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CHS, CV golfers advance
Allison Lewis
All four members of Ceres High’s girls golf team advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament, including Allison Lewis here. - photo by Dale Butler

A four-year member of Central Valley High School’s girls golf program, Kaylee Almanza secured her first-ever berth to Divisionals this past week.

Almanza punched her ticket after firing a 125 at the Central California Conference End-of-Season Tournament on Oct. 17 at Merced Golf & Country Club.

“It’s a big deal,” said Hawks’ coach Kelly Wheelock. “Kudos to her. She definitely earned it.”

Almanza joined rare company as only a handful of players from Central Valley have advanced to Divisionals. She earned one of the CCC’s six individual spots.

“I spoke with her about that (qualifying) at the beginning of the year,” Wheelock said. “I knew she could. She knew it was a possibility. She’s our most consistent golfer.”

Hawk teammates Evelyn Guizar, Kalaieda Bernal and Lucia Bernal shot 134, 141 and 146, respectively, at the CCC Championships.

Lucia Bernal wrapped up her prep golf career with the Hawks.

“I loved getting the opportunity to coach her the last four years,” Wheelock said.

Sophomore Kalaieda Bernal, Lucia’s cousin, posted a personal-best score at league finals.

She missed qualifying for Divisionals by one spot.

“She almost made it,” Wheelock said. “She put in a lot of work this year. She likes playing golf. She wants to get better.”

Guizar, a senior newcomer, exceeded Wheelock’s expectations.

“I wish we had her all four years,” said Wheelock. “She improved a lot. Everything started to make a little more sense to her after the mid-season tournament. She got more comfortable. Her confidence was way different.”

Central Valley didn’t post a team score at the CCC Championships due to a thin lineup. 

The Hawks placed sixth in the CCC’s overall standings.

Central Valley competed shorthanded for the majority of the season.

“It is what it is. It’s happening everywhere. They’re high school kids. There’s a lot going on. All of my girls played well. They practiced on their own time when I couldn’t be there because of scheduling.”

Dawgs moving on

Ceres High girls golf head coach Ron Edwards didn’t express any disappointment after watching his Bulldogs compete at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 18 at Modesto’s Dryden Park.

“We couldn’t place as a team because we didn’t have a fifth player, but all four of our girls are going to Divisionals,” he said. “I think that’s great. I’m stoked for them. I couldn’t be more happier as a coach.”

Alysabeth Marquez, Brooke Trio, Hailey Tsurui and Allison Lewis secured individual berths to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament.

“I’m not surprised,” Edwards said. “I told them they all had a good shot at moving on. That’s how much faith I had in them.”

Marquez, a senior, posted the second-best score at the WAC Championships.

She led the Bulldogs with an 87.

Marquez had an eagle on the 11th hole and managed to birdie the 10th hole despite hitting the ball into a bunker.

“I followed her the last five holes,” Edwards said. “Her swing was on. She putted well. She was in a groove.”

Trio, Tsurui and Lewis shot 114, 116 and 117, respectively, at the conference finals.

Ceres High placed sixth in both the WAC’s overall and cluster standings. The Bulldogs amassed a 4-10 record against league competition.

“We could have easily been the No. 3 team if we had a fifth person,” Edwards said. “That’s how good the girls were playing.”