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Hawk, Bulldogs rewarded for stellar golf play
Erik Hott earned
Ceres High boys golf standout Erik Hott earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors this season. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Central Valley’s Matteo Bonales and Ceres High’s Erik Hott had memorable final seasons with their respective boys golf teams.

The two seniors both earned first-team all-league honors for their standout play, along with Bulldog junior Jayson Homsombath.

Bonales was named to the Central California Conference First Team.

Hott and Homsombath were selected to the Western Athletic Conference First Team.

“I’m super grateful,” Bonales said.

“Erik didn’t get MVP because he missed our first match with a knee injury,” Ceres High head coach Ron Edwards said. 

Hoping to supplant his older brother Anthony (class of 2014) as Central Valley’s greatest male player, Matteo was denied a chance to meet his full potential as he played two full seasons of golf.

His junior and sophomore years were cut short due to COVID-19.

Anthony was the WAC’s top player as a senior, sophomore and freshman. He qualified for Divisionals four times. He advanced to Masters twice. Anthony earned a golf scholarship to UC Riverside.

“High school golf went by really quick,” Matteo Bonales said. “Two of the years, we didn’t play because of the pandemic. Looking back, I wish we played more seasons. I would have made it further.”

Bonales advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament for the first time this spring.

He shot an 11-over-par 82 at Elkhorn Golf Club on May 16.

“I wasn’t happy with how I performed,” said Bonales, who carded a 71 while taking first at the Ty Caplin Memorial at Elkhorn two years ago. “I struggled putting. Besides that, everything else was fine.”

Bonales won a five-man sudden-death playoff for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III Tournament’s sixth-and-final individual qualifying spot to Masters this year.

Bonales was named Most Valuable Player of the WAC South Division as a junior. He compiled a 7-1 record in conference play.

A first-team all-league selection as a freshman, Bonales placed third at the Central California Conference Championships. He was second at the CCC Midseason Tournament. Bonales won eight of 12 matches during the conference dual season. He finished eighth at the Division-III Tournament, just missing the cut for Masters.

“I had a positive career,” said Bonales, who attributed his success to working hard and staying humble. “I did as good as I could with what I was given.”

“I really do hope I can inspire other kids from not only CV but other campuses to go above and beyond and leave a mark and create a name for themselves,” he added.

A transfer from Central Valley Christian Academy, Hott joined Ceres High’s boys golf team during his junior year.

“He showed up,” Edwards said. “I had no idea who he was. As soon as I saw his swing and short game, I knew he could play. You don’t have to tell him anything. He’s got everything upstairs. He knows what he’s doing.”

Hott competed at Masters for the first time this spring as playoffs were postponed the previous season because of COVID-19.

Hott missed qualifying for NorCals by five strokes as he fired 5-over-par 76 at Elkhorn.

“The stakes were high,” he said. “I knew I had to shoot a pretty good round to advance. Sadly, it wasn’t the day I was hoping for. Overall, I had fun.”

“Advancing that far was pretty cool,” Hott added.

Hott placed first at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament.

He secured an individual berth to Divisionals after shooting a 12-over-par 84 at the WAC Championships.

“Erik played great all year,” Edwards said. “He stepped up. He exceeded my expectations. He took his game to another level.”

Hott garnered first-team all-WAC South recognition as a junior. He posted a 7-1 record versus conference competition.

“Overall, I really enjoyed high school golf,” Hott said. “I loved every moment. It’s sad knowing it’s over. Overall, I’m pretty happy. I got a few highlights. I wish I got to play a little longer. Golf is a tricky sport. You can always look back and say you could have done better.”

Matteo Bonales file photo
Central Valley boys golf standout Matteo Bonales received first-team all-CCC accolades for the second time. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo