Closing out a very successful campaign, the Escalon High School boy’s golf team finished the season by taking second in the Trans-Valley League and advancing to the Division V playoffs at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento. Despite moving on to the postseason, the Cougars did not quite finish the season the way that they had hoped.
“We thought we had a chance to win the league title,” Coach Rusty Fachner noted. “A lot of different things happened that kind of derailed that idea. We competed hard but just came up short. We’ll enjoy our time in the playoffs, and take great pride in some great individual efforts by the guys.”
The ‘great individual efforts’ that Fachner was referring to were turned in by the Cougars’ top two golfers, Zack Gardner and Nathan Sarkozy.
Sarkozy, who is only a sophomore, took first place at the league’s end of the season tournament. His score of 79 in extremely windy conditions was two strokes better than opponents from Ripon and Hughson.
“I can’t say enough about the improvement that Nathan has made over the year,” stated Fachner. “He was far and away not only the most improved player on our team, but probably in the entire league. With his game and work ethic, he has the makings of being one of the top golfers in our league for the next couple of years.”
In addition to winning the league tournament, Sarkozy also earned all-league honors, a real accomplishment as a sophomore.
The other great individual effort came from senior Zack Gardner who, by shooting an 82, earned the recognition of being the league’s Most Outstanding Golfer and was an all-league recipient.
“Zack was far and away the best golfer in our league this year,” Fachner commented. “He was so overwhelming that he could have passed playing the final tournament of the year, and he still would have earned enough points to make him the league’s top golfer. That’s impressive. Zack has worked hard for the last three years to bring this award to fruition, so saying that he is deserving is really an understatement. I can tell you this; we will really miss his outstanding play and leadership. I hope that he can continue playing deep into the playoffs.”
By finishing third in the tournament, behind both Ripon and Hughson, the Cougar linksters finished second overall. The scores for the other Escalon players in the league tournament were Brandon Levin and Jimmy Wentzell with 101, Nick Lattig at 106, and Danny Bava rounding out the scoring.
“We are hoping to improve upon those scores when we get to Sacramento. We’re looking for a much better day overall,” Fachner concluded.