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CHS, CV golfers earn league honors
• Bulldog Marquez adds to WAC MVP total
Alysabeth Marquez  Brooke Trio
Four members of Ceres High School’s girls’ golf program earned all-Western Athletic Conference recognition, including MVP Alysabeth Marquez and First-Teamer Brooke Trio. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Senior Alysabeth Marquez stands alone as the Ceres High School’s greatest female golfer, becoming the first player in program history to earn league Most Valuable Player honors for the third time.

Bulldog sophomore teammates Brooke Trio, Hailey Tsurui and Allison Lewis were also rewarded for their outstanding play during the Western Athletic Conference season.

Central Valley seniors Kaylee Almanza and Lucia Bernal earned Central California Conference recognition this fall.

“I think it’s cool because it’s never been done before,” said Marquez in reflecting on being a three-time MVP recipient. ”It’s a really big honor. I strived to be the best. I knew I had the potential to be. Getting there is surprising. I thank God gave me an amazing gift and ability to play, the drive to be better and want to win.”

Marquez, 17, accomplished a lot while filling the top spot in Ceres High’s lineup for three seasons.

She advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament once and the Division-IV Tournament twice.

She had a combined record of 29-5 during the WAC regular season.

“I enjoyed every aspect of my high-school golf experience. I definitely surprised myself. I feel like I improved a lot throughout the last four years. Golf is 99 percent mental. I’ve matured in that area. My swing got stronger. The most enjoyable part was getting to meet new people from other schools.”

Marquez became a team leader adding it wasn’t her choice and “it just kind of happened.”

Marquez posted the second-best score (87) at the 2022 WAC Championships.

She compiled an 11-3 record versus conference cluster competition.

She earned her second-consecutive berth to Divisionals.

Marquez qualified for the Masters Tournament for the first time after posting the fifth-best individual score at Divisionals junior year.

The 2021 WAC MVP was low medalist 13 of 14 times in league play.

The Bulldogs took fourth at the WAC Championships. The top three teams in league advanced to Divisionals.

Marquez was named co-MVP of the WAC South Division during the 2020 COVID-shortened season. She posted a 5-1 record as the Bulldogs won a share of the league title with an 8-2 mark. The Sac-Joaquin Section canceled playoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marquez wanted to play girls golf freshman year, but Ceres High didn’t field a team due to a late coaching departure. She ended up playing in several matches for the boys’ team before the season was cut short because of COVID-19. Marquez had the best overall score during Ceres High’s non-league match versus Orestimba.

“It was definitely a really cool experience. It was fun to see their reaction.”

Marquez has been playing golf for 10 years.

She gave up soccer and softball to focus on the sport.

“Seven-year-old me thought golf courses were so much fun,” she said. “I’ve played competitively for a long time. Closing that chapter is a little relieving. I will definitely miss it and think about it. I have good memories. I loved playing. I enjoyed the pace of it. It’s a very mental sport. I made a lot of friends. The idea of leaving behind a legacy at my school is very interesting.”

Marquez will focus on academics in college. She’s applied to several California State Universities.

“I want to jump right into my career. My plan is to major in nursing.”

Trio was named to the WAC First Team.

Tsurui and Lewis were both selected to the WAC Second Team.

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

Tsurui and Lewis advanced to Divisionals for the second straight season.

Trio made her first-ever appearance at Divisionals.

A four-year golfer at Central Valley, Almanza played her best during her final season with the Hawks.

The CCC honorable-mention pick joined rare company as only a handful of players from her high school have qualified for Divisionals. She secured one of the CCC’s six individual spots.

She fired a 125 at the conference’s End-of-Season Tournament.

She shot a 135 at the Divisional-III event.

“This was by far Kaylee’s best season,” noted Hawks’ Coach Kelly Wheelock. “She was our most consistent player. She improved a lot. She was committed this year. She has the skillset to play in college if that’s something she wants to pursue.”

Bernal was named Central Valley’s CCC Sportsmanship Award winner.

“That’s pretty cool because it’s voted on by coaches,” Wheelock said. "She’s a high-character kid. Her attitude is always good. She’s well-liked by everybody.”

Kaylee Almanza Lucia Bernal
Central Valley lady golfers Kaylee Almanza and Lucia Bernal were both rewarded during the Central California Conference year-end coaches meeting. Almanza was an honorable-mention pick, while Bernal was named Central Valley’s CCC Sportsmanship Award winner. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo