Prep boys golf: Hart’s Scheller peaks at the right mo­ment to suc­ceed in play­offs, earn All-SCV hon­ors

The Signal - - FRONT PAGE - By Ha­ley Sawyer Sig­nal Sports Ed­i­tor

Jess Scheller is a self-pro­claimed “late-bloomer.”

At the be­gin­ning, he didn’t start his golf ca­reer un­til he was 12 years old. More re­cently, in his se­nior year with Hart boys golf, he strode through the Foothill League sea­son, putting up good scores, but not nec­es­sar­ily the best.

It wasn’t un­til the post­sea­son that he blos­somed. Jess Scheller sur­passed the ex­pec­ta­tions of his No. 3 rank­ing in the fi­nal Foothill League in­di­vid­ual stand­ings to out­last all league golfers as he reached the CIF/SCGA South­ern State Re­gional Cham­pi­onship.

His sud­den as­cent to the fore­front of play­offs has earned Scheller the All-SCV Boys Golfer of the Year award.

“I al­ways have this mind­set of im­prov­ing and I think since I haven’t re­ally won a bunch and I haven’t had like big, big suc­cess,” Scheller said. “I’ve had suc­cess with the sport, but I think that I haven’t had a huge amount of suc­cess, I think it’s good for me. It keeps me hun­gry.”

Scheller also has a self-pro­claimed “bor­ing” game.

But what some may call bor­ing, oth­ers will call con­sis­tent. Scheller isn’t flashy, he doesn’t daz­zle with a spec­trum of birdies, doubles and bo­gies. Rather, he strikes the ball with pre­ci­sion.

Maybe it has some­thing to do with dis­ci­pline. Two ac­tiv­i­ties took up most of Scheller’s time his se­nior year: golf and show choir.

They cer­tainly kept him busy, but the over­lap be­tween the two helped him de­velop not just his time man­age­ment

skills, but also his golf skills and men­tal abil­ity.

“They’re both a very repet­i­tive thing,” Scheller said. “Show choir takes a lot of rep­e­ti­tion, just like golf.”

Be­ing sur­rounded by a ta­lented Hart lineup and com­pet­i­tive golfers across the Foothill League also helped Scheller in his drive to the play­offs.

He con­stantly went up against team­mate Art Thomp­son, who fin­ished se­cond over­all in the Foothill League and bat­tled a tough ros­ter of West Ranch golfers – in­clud­ing league cham­pion Gun­nar Murray.

“I’ve never felt any­thing in an out­side ju­nior tour­na­ment that I felt in a high school match against a West Ranch player be­cause the ri­valry be­tween Hart and West Ranch was such a big ap­par­ent thing,” he said.

End­ing the sea­son in third place, Scheller won two of six Foothill League meets and av­er­aged 75.6 strokes. At the CIF-South­ern Sec­tion In­di­vid­ual Fi­nals, he carded 3-over 75 to ad­vance to the state regionals.

His next step is a col­lege ca­reer, which will be at Cal State Fuller­ton. He wants to con­tinue the suc­cess he had in high school, but hope­fully with a few ad­di­tional details. Namely, wins.

“I was a very con­sis­tent player and I would come in se­cond a lot, third, fin­ish top five in tour­na­ments,” Scheller said. “I was al­ways shoot­ing con­sis­tent scores, I just never re­ally won that much. That’s a goal for me in col­lege is to learn to win more.”

If the “late-bloomer” stays true to his self-as­sess­ment, the wins should come eas­ily.

First Team

Fa­vian Bus­nawi, West Ranch, ju­nior

Bus­nawi was one of the league’s most con­sis­tent shoot­ers through­out the first four league meets, card­ing be­tween 4-over and 6-over. He was sixth in the in­di­vid­ual

league stand­ings and key to the Wild­cats’ league ti­tle and trip to the CIF-SS SCGA Team Qual­i­fier.

Jack Dudeck, West Ranch, se­nior

Dudeck made a mas­sive jump in the in­di­vid­ual stand­ings from 2017 to 2018. Last sea­son, he ranked 16th in the Foothill League by the end of the sea­son. This sea­son, he was fourth and was able to take home medal­ist hon­ors in league meet No. 5.

Gun­nar Murray, West Ranch, se­nior

The Cal State East Bay com­mit won the Foothill League In­di­vid­ual ti­tle for the se­cond year in a row. Al­though he didn’t make it out of the first round of the in­di­vid­ual post­sea­son, he had a solid over­all per­for­mance through­out league with a 71.8 av­er­age.

Art Thomp­son, Hart, se­nior

Thomp­son was per­haps the most com­pet­i­tive and en­er­getic boys golfer the Foothill League had to of­fer this sea­son. He fin­ished se­cond in the over­all stand­ings with a 74.4 av­er­age, a pretty good im­prove­ment from

last sea­son’s third-place fin­ish and 75.8 av­er­age.

Ben Valdez, West Ranch, fresh­man

Of three cru­cial un­der­class­men in the Wild­cats’ lineup, Valdez was the top per­former when it came to over­all in­di­vid­ual stand­ings. Card­ing an av­er­age of 76.6 strokes, Valdez was just ahead of team­mate Jack Dudeck. At the CIF-South­ern Sec­tion Di­vi­sion Team Cham­pi­onships, Valdez was one of three Cats – along with Gun­nar Murray and Matt Mon­heim – to fin­ish even-par to help the team to a se­cond-place fin­ish.

Hon­or­able men­tion

Canyon – Brett Wil­son, sopho­more Golden Val­ley – Tyler Richardson, sopho­more Hart – Cameron Gadd, se­nior Sau­gus – Rylie Wat­son, ju­nior Va­len­cia – Shawn Valles­teros, sopho­more

West Ranch – Matt Mon­heim, fresh­man

Cory Ru­bin/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional photos on sig­

Hart’s Jess Scheller, as seen in this Sig­nal il­lus­tra­tion, is this year’s All-SCV Boys Golfer of the Year af­ter reach­ing the CIF/SCGA State Re­gional Cham­pi­onship.

Cour­tesy photo

Hart’s Jess Scheller drives the ball at Brook­side Golf Course in Pasadena at the CIF/ SCGA South­ern State Re­gional Cham­pi­onships on May 24.

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