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Hawks hope to improve in golf
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Prior to teeing off against visiting Manteca on Thursday, the members of Central Valley High School's varsity girls golf program practiced on the putting greens and at the driving range under the watchful eyes of first-year head coach Tina Collier and assistant Brooke Davis.

Collier hasn't put too much thought into how the Hawks will fare this season. She couldn't care less about her team's win-loss record.

"I don't want to really focus on that," Collier said. "I want them to have fun so they'll come back. I still think we have the makings of a good team."

Central Valley returns six players from a season ago, including Christian Magdaleno (senior), Liberty Ruskamp (senior), Leslie Wyatt (junior), Louisa Jacquez (junior), Anicia Camarillo (sophomore) and Shelby Ruskamp (sophomore).

Ashley Orozco (junior), Jessenia Rivera-Gomez (junior) and Erica Rivera-Gomez (sophomore) are also on the team.

Magdaleno, Wyatt and Liberty Ruskamp started last year.

"We have some underclassmen so we want to prepare them for the future," Collier said.

Davis, a 2008 graduate, will be a valuable asset.

The Hawks' all-time greatest girls golfer secured two trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs, made the All-Valley Oak League team twice and garnered academic all-conference honors once.

Brooke placed ninth in league, and 18th in a field of 47 at divisionals as a senior.

"I really like the game," said Davis, who planned to play at Modesto Junior College but couldn't due to a conflicting schedule. "It's fun teaching other people."

Central Valley will play all of its home matches at St. Stanislaus Golf Course, located in Modesto near the intersection of Crows Landing and Grayson roads. The Hawks hosted contests in Ceres the past three seasons.

"It's different because it's shorter," Davis said when comparing St. Stanislaus to River Oaks. "All of the holes are par-3. It's good for learning because we have a lot of new girls."

Central Valley's league schedule includes 12 matches. The Hawks will compete against East Union, Manteca, Weston Ranch, Oakdale and Sonora. Ceres High didn't field a team for the second straight year due to a lack of interest.

Central Valley has posted a combined record of 7-31 in conference play since 2005 (0-12). The Hawks went 3-9 in 2007 and 4-10 in 2006.

East Union won the conference title at 12-0 last year.

Collier teaches computer programming, applied technology, web design and Microsoft Office at Central Valley She spent the previous 12 years at East Union.

This summer, she traveled and played golf on a lot of courses throughout the United States.

"I'm looking forward to doing something different," Collier said. "I haven't coached anything other than bowling. It's a new experience."

Central Valley opened its VOL season with back-to-back losses to Manteca and host Sierra last week.