Establish the senior star, check.
Find the freshman sensation, check.
Take first place in the season-opening tournament, check.
It couldn’t have gone much better for the Davis High boys golf team on Tuesday as it won the Wolfpack Invitational at Castle Oak Golf Course.
The Blue Devils’ score of 398 — which was 33 strokes better than second-place Kennedy — was paced by senior Chase Dossa, who took first in the individual standings with a 74.
DHS freshman Sam Yamauchi’s 77 was good for second place overall.
“Chase has worked really hard to turn the corner … to be one of the top players in the section,” said Devil coach Karl Ronning. “Sam’s been champing at the bit to play high school golf since he was in sixth grade. He’s been out at the course talking since then and he finally got his chance to shine (Tuesday).”
Another young gun, sophomore Preston Walchli took fourth, carding an 80. Davis got an 83 from junior Spencer Salk and senior Michael Chen’s 84 rounded out the local scoring. Patrick Cajandig (95) was the Blue Devils’ sixth competitor.
Casual fans might not expect Blue Devil head coach Art Guerra to be happy after his team watched too many third strikes and made a pair of costly errors in a 3-1 loss Tuesday to Rocklin at the DHS field.
But with a young squad, Guerra knows these kind of games are exactly what his team needs:
“This was a good game for us. The (Sacramento Valley League) is probably the best in the area so I’ve tried to schedule a lot of games against them. I’ve got a lot of freshmen and sophomores and games like this is what will make us better.”
One of the DHS bright spots was the pitching of Sara Allen-Sutter, who went the distance, allowing five hits and just two earned runs.
After the Thunder got a pair of runs in the fifth inning, the Devils answered back in the bottom half. Maddie Asta got things started with a double, then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Faith Harlan. That’s when Madi Benner came up and ripped a single up the middle, plating Asta with Davis’ only run.
The Blue Devils stormed back in the second half of Tuesday’s road match at Monte Vista but it wasn’t quite enough to dig themselves out of an early hole in an 8-5 loss.
DHS struggled in the first half and fell behind 5-0 early in the third period before Willie Hawkins’ first of two goals finally got the Devils on the board.
Even after that, penalties hurt the locals — who had to play with as many as three men down at one point — and the Mustangs took a 7-1 lead into the final quarter.
But Davis would not go quietly as its defense gave up just one more goal and the offense started to come on. First, Hawkins found Mark Bruemmer for a tally before a takeaway by Connal Hart led to a Mikie Schlosser-to-Kevin Klenzendorf connection. Hawkins followed with his second goal and Schlosser made it 8-5 late in the contest.
After the rough start, the Blue Devil defense was almost untouchable as Rudy Buhlman, Hart, Sam Gellen, Liam Neville and Gus Realyvasquez killed several man-down opportunities and goalie Will McPherson posted six of his 12 saves in the final quarter.
DHS (1-1) is on the road for two more games before coming home on Friday, March 15, to host Jesuit for Break The Record Night.
Following a long day of volleyball at Saturday’s tournament on the UC Davis campus, the Blue Devils were back in action on Tuesday, dropping three close games in a 26-24, 25-23, 25-22 home loss to Oak Ridge.
Though it ended up falling in three, DHS led in each game and just couldn’t get over the hump.
“Skillwise, we are right there and we are working hard to keep up with good teams,” said Devil coach Julie Crawford. “We just haven’t quite done enough.”
Crawford said missed serves were the difference against Oak Ridge.
At the tournament, DHS played five matches against quality opponents and the highlight was a victory over St. Joesph Notre Dame. As has been the case for most of this season, the Blue Devils leaned heavily on senior Sam Manderfield.
“He takes on so much responsibility and he always performs at a high level,” Crawford said. “He is just a great, consistent player and he has really shown a lot of leadership.”
Five different Aggies had hits on Tuesday but UCD couldn’t keep up with the Sacramento State offense in a 14-0 nonconference loss at Dobbins Stadium.
In a game with few local highlights, Seth Batty, John Williams, Spencer Henderson, Kevin Barker and Spencer Brann each had singles for UCD (6-7), while Zach Williams came in and pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
The Hornets (7-5) used a six-run third to take a 9-0 lead, effectively putting the contest out of reach.
Paced by even-par rounds from senior Amy Simanton and Jessica Chulya, the 13th-ranked Aggies posted the best score of the day by seven shots on Tuesday and finished fifth at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational hosted by San Jose State.
Senior Demi Runas tied for fifth to lead the UCD players in the individual standings.
The Aggies, who began the day in 10th place, moved up the leaderboard with a 4-over 292. Runas and freshman Betty Chen each carded 74’s, while freshman Raegan Bremer had a 78 on Tuesday.