Cabrillo Golf Jordan Lakewood Long Beach Poly Millikan St. Anthony Wilson

Wilson, St. Anthony Atop Long Beach High School Golf

It looks like Wilson still has everything it needs to win a 15th consecutive Moore League title after the graduation of three-time Moore League individual champion Tyler Schafer. He helped the Bruins win two CIF championships in the last four years, and coach Jeff Evans said this whole team will have to play its best to repeat that feat.

“We don’t have the depth we’ve had in the past,” Evans said. “But we still have some decent players at the top of our lineup.”

Senior Brandon Bennett, junior Samin Bhagat and senior Brad Calubid are the key returners for Wilson. Bennett is the team captain with the lowest scoring average, and he shot a 2-under round of 70 in the CIF playoffs last year. Both Bhagat and Calubid have been in the varsity lineup for the last two years.

Tyler Schafer’s younger brother, Matthew, is a sophomore who won the junior varsity coach’s award last season. He is one of a few key newcomers like junior Spencer Johnson who was the junior varsity MVP last year.

Wilson easily beat Lakewood and Cabrillo last week to start league play. Bennett earned the medalist honor against Lakewood with a 2-under round of 34 at Skylinks Golf Course.

The Bruins will host its annual Champions Invitational at the end of the month. With more than 40 high schools from California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Missouri and Texas makes it the largest high school invitational on the West Coast. Wilson will also travel to Las Vegas for the Southern Nevada Invitational in late April.

Poly is the top challenger after beating Millikan last week 449-455 in 18 holes at Recreation Park Golf Course. Senior Tyler Nicol shot an 80 to take the medalist honor, and he will be one of the key leaders for the Jackrabbits this season alongside junior Max Irwin and sophomore Kole Kikuta.

Millikan has a young squad with freshmen Jerome Ruaux, Josh Balogh, Ethan Caspers and Nolan Reyes in the starting rotation. Coach Robert Tomlin said he wants to play as many round as possible this season to get this group experience. Senior Jett Sonoda is the team leader with three years of varsity experience, and sophomore Spencer Salcedo is back for his second year on varsity. The Rams host the Millikan Invitational at El Dorado in April.

Jordan is looking to develop younger players like Javier Ruiz, Denzel Smith, and Manny Guerrero after graduating six seniors last year. Juniors Cameron Wilkinson and Andrew Ruiz will be the team leaders.

“Our key to success this year is controlling our emotions on the golf course,” Jordan coach Mike Carroll said. “Our young golfers are beginning to understand that golf isn’t about perfection. Golf is about managing yourself, and using what you bring to the course that day. I think if we can keep drilling fundamentals and our players can maintain their composure on the course we will be competitive.”

Cabrillo is banking on senior Karl Rashad to represent them in the league individual tournament after junior Sebastian Pena had to leave the team midseason. Coach Pat Noyes said that their match with Jordan will be the key to their season.

Outside of the Moore League, St. Anthony is geared up for another historic campaign after going undefeated during the regular season for the last two years. Juniors Taylor Griffiths and Jack Lopez will be key returners, and senior captain Parker James anchors the team with his leadership.

St. Anthony coach Chris McGuiness said that freshman Luke Lopez, junior Nick Sparks, sophomore Jacob Organista are the most important newcomers to his team.

“Our team chemistry is amazing and these boys love to spend time together practicing,” McGuiness said. “The more fun we have, the more we want to practice.”

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.