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Vikes, not ’Cats, move forward

Valencia golf makes it to second round of playoffs for second time in school history

Posted: May 12, 2009 9:31 p.m.
Updated: May 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The Valencia boys golf team battled for respect all season long.

They got it Tuesday.

The Vikings, not Foothill League champion West Ranch, were the only local team to advance in the CIF playoffs.

Valencia shot a team score of 376, good enough for second place Tuesday at Soule Park Golf Club in Ojai in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Team Divisional.

The Vikings, along with Westlake (358) and Arcadia (378) are the three teams that moved on to Thursday’s CIF-Southern Section Team Final at Rancho San Marcos Golf Club in Santa Barbara.

This was Valencia’s 14th consecutive appearance in the playoffs, but only the second time it has reached the second round.

The previous time was in 2002.

“It’s validation I think for everything we’ve been telling (people),” said Valencia senior golfer Max Homa, who led the Vikings Tuesday with a 2-under par 70. “We didn’t prove we were better (than West Ranch), but we are not the team that’s going to roll over. We’re not going to back down.”

West Ranch shot a team score of 384. Hart, the other local representative, finished 10th out of 17 teams with a 398.
Ironically, the best individual golfer at the event was Wildcats senior Collin Wheeler.

Wheeler turned in a 5-under 67 medalist performance, two shots better than Westlake’s Cole Seeger.

“They’re very disappointed,” said West Ranch head coach Jeff Holen of his team. “There’s a lot disappointment in their play, especially after a practice round last week (at Soule Park). They had very high expectations of doing well.”

J.J. Holen was the only other Wildcat with a sub-80 score at 75.

Valencia, on the other hand, turned in four scores in the 70s.

Alex Macaluso and Jonathan Chang each turned in 75s.

But the Vikings’ advancement in the postseason might have to do a lot with the play of Patrick Stroh.

Stroh’s stroke average in league play was 84.25, having never shot better than 81.

On Tuesday, he provided a 76.

“For us, the entire season has been about our four, five, six (golfers),” said Valencia head coach Rusty Swisher.

If they played well, Valencia would succeed.

That was the story Tuesday.

Viking Matt Noltemeyer was three strokes better, at 80, than the average league score from Valencia’s No. 5 golfer.

Hart got the usual steadiness from Tanner Diaz, who shot 72.

Mitch Camerano added a 73 and Ansel Jhaveri shot a 79 for the Indians.

Diaz, Holen, Wheeler, Homa, Macaluso and Chang will all participate in Monday’s CIF-SS Northern Individual Regional at Sterling Hills Golf Course in Camarillo.

Despite the exit, West Ranch has four of its top five expected to return next season. Wheeler is a senior.


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