* Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a nine-part series previewing the Davis High fall sports.
Fresh off of a Delta Valley Conference tournament championship, and a fifth-place finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters event, the Davis High girls golf team is looking to infuse young talent into its experienced core to improve on last year’s quality performance.
Only three players graduated from the 2013 Blue Devils, leaving top performers Yuexin “River” Xiang and Casey Harris — who both earned All-Delta Valley Conference honors last year — to propel the team to new heights.
“If (the golfers) put in the effort and time above and beyond our practice time, they will have a chance to go to the end,” said DHS coach Rhonda Mohr. “They will have to be good at scoring in the Masters, NorCal and State tournament in order to advance.
“I have three girls that have shot in the 70s in tournaments and two girls that shot in the 80s in tournaments,” Mohr added. “If they can learn the strategies to score in those tournaments, we will do well.”
Returning along with Xiang and Harris is Emily Masiel, a senior who goes to Da Vinci Charter Academy
“River is exceptional at concentration and keeping her head in the game and not giving up strokes,” Mohr said. “Emily is a consistent ball striker and Casey consistently during tournaments pulls in a great score.”
But as five scores count for each tournament, the Devils will need some of the younger and less-experienced golfers to step up if they’re going to make noise in the postseason.
“I have 13 girls on the team and five of them are sophomores and four are freshmen,” Mohr said. “The exciting part is, not only should we be competitive this year, but in the years to come as they develop and improve.”
Of these young golfers, Mohr mentions two in particular who should standout: freshmen Marie Dean and Madison Green.
Dean was nominated, though couldn’t attend due to illness, for the trip that DHS golfers took to Scotland over the summer (see sidebar) based on her strong improvement in the last year as she went from scoring in the 100s to scoring in the 70s according to Mohr.
Both Dean and Green are expected to contribute to the team right away and shoot in the 70s and 80s to propel the Blue Devils, who finished second to St. Francis at the 2013 North Divisional tournament.
This season, the Troubadours are in Davis’ conference — the new-look Delta League. The extra challenge in league matches should help come playoff time.
The Devils open the season at the Lengfield Memorial Tournament (Whitney Oaks) on Wednesday.
— Reach Evan Ream at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam