In a year where they were supposed to be rebuilding, the Cougar golfers did much more than that, competing for the Trans-Valley League title and continuing on to postseason action.
“It was a great season. One filled with unexpected success. I am very happy and very proud,” said boys golf coach Rusty Fachner as he commented about the season the Cougar linksters just completed.
After finishing third at the Trans-Valley League End of the Year Tournament, the squad rebounded May 9 at Diablo Grande Golf Course to finish third in the Division 5 Section Tournament. The Cougars finished behind the only two teams that beat them in dual matches this season, Section Champion Bret Harte and the runner-up, Ripon. In finishing third, Escalon beat the GEL champion, Capital Christian, MLL runner -up, Sonora, and TVL second place finisher, Hughson.
“It was a very good day,” Fachner commented. “We really improved from the week before. I think the guys were a little more relaxed and it definitely showed.”
Fachner noted that the Diablo Grande Ranch Course played “hard and fast” and that the scores were much higher for most of the teams than they were the week before.
“While other teams struggled a bit, we seemed to play a little better, for some reason. That was the key to our finish.”
Scoring on the day was led by senior Tim Wallace who finished with an 86. Zack Gardner was right behind him at 87 and Nolan Rockwell ended the day one stroke behind Gardner at 88. Danny Bava and Nathan Sarkozy concluded their freshman campaigns with 106, and Brad DaDalt rounded out the scoring with a 118.
“Timmy finished his Cougar career with a solid outing. I’m happy for him. Zack and Nolan showed that they will be two of the top golfers in the league, and section, next year. All three of them were solid for us all year long. I really appreciate their efforts,” Fachner stated. “We were also the only team in the Division 5 Section that competed with three freshmen who had no previous competitive golf experience before the season began. It says a lot about Danny, Nate, and Brad, and how much they improved. I’m excited to see where they will be after a summer of working on their games.”
Fachner concluded by saying that he can’t wait to see what the Cougars will be like next season.
“We only had one senior on the squad this year. We played one senior, two juniors, a sophomore, and three freshmen in the six starting spots most of the year. Next year will be a real dogfight for starting positions, and I’m sure that those who work the hardest on their games will be at the forefront,” noted Fachner. “It will depend on the off-season effort that we get from our players. I’m excited to see what we bring to the table next year. We could be championship caliber and that’s exactly where we want to be.”