It has been a flurry of activity the past couple of weeks for the Escalon boys’ golf team, and the squad has opened the 2018 campaign in impressive fashion.
Starting the season 6-0, the Cougar linksters have wins over Linden, Bret Harte, Calaveras, Orestimba, Riverbank, and Ripon. The wins over Riverbank and Ripon have Escalon sitting atop the Trans-Valley League standings with a league record of 2-0. Adding to the impressive beginning was their fourth place finish in the Oakdale Cup at Oakdale Golf & Country Club. The Oakdale Cup sported at field of 22 teams, most of them from Division 1 and 2 schools.
Coach Rusty Fachner has been pleased with the way his troops have begun.
“I’m happy with our record at this point, but extremely happy with the fact we have been improving in every match we’ve played. The individual and team scores have been steadily dropping. I feel that our best golf is still in front of us.”
After playing in the Oakdale Cup on Monday, March 5, the Cougars then downed Riverbank and Ripon in TVL play. The match against Ripon was perhaps Escalon’s best win so far this season.
“Beating Ripon by 50 strokes on their home course is very impressive,” Fachner noted. “Anytime you beat a quality opponent, who is good year after year, it buoys your confidence. I can really see our guys getting more and more comfortable with how they are playing.”
In taking down the Indians, 225-274, the Cougars got solid performances from five of their top six golfers. Junior Danny Bava led the charges with a 42, while senior Nolan Rockwell added a 44. Sophomore Steven Gately checked in with a 45, while senior Nic Lattig and junior Nathan Sarkozy both posted 47. Matt Spurgeon closed out the scoring on the day with a 50.
“Right now, we don’t have a golfer who is going really low. What we do have, is six golfers that on any given day will shoot a really solid score,” Fachner commented about the overall strength of this year’s squad. “While other schools suffer a little when it comes to the scoring of their fifth and sixth players, we are strong from top to bottom. In fact, we have eight golfers on our squad who are in a constant battle to see who will compete in the top six. That is a pretty nice luxury to have. If we get two or three guys to start improving by four or five strokes a round, we can be really special. It will depend on how hard we work and how much we improve.”
On the roster for the Cougar Golf Team this season are seniors Nolan Rockwell, Blake Kissee, and Nic Lattig, as well as juniors Danny Bava, Nathan Sarkozy, Jimmy Wentzell, Matt Spurgeon, and Angel Sanchez. Sophomores Steven Gately, Ian Gregg, and Max Mello fill out the roster. Sanchez, Gregg, and Mello will work with JV Coach Jerry Emery and compete this season on the JV level.
Fachner concluded by once again stressing that he feels this team has championship potential.
“As you can see, we are very young. If we keep doing the little things, and improving our game, we can compete for the league and section titles,” the coach said. “I really believe that those are not outlandish goals for this team. It’s just a matter of how hard we are willing to work.”