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Golf Girls Bring Home Blue Section Banner
Crazy, Insane, Incredible. Those were the words of the Escalon High School Girl's Golf Team members when they talked about the experience of playing in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Golf Championships on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Stevinson Ranch GC.

"Perseverance," was the word that Coach Rusty Fachner used to describe his team winning the Section Championship in 50-plus mile per hour winds.

"It was one of the most bizarre days I have ever seen for golf," Fachner stated describing the conditions that were better suited for kites then for drivers and putters. "My girls just hung in there. They refused to let the conditions get them down, and in the end we accomplished the ultimate goal we set for ourselves...winning the Section title."

It was not only the windy conditions that posed a hurdle for the Lady Cougars in securing their school's first-ever Section title in golf. They were also going head-to-head with a Central Catholic squad, which like Escalon, had gone undefeated on the season and had won their league championship fairly easily.

"Central is always tough and they have both great golfers and a great tradition. To beat them at any time and any place is a real accomplishment. The girls should be very proud of themselves. I know I'm really proud of them," Fachner added.

In fashioning the 599-602 win over second place Central, Escalon felt all along that it would have to play smart to have a chance.

"The right club and making good decisions were keys to winning it all. We talked about what we needed to do at length, and the girls followed the game plan to perfection. Believe me, in this scenario, playing smart was what got us the victory," Fachner said.

Presli Pilati took third-place medal honors with a 104 to lead the Lady Cougar charge. Samantha Luque followed with a 115, while Parker Pilati came in with a 118. Jennifer Schmidt shot a 120 and Sabrina Luque added a 142. Cory Bolls closed out the scoring with a 145. Fachner knew coming into the tournament that Schmidt, Sabrina Luque and Bolls could be the difference between winning and losing.

"We thought coming into the Sections that the fourth, fifth and sixth spots would be important, because in league you really only score four sections you score five. Presli and Jennifer's scores gave us a 13-stroke cushion with the fifth and sixth players coming in. Sabrina took a 5 on her last hole...that was huge, and her total of 142 was enough to give us the title by three strokes."

The Lady Cougars were slated to play Monday, Nov. 2 at the Master's Tournament at The Reserve at Spanos Park. For Escalon, said Fachner, anything they achieve at this point is icing on the cake.

"We worked really hard this year and it paid off. We had great senior leadership in Samantha and Jennifer, and that set the tone for the rest of the team. It was a situation where we had really good people on this team, and it's terrific when good things happen to good people. We're going to play in the Master's Tournament and enjoy it," Fachner concluded.

Besides the league and section championships, the Lady Cougars were also recipients of several individual awards. Junior Presli Pilati was the Player of the Year in the VFL, after maintaining the scoring lead all year long and finishing first at the league tournament and third at sections. Senior Samantha Luque played her way onto the all-league team for the fourth year, while Senior Jennifer Schmidt and Freshman Parker Pilati earned a spot on the squad for the first time. Coach Rusty Fachner was named the league's Coach of the Year. Fachner felt that all four players were worthy recipients of their awards.

"All four of these girls are special young ladies who did the extras to get better. They deserved everything they received."