Woodland Christian boys golf team is undefeated thus far in CVCL championship defense – Daily Democrat

The Woodland Christian High School boys varsity golf team is more than halfway to winning the Central Valley California League in back-to-back campaigns and is doing so without its best player from last season.

Junior Allie Nguyen, who won the boys CVCL MVP last year, and head coach Tuan Nguyen, her dad, led the charge to start a Cardinals girls golf team in 2023. In their inaugural season, the Woodland Christian girls beat out crosstown rivals Pioneer and Woodland to win the Golden Empire League championship in Division IV.

Thus far in 2024, the boys have won all five of their matches.

“The season has been going very well,” Tuan said Tuesday. “I have seven kids on the team and they are all self-motivated to get better and love the game. That makes my job a lot easier when you have a group of athletes that are looking to get better everyday. Our results are starting to show their passion for the game. I would expect our results to keep getting better as we enter the second half of the season.”

The Cardinals began the campaign on March 13 with a 258-279 win versus Victory Christian at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento. Six days later, Woodland Christian played Foresthill at Black Oak Golf Course in Auburn and won 260-322. Following forfeits by Futures and Forest Lake Christian to conclude March, the Cardinals returned after three weeks off and beat Victory Christian 242-262 on Tuesday at Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis.

Woodland Christian has two returning players on its roster with sophomores, Owen Rainwater and Aidan McMillan, who were both recognized recently by the Sierra Delta League for their play on the soccer pitch.

“Owen fell in love with the game last year and decided to dedicate his summer to it, taking lessons, playing in tournaments and practicing a whole lot,” Tuan explained. “He is significantly better than he was last season and he continues to lead our team statistically, routinely shooting under 40 at practice and being right around 40 or under in matches. That’s been really nice to see his improvement and he’s only going to get better. He’s just starting to scratch the surface of his development. He is doing great.”

McMillan was sidelined for the first half of the season with “a month-long injury,” according to Tuan.

“He’s been back for the last two matches and has been shooting really good scores in the low 40s after coming back from an injury which prevented him from competing in competitions,” Tuan said.

After leading the Cardinals to a state championship on the gridiron in 2023, junior Zander Gimenez decided to try a new sport. This spring, Gimenez traded his baseball bat for a golf club.

“Zander, who had been filling in at the two positions for Aidan while he was out, did a great job,” Tuan recalled. “Zander is a great athlete, he grew up playing baseball and is a really good football player. He decided that he wanted to give golf a try and he has been able to translate his athletic abilities and multi-sport background into golf. He is going to be a fantastic player long term.”

At the No. 4 spot is older brother of “The Worm,” junior Ben Broward.

“Ben grew up playing baseball and other sports. He’s made a tremendous jump just in the last couple of weeks,” Tuan explained. “Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get him shooting right around 50 and he’s hitting the ball well enough that one of these days he has a chance of breaking 40, as long as his short game cooperates. He’s been a really nice surprise for our team.”

Fifth in the lineup is junior Tanner Thomas, who was an All-CVCL first team selection on the hardwood this past season.

“Tanner has been a leader on our school’s basketball team,” Tuan said. “He is just out there having a good time with his friends, learning the game and he’s a solid contributor to our team.”

Rounding out the rotation is sophomore Sebestian Torres at the No. 6 spot and junior Marcus Banks on the bench.

“Sebestian is brand new to golf and started six weeks ago. He has taken instruction very well and hits the ball very, very well for a beginner,” Tuan explained. “He is so hungry to learn and it’s such a joy to coach a kid like that who is eager to learn and get better everyday.”

With three matches and the league tournament remaining in the regular season, Tuan is confident that his team will repeat as CVCL champions. Woodland Christian hosts Foresthill at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Wildhorse.

“We are undefeated through the first half of play and I would expect that trend will continue for the rest of the season,” Tuan proclaimed. “Our boys are getting stronger and more confident so I would expect us to finish strong and win the league title with continued good play through the rest of the season.”

The Lady Cardinals set the bar high for the boys to try and top, placing third as a team at Divisonals in the postseason. After winning GEL MVP, Allie advanced to Masters as an individual, before committing to continue her career at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

“I think of the guys I have on the squad, Owen has a realistic shot of advancing beyond Divisionals,” Tuan foreshadowed. “What it would take is he has to get hot at the right time. He has the ability to. I would think that this year he may lack some experience to be able to get that far but I certainly think from a skills standpoint, Owen if he gets hot, can make it through Divisionals and get to Masters.

“As a team, I don’t think we’re quite ready this year because I only have two returning players. I really have high hopes for next season. As far as this year, we’re focused on one day at a time and I’m really looking forward to the boys being able to have that experience of playing in Divisionals. As a team, I don’t have too many expectations and really want them to enjoy the experience, learn from it and build for next year.”

Source link

Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Most Popular