Central Valley varsity girls golf head coach Kelly Wheelock believes it’s unfair to put unrealistic expectations on teams.
He always focuses on the bigger picture instead of the win-loss column.
“You want to win,” Wheelock said. “You want girls to get college scholarships. At the end of the day, you want them to become better people and be successful in whatever they’re doing.”
Central Valley returns three players from 2018, including Amelia Daoheung (Jr.), Esmeralda Lopez (Sr.) and Sayra Rodriguez (Jr.).
Kaylee Almanza (Fr.), Lina Bernal (So.), Lucia Bernal (Fr.), Mia Orozco (Fr.), Dania Guerrero (Fr.) and Mikaeli Escobar (Fr.) are first-year golfers.
“We’re young,” he said. “We have girls that have never played before. I’d be satisfied if we finished in the middle of the pack.”
Daoheung has developed into one of the top players in the Stanislaus District.
She earned first-team all-league honors as a sophomore.
Daoheung finished fifth in the Central California Conference’s individual standings.
She qualified for Divisionals for the second consecutive season.
She was the fifth-best golfer in the Western Athletic Conference her freshman year.
“I never saw any of this happening,” Daoheung said. “I’ve definitely surprised myself.”
“She’s very humble,” Wheelock stated. “That’s her makeup. She’s competitive. You couldn’t tell because her mannerisms are always the same. Amelia has a really good shot at being league MVP this year.”
“I feel this year I can surpass what I did last season,” Daoheung added. “I’ve been putting in a lot of practice time. I’ve gotten so better.”
Escobar, Guerrero, Orozco, Almanza and Lucia Bernal were students in Wheelock’s P.E. class at Cesar Chavez Jr. High during the 2018-19 school year.
“They all knew I coached at Central Valley,” Wheelock said. “It’s kind of a cool deal for them to come out for the team. There’s a lot of potential there.”
Central Valley finished in fifth place at the CCC Championships last fall.
The Hawks failed to post a team score at the conference’s mid-season tournament due to a lack of numbers.
“From what I’m hearing, if there’s one clear-cut favorite this year, it’s El Capitan because they have the most returners,” Wheelock said. “Senior-heavy Merced won the CCC last year. There are a lot of teeth in the league. We’re playing against year-round, country club golfers.”
“I expect us to do really well this year,” Daoheung added. “I feel we will improve a lot.”
Ceres High School will not field a girls golf team this fall.
“Our coach stepped down right before the season,” Bulldogs’ athletic director John Bussard said. “We found potential replacements, but by the time that occurred, school started and we didn’t have enough girls to field a team. I’d be shocked if there wasn’t a team next year.”
“I’ve known John for a lot of years,” Wheelock said. “He really cares about the kids and programs. He’ll find the right person for it (the girls golf head coach position).”