Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DP relying on youth to carry tradition


There is a tradition to uphold for those who play on the Dos Pueblos High girls golf team. For the past several years, the Chargers have been the winningest program in the region and a perennial CIF title contender.
Dos Pueblos has a fine team again this season, but it probably won't be as dominate as past teams.

That's because this group of golfers is young and inexperienced, but that's not to say it doesn't lack talent and a strong work ethic. Coach Rob Schiff will be counting on returnees junior Nicole Bullemer, senior Anna Samson and sophomore Emily Fox to lead the way this year.
“We knew it would be a difficult year in that we went from being one of the most experienced teams in CIF to one of the least,” said Schiff, who guided the Chargers to a CIF Northern Regional title and a seventh-place finish at the Section Finals. “We have only three people who had ever played in more than one varsity match. We knew that would be a challenge. But, so far, (the new players) are stepping up. They’re getting better.”
San Marcos and Santa Barbara also are striving to get better and challenge the Chargers in the Channel League. It didn't take long for Schiff to understand how this year was going to be different than previous seasons.
The Chargers opened their season with a loss against Righetti. Without Bullemer in the lineup, they fell by 13 strokes, thus ending a winning streak of 113 dual matches that stretched over eight seasons. While his players were obviously bummed out about the streak being snapped, Schiff stressed the importance of working hard and improving
“We talked about (the streak) but we always said the number doesn't really matter,” he noted. “It’s a tribute to Doug Mitchell, who started the program at DP, and all the girls that have been through and all their hard work. The number doesn’t really mean anything. It’s a really nice number, but what matters is the attitude and the effort.
“We’ve gotten better since then,” he added “We won our next three and we’re bringing our scores down.”
In addition to the three returnees, the Dos Pueblos roster includes freshman Vanesa Villa, junior Sami Hill and sophomores Kiley Neushul, Grace Jeong and Paige Grannemann. Hill and Neushul were stars on DP's girls water polo team that won the CIF title last year. They hope to help the Chargers continue their winning tradition on the golf course.

Co-captains Brianna Wiley and Cat Lefemine, along with Alexandria Peretiako, are being counted on to lead the Royals, said coach Shawn Ricci.
“I am expecting solid scores from these girls. They all have the potential to shoot in the mid to low 40s,” he said. “Brianna can even get lower .”
Newcomers who figure to make an impact include Sofi Castanon, Zaira Barbosa (returning after taking one year off) and freshman Katie Blum.
“These three girls are playing great golf considering they have just recently picked up their clubs.” Ricci said. “Our team is coming together really well; they are supporting and coaching one another and really working like a team. It is wonderful to see and be a part of.”
Ricci is excited about the interest in golf on campus.
“This year we also have enough girls to start a JV team. We have six new girls, all are fairly new to golf. They are working hard to hone their skills,” he said.

The Dons have been led in the early part of the season by freshman Olivia Fanaro and sophomore Haley True. Other members of the squad include seniors Alexandra Schlagel and Isabel Long, juniors Thia Laurain and Chelsea Kelly, and sophomores Kylie Wagner, Lexi Ortega and Sarah Kirkwood.
Coach Ryan Throop said the team is shooting for a CIF berth.
“The team missed the cutoff by an average of two strokes,” he said. “It looks like DP will be the frontrunner in Channel League, but the girls have expressed their goal to get better and compete for first place.”

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