This week, all of The562’s coverage is sponsored by Long Beach Gives. Visit LongBeachGives.org to find your cause and support local nonprofits! Donations will be accepted through Sept. 21.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach golf for the 2023 season is sponsored from Dan and Desiree Gooch.
The Long Beach girls’ golf season just got underway and a few teams rightly have high expectations for their individual and team efforts.
Wilson is once again the class of the Moore League and is looking to win its 15th consecutive league title this season. The postseason success for the team, and three-time individual league champion Alyson Sor, as Wilson up in CIF Southern Section Division 1 this season.
Team captain Samantha Shaw is stepping up to be the new team leader while improving her game off the tee.
“Sammy has been working with local teaching legend Dave Heinen and the results have shown up in every match this year,” Wilson coach Paul Henry said. “She’s thoughtful and patient, she never forces a bad shot, and she doesn’t overreact to bad shots either.”
Henry added that senior Ciara Tancioco is his most improved player from last year, but still has her fiercely competitiveness.
Sophomore Charlotte White, junior Ellen Baldwin and sophomore Cate Thompson are the top newcomers. White has matched her personal best score in her last two matches while the other two steadily improve their rounds as well.
“This is perhaps the friendliest and most determined group of athletes (Assistant coach Kelly Morris) and I have worked with since we took over the program three seasons ago,” Henry said. “Every practice and match have been a delightful experience.”
Wilson picked up a key league win against Millikan on Tuesday at Recreation Park Golf Course 236-251. Shaw took the medalist honors with an even-par round that included an eagle on the seventh hole and a birdie on the ninth.
Millikan is coming off its first CIF championship in program history and is returning all six members of that squad. Coach Robert Tomlin thinks that a winning record and two or three individuals advancing to the CIF postseason will constitute a successful season.
Seniors Natalia Garcia and Monique Thomas have been named team captains. Sophomores Hailey Stoskopf and Isabel Lopez, as well as juniors Morgan Nowak and Berkley Heintzelman, are also back from last year.
Tomlin thinks that so much time spent together over the last year has built a strong bond within his team.
“Off the course, the girls still all hang together,” he said. “They are all friends and get along great. They also all have exceptionally high GPAs and have great futures ahead of them after high school.”
Long Beach Poly is hoping to rebuild a little bit this season after only having six players last year and finishing third in league.
The Jackrabbits have a few new freshmen on the roster that will be led by team captains Kate Montemayor and Madison Williams, who also have a ton of experience because they played a lot as underclassmen. Senior Ava Fernandez is also a key returner.
According to coach Bill Dodge, Gabrille Gales and Abigail Hall are two of the stronger newcomers who have been working hard on their course management.
Cabrillo has twin sisters Aline Maestas and Malena Maestas leading a group of mostly new players. Sophomore Dayanara Martinez is also returning.
Coach Blake Dorman said sophomore Erica Rojas, junior Delilah Frausto, senior Olga Gudino-Solorio and senior Flor Rodriguez Alonzo will be the key newcomers.
“I want the girls to improve throughout the season and just have fun,” Dorman said. “It’s a difficult sport to learn with all the rules and especially the etiquette. I spend a lot of time explaining the flow of a golf round and how to be courteous and respectful to your opponent. I really enjoy seeing the girls realize that they enjoy golf and get excited every time they have an opportunity to play.”
Lakewood has coach Spencer McDaniel back for a second season at the helm. He will rely heavily on returning seniors Jasmine Pam, Prescilla Gomez and Annika Kanaclang.
Jordan will not be fielding a girls’ golf team this season.
Outside the Moore League, St. Anthony is looking strong again to repeat as undefeated Del Rey League champions for the third consecutive season.
The Saints also finished runners up in CIF-SS Division 4 last year with team captains Julia Klenk and Victoria Valenzuela leading the way. The junior Valenzuela is the reigning Del Rey League individual champion.
According to fourth-year coach Robert Klenk, Jaugueline Hufana, Jacklyn Sternagle and Julia Hernandez are the other key returners.
“Everyone giving their full effort, improving their score and having a fun time,” Klenk said. “This is a really tight knit group of kids that get along well with each other. It’s a joy coaching them.”