The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach golf for the 2023 season is sponsored from Dan and Desiree Gooch.
With the top five finishers from the 2022 Moore League boys’ golf individual tournament all returning, this season should be full of well-played rounds and another great battle for the crown.
In terms of the team race, the 2023 Moore League boys’ golf season is scheduled to start this week and once again it looks like Wilson is the favorite with Millikan and Long Beach Poly leading the chase pack.
The Bruins picked up a lot of valuable experience last season while maintaining its successful standards by winning its 186th consecutive Moore League match. Wilson also won its 16th consecutive league title and Ky Stopp won the league individual title.
Stopp was two strokes behind the leader in the final round of the league tournament last year at El Dorado Golf Course. He shot a one-under round of 71 and his birdie on the 18th hole clinched the victory. Stopp is back to defend his title in his senior season alongside co-captain and fellow senior Jet Adame.
Wilson coach Paul Henry is encouraged by his team’s start to the preseason, including a third place finish at the Ayala Classic which was better than several other local teams in the same CIF division like Huntington Beach and Edison.
“The key to our success will be the performance of our wild card, junior Bryson Barnes, who led the team at the Ayala with a 3-over round,” Henry said. “When he’s playing to his best we will be hard to beat.”
Henry added that the improvement wasn’t limited to his top players, and that guys like junior Tyler Merlina and sophomore Dresden Underwood have made great strides in the offseason. The Bruins top newcomer will be freshman Jackson Case, who finished five-over par at the Ayala to come in third on the team.
The Rams have three quality seniors to replace while moving up a division CIF, and leading the way this season will be four-year Varsity starter Jake Cammarata. He finished fifth in the league individual finals last year.
Junior Tyler Lao, sophomore Zach Wood and senior Gabriel Peralta will be the supporting cast behind Cammarata, according to coach Robert Tomlin.
Senior Ian Hepner will be up from the lower levels, and he will be joined by sophomore Jacob Binder as the two key newcomers.
“A successful season for Millikan will be to fight for the Moore League title and return to CIF postseason play as a team and as individuals,” Tomlin said. “Our most important Moore League matches will be versus Poly and Wilson. Our most important nonleague matches will be against Peninsula, Trabuco Hills and South Torrance. We always play very good teams on our nonleague schedule to prepare for a tough Moore League.”
The Rams beat Poly last year to secure a second-place team finish.
The562’s coverage of Millikan golf for the 2023 season is sponsored by Eaton’s Golf LB.
LONG BEACH POLY
Junior Nathan Brava-Partain finished fourth in the league individual tournament last season after taking the medalist honor in the team round against Wilson with a 1-under par round at Recreation Park. In other words, Brava-Partain has what it takes to hang with the best in the city and will be key to the Jackrabbits success this season.
Brava-Partain will be joined by Quinn Van Wagner and Theo Pruitt as the most experienced golfers on the Poly roster.
Jacob David, Aaron Sann and Frank Hall are the key newcomers.
Coach Bill Dodge has high hopes of getting back into the CIF team competition while having Brava-Partain and one other individual qualify for the postseason.
New coach Spencer McDaniel is excited to have eight returning players at all levels this season.
Cameron Merz earned the No. 1 spot on the squad by shooting one-under par in the preseason qualifying event.
The rest of the squad will be made up of Talon Camarillo, Jordan Metzger-Dixon, Carter Adams, Brandon Hess and freshman Patrick Pascual.
The Lancers are currently six shots better as a team than last year’s scoring average.
Coach Blake Dorman thinks he has one of his best Jaguars squads this season with the return of top players like junior Jonathan Ocampo, senior Jonas Carrillo and senior Kelvin Cruz.
Sophomores Frank Osbourne, Alexis Hernandez and Leo Jimenez are also coming back for their second year on the team.
Dorman said he’s also excited for freshman Aden Sanchez and Joe Gogue to join the team.
“I just love that we can organize a program at Cabrillo, where we can bring this fun sport to kids that probably wouldn't have played otherwise, all while representing their community,” Dorman said. “This is what high school sports is all about! I also want to give special thanks to the Long Beach Century Club for their golf club donations and equipment over the years. It's a huge boost!”
Osiris Beltran is going to be the only girl in the Panthers lineup and coach Michael Carroll did that on purpose after holding her out of the girls’ season.
“She is 10 strokes better than all the rest of my players,” Carroll said. “She is also a homegrown talent that came to us with no golfing experience. She is the core of our team. Our other kids look to her for advice and come to her with swing troubles. She is also a great human being who maintains a 4.0 GPA and works at her family's tire shop after school and on the weekends when she isn't golfing.”
Beltran will be captain, and the alternate caption will be Samuel Ramos. Issac Nunez is also a key returner with a little bit of experience. Seniors Ricky Arellano and Victor Ramirez are newcomers without a lot of experience, but Carroll is confident in their hard work.
“My hope is to beat Cabrillo in both games and have my kids all shooting in the high 40's low 50’s,” Carroll said.
Joe Luyben has taken over as head coach for the Saints as they try to repeat the feat of being undefeated league champions last season.
“Everyone giving their full effort, improving their score and having a fun time,” Luyben said. “This is a really tight knit group of kids that get along well with each other. It's a joy coaching them.”
Senior Gavin Lane will be the team captain and Luyben said the junior Ethan Schwichtenberg is the top returning golfer from last season when he won the individual league title.
“I’m really impressed with how he is playing this year,” Luyben said. “Ethan already broke the school scoring record in a round earlier this year.”
Tyler Seger and Christian Davila are the key newcomers.