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Bonales has productive first golf season with Hawks
Central Valley High School varsity boys golfer Anthony Bonales had high hopes for the 2011 season. The freshman standout just missed qualifying for the Northern California Championships.

Bonales fired a 2-over-par 74 while tying for fourth place at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament on Monday, May 16 in Stockton. East Union's Will Brink won a five-man playoff for the final NorCal berth.

"He was an eyelash short of moving on," Hawks head coach Mike Holliday said. "It's not that easy to get to that level know matter how good you are."

"I reached my goals and gave myself a chance to go farther," Bonales said. "I'm real proud of how I did this season. I still got three more years left."

Bonales had a phenomenal first season with the Hawks.

He won the Western Athletic Conference individual title and Most Valuable Player award.

Anthony beat league MVPs Drew Allen (Sierra) and Tanner Choate (Galt) when he tied for third place at the Division IV tournament.

Bonales left a 10-foot birdie putt four inches short of the cup during the first playoff hole at Masters.

"If I would have made it, I would have beat everybody," said Anthony, who saw his season come to an end following a bogey at No. 18. "I hit it perfect speed. It just didn't go in. The loss motivates me to go practice more and get better."

This summer, Bonales will travel to South Carolina to participate in the Hank Hanny International Jr. Golf Academy. Anthony earned an invitation after submitting a 1,000-word essay and resume highlighting his golf and academic accomplishments. Bonales, a straight-A student, wants to continue his education and playing career at Stanford.

"I applied for it knowing my chances were slim," he said. "I didn't think I'd get accepted. I was shocked. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'm just grateful I have a chance to go there."

"That's a pretty big honor to be singled out like that," Holliday said.

Bonales has already drawn comparisons to former Bulldogs' golfer Ryan Thornberry (class of 2002).

"You're not going to see a golfer of Anthony's caliber twice in your career," Holliday said. "The focus he has on all parts of the game is the biggest thing. He works hard. He doesn't have any weaknesses. He's a pretty amazing kid."

Added Bonales: "I practice and play a lot."

Thornberry was a four-time, All-American at Cal State Stanislaus, where he collected seven titles.

Ryan was voted Central California Conference MVP three years in a row while starring at Ceres High. He led the Bulldogs to a first-place finish and perfect 18-0 record in league his senior year.

Thornberry claimed the 2001 Northern California Junior Amateur Championship. He was also named the Northern California Junior Golf Association Player of the Year.

"He's shooting the same scores Ryan shot as a senior in high school," Holliday said.

"I see his (Thornberry's) name a lot," Bonales said. "He also comes back (to River Oaks) and talks with the kids. I want to be one of those guys."

Anthony will try to defend his WAC title, and improve on his placement at Divisionals and Masters in 2012.

"I'd be surprised if he didn't get to NorCals," Holliday said. "He doesn't have trouble motivating himself."