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Season One Schedule Keeps Trio Of Squads Busy
Escalon’s Joshua Schut sends the backhand return over the net in recent Valley Oak League play. He was a winner against Weston Ranch this past week. Marg Jackson/The Times

Cougar teams took to the tennis court, golf links and cross country courses this week for Season One contests. Tennis split their matches, the golf girls defeated all their opponents and cross country came away with wins in two of three races on March 24.



It was a split of contests this week for the Cougar tennis boys, losing one and winning one, playing on the road for both matches.

They went to Central Catholic on Tuesday, March 23. The host Raiders swept past Escalon in 7-0 fashion.

Falling in straight sets were boys singles Eli Lattig, 1-6, 1-6; Evan Shafter, 1-6, 2-6; Dylan Criteser, 1-6, 1-6; Michael Megenney, 0-6, 2-6; and Joshua Schut, 0-6, 1-6 while Michael Baptista and Nikolai Lorenzo fell in doubles ply, 0-6, 1-6; as did Lattig and Shafter, 2-8.

Bouncing back with a strong effort on the court Thursday, March 25 the Cougars took a 7-1 win against Weston Ranch.

Escalon got singles wins from Lattig, 6-1, 6-2; Shafter, 6-0, 6-1; Criteser, 6-1, 6-0; Megenney, 6-0, 7-5; Schut, 2-6, 7-5, 10-6. The lone loss of the day came for Baptista, 6-7, 0-6 in singles.

The doubles teams of Shafter and Criteser, 6-3, 7-5; and Megenney and Baptista, 6-1, 6-3; were victorious as well, helping wrap up the road win.



It was a good week for the Lady Cougars on the golf course, as they won three matches and lost none. They played back-to-back-to-back, Monday through Wednesday, and got wins in all three outings.

Monday, March 22 it was a 182-234 win against Central Catholic at River Oaks.

“River Oaks is a short (par 27) course. We finished nine holes in about 45 minutes,” coach Kristie Cathcart said. “The girls like to play fast, which is a good and bad thing. One thing we need to work on is taking our time when we putt, making sure we read the greens and line up our putts.”

Low round on the day came from Lucy Allbaugh with a 31. She was followed by Ella Adams, 35; Bella Ambro, 36; Ella MacKinnon and Emma Guevara each carded a 40 and Sarah Bava had a 42.

Tuesday, it was off to the par 36 Spring Creek course to take on Ripon and it was a win by the smallest of margins, a one-stroke victory for Escalon at 245-246.

“This match was scheduled later and until the week before we thought we were going to play at Jack Tone. We were able to play at Spring Creek last year, so most of the girls had played the course before,” noted Cathcart. “Very long course with several difficult holes. Ripon had a very low score when we played the week before at Oakdale, so I thought the outcome was going to be very different. Lucy had the low score for both teams, beating last year’s league MVP. This win made the season!”

Allbaugh shot a 40 to lead the team, followed by Adams at 48; MacKinnon with a 51; Bava and Emma Guevara at 53 and Ambro with a 60.

Wednesday, March 24 it was a home match for Escalon, hosting Weston Ranch, which only brought three girls and did not post a score. Escalon shot 193 as a team.

“At our away matches we can only play six, but home matches I am able to have all the returning girls play, which will give us an advantage next year because my younger girls will have more experience,” Cathcart said. “Our first match against Weston Ranch was cancelled because they only had one player. We have had a few matches where the other team did not have five players, so they were not able to get a team score. Although it is a victory before we start, I am glad the girls still play with the mentality they need to score better than the other team.”

For the third consecutive match, Allbaugh shot the low round for the Lady Cougars, coming in with a 35. Also in the 30s were Adams and Emma Guevara, 38; MacKinnon, 39. Nathalia Guevara had a 42, with both Bava and Ambro carding 43 on the day.

The girls wrap up their campaign this week. They were slated to go against Kimball at Tracy Country Club on March 29 and play both Manteca and Sierra at Manteca Golf Course on March 31.



Escalon gathered for its last cross country race of the season this past week, and it also marked the final race for head coach Rick Heflin in his EHS career, closing the books on more than three decades of coaching.

“It has been a great experience to coach in Escalon for 34 years,” Heflin said.

For the finale, the Cougars faced off with East Union, the varsity girls and the JV boys getting victories on the day.

“The big news of the day was Karla Cordova, she ended her career with a personal career record of 22:43 to win the girls race,” noted Heflin. “Last race with your best time … that is the right way to end a career.”

She was followed by freshman Laura Thompson, 23:07; Belen Lechuga, 25:35; Gorette Coelho, 25:45; Samantha Torres, 26:33; Ryan Walker, 26:57; Julie Avila, 28:48.

Leading the frosh/soph boys were Jacen Peoples, 13:26; Josh Churchill, 13:48; Marcos Grajeda, 13:55; Jose Calderon, 14:00; Jacob Beneux 14:48; and Victor Morales, 16:09.

Top performers for the varsity boys against East Union were Dillan Booth, 20:03and Grady Fugett, 22:02.