec­tions, and be­ing a sopho­more, it gets a lit­tle nerve wrack­ing. He did a great job of stay­ing fo­cused and ul­ti­mately got us the score that put us over the top. I was proud of all three of them for com­ing through like they did.”

Rock­well also placed third over­all in the tour­na­ment, card­ing a 78. In ad­di­tion to Lat­tig’s 89 and Gately’s 90, Nathan Sarkozy added an 86, Danny Bava posted a 91 and Matt Spur­geon came in at 106.

With the win at Sec­tions, the Cougar linksters qual­i­fied to play in The Mas­ters Tour­na­ment at The Re­serve in Stockton. Teams only play in The Mas­ters Tour­na­ment by qual­i­fy­ing at Sec­tions, and the field is com­prised of the best golfers and teams in the SacJoaquin Sec­tion.

“Like I told the guys,” com­mented Fach­ner, “we have lit­tle chance of win­ning, but we earned the right to be in the tour­na­ment. I told them to go and en­joy them­selves. And de­spite the hor­ren­dous con­di­tions, each player felt a sense of pride in be­ing there.”

Help­ing to con­sti­tute those ‘hor­ren­dous con­di­tions’ were winds that gusted to over 30 mph. Fach­ner said even the best golfers suf­fered from the wind.

“I know that we’re bet­ter than our scores in­di­cate, but it was tough out there. I saw golfers who usu­ally shoot un­der par, go 15 to 20 strokes over what they nor­mally shoot. I was re­ally proud of Nathan for shoot­ing be­low bo­gey golf on a day like that.”

Sarkozy led the way for the Cougars with a score of 89. Rock­well fol­lowed with a 93, and Gately added a 94. Bava came in with a 101, while Lat­tig shot 111 and Spur­geon 117.

“It was a great sea­son,” Fach­ner con­cluded. “We did a lot of great things. Un­de­feated cham­pi­ons of the TVL ... TVL Tour­na­ment Cham­pi­ons ... D-5 Sec­tion Cham­pi­ons. We met ev­ery one of our goals. There are not very many times in life where that hap­pens. These guys ac­com­plished a lot, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Their abil­i­ties as golfers are only sur­passed by the fact that they are qual­ity young men. I couldn’t ask for a bet­ter group in my fi­nal sea­son of coach­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.