STOCKTON — Taking sixth place at Monday’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament was a strong finish for a young Davis High boys golf squad — and one that foreshadows even more success in the coming years.
But before looking at the bright future ahead, Blue Devil coach Karl Ronning reflected on the great performance of his 2014 group. Competing against the best teams the section had to offer, across all divisions, DHS shot a 388 at The Reserve.
“I’m so proud of these guys, how hard they worked,” said the veteran coach. “It’s a really tough tournament … and our guys rose to the challenge.
“At the beginning of the season, nobody thought we were going to be one of the teams competing at this tournament, but there we were.”
Granite Bay shot an impressive 365 to finish ahead of Jesuit (371), Central Catholic (377), Oak Ridge (384) and Oakmont (385).
DHS advanced to the Masters by taking fourth in its divisional tourney. Its lineup featured just two seniors — Cyrrus Espino, who shot a 79 on Monday and Brandon Strong, who carded an 82 — and was paced by junior Preston Walchli (74), and sophomores Andrew Arnheiter (76) and Sam Yamauchi (77).
“This year we were kind of under the radar and next year we will not be,” said Ronning, whose team was making its first appearance at the Masters since 2011. “But we still have a lot to prove so I know these guys will work hard in the offseason.
“It’s rare that you are successful the first time you experience something in golf. You have to go through it because you can’t simulate it in practice. But not only did these kids learn from (Monday) but they will take that knowledge and pass it off to the guys coming up.
“It’s going to be exciting next year. It was exciting this year!”