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CHS girls golf returns after 2-year hiatus
Ceres High School has added varsity girls golf to its fall sports schedule.

The program returns following a two-year hiatus due to a lack of interest.

"A lot of the girls are beginners," first-year head coach Carlos Maldonado said. "They need to learn the basics. If at the end of the season, they've all enjoyed themselves and gotten better, it was all worth it."

Approximately 14 students expressed interest in playing golf for the Bulldogs this year. Seven girls were named to the team, including seniors Ashley Delagrande, Hayley Fisher, Lydia Hernandez, Brittany Padilla and Cristina Raya, junior Jovana Padilla, and sophomore Arleen Xayasone.

Bulldog players spent time at the driving range and on the front nine course at River Oaks during the first day of practice. They borrowed clubs from family members and relatives.

"I like trying new things," Cristina said "The only time I've played golf is video games on the Nintendo Wii."

"It's my last year of high school," Brittany said. "I want to have fun."

Ceres High will focus on improvement rather than winning in 2009 because of its lack of experience.

"It's a start," Maldonado said.

The Bulldogs are members of the nine-team Valley Oak League. Ceres High will compete against Central Valley, Sonora, Oakdale, Manteca, Sierra, East Union, Lathrop and Weston Ranch.

The crosstown Hawks returns three players: seniors Leslie Wyatt, Jessenia Rivera-Gomez and Ashley Orozco.

Central Valley finished in sixth place at the 2008 conference tournament. Wyatt led the Hawks with a 135 on the par-72 Lockeford Springs Golf Course in Lodi. Rivera-Gomez finished three strokes back (138).

"We anticipate a much more competitive season this year," Central Valley head coach Tina Collier said.