The562’s coverage of Long Beach golf for the 2022 season is sponsored from Dan and Desiree Gooch
A lot of the local high school golf teams are a work in progress, and that’s going to make for an interesting season.
The Moore League boys’ golf schedule gets started today at Wilson takes on Poly at Recreation Park Golf Course in the marquee matchup. In other action, Millikan is taking on Jordan at Skylinks while Cabrillo hosts Lakewood to Recreation Park.
They have been the gold standard for the league, but the Wilson Bruins have a very young squad that has produced mixed results so far this season.
“Learning to win tough matchups takes time,” Wilson coach Paul Henry said. “Back in September, I asked the team to identify a collective goal and the choice was that we make it past the second round of CIF playoffs. This goal has been a driving force in our practices and planning for matches and tournaments all year.”
Juniors Jet Adame and Ky Stopp are the co-team captains this season. Adame has great distance off the tee, and Stopp is more of a technician with his swing. Sophomores Bryson Barnes and Tyler Merlina are also key returners for Henry.
Freshman Dresden Underwood has been a great addition to the squad. He was just 3-over par in an impressive non-league win over Edison last week.
“Our progress hasn’t been exactly linear, and we sometimes take a step forward and then a couple steps back, but we are making progress,” Henry said.
The Millikan Rams are ready to challenge the Bruins for the league title once again. They have been the consistent runner up lately, but new additions have coach Robert Tomlin excited about this season.
Millikan has taken on tough non-league opponents such as Peninsula, Trabuco Hills, and South Torrance to get ready for the tough league matches against Wilson and Poly. The Rams are 4-0 at home this year.
The Rams team captains are seniors Josh Balogh and Ethan Caspers.
“They have demonstrated good leadership through their years at Millikan both on and off the course,” Tomlin said of his captains.
Junior Jake Cammarata and sophomore Tyler Lao are also key returners on the variety roster, while junior Gabriel Peralta has been a great addition after helping the Millikan junior varsity team win league last year.
Freshman Zach Wood could be the most important addition to any squad in the league. He’s already won a pair of medalist honors this season.
Millikan will be hosting a tournament on April 4 with a quality field invited, and has its work cut out for it after being moved up to Division 3 this season.
Poly and Lakewood have an early season clash (Mar. 24) at Skylinks that will separate the top half of the league from the bottom half of the league very quickly.
Schools like Jordan and Cabrillo don’t have much experience on their rosters, but they’ve got dedicated coaches who are willing to work with them on and off the course.
At Jordan, Sebastian Lopez is the only returning player on the varsity roster so he’s also the team captain. Jordan coach Michael Carroll said Lopez has been a great role model for new sophomores like Isaac Nunez, Samuel Ramos, and Osiris Beltran.
“I want to see what kids stick with it and have that competitive drive to get better,” Carroll said. “We are lucky to get donations from several sources including the Century Club, the Skylinks Men’s Club, and numerous private donors that want to see school’s other than Wilson, Millikan and Poly take home the prizes every year.”
At Cabrillo, coach Blake Dorman is doing a co-ed squad to he has enough players to have a junior varsity team to develop. His team captains are senior Marilu Quintero, senior Brissa Hernandez and sophomore Jonathan Ocampo. Meanwhile, Jonathan Ocampo, Jonas Carrillo and Jasmine Cabello are the key newcomers for Dorman.
“I just love that we are able to share golf with these student athletes,” Dorman said. “This is a sport that they probably would never end up playing if it wasn’t for our school. To see some of our newcomers go from feeling insecure and struggling to learn this difficult sport, to developing an intensity and drive to be the best they can be is why I love coaching golf at Cabrillo.”
Outside the Moore League, St. Anthony is also already into its league schedule and won its Del Rey League opener against St. Monica on Monday 219-222. The Saints are 6-0 on the season and are looking for a fifth consecutive league title.
St. Anthony has three returning golfers with senior Luke Lopez, junior captain Gavin Lane and sophomore Ethan Schwictenberg. Lopez is a four-year starter, and Schwictenberg led the team in scoring as a freshman. All three of them will vie for the individual league championship.
Senior Jonah Menendez, junior Jacob Harrison, sophomore Connor Barrett and sophomore Blake Andrews are the key newcomers.
The biggest challengers for St. Anthony this year will be St. Monica and Bishop Montgomery.