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Vongphoumy won conference MVP award last year
Janita Vongphoumy enjoyed a memorable first season with Central Valleys varsity girls golf team last fall. Vongphoumy qualfied for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

A new addition to Central Valley High School's varsity girls golf program a year ago, Janita Vongphoumy established herself as one of the top players in the Stanislaus District.

Janita should be just as dominant during her final season with the Hawks.

"I'm sure she'll be the best player in league again," Central Valley head coach Kelly Wheelock said. "I'd be shocked if she wasn't. She played in some Junior Golf Association of Northern California tournaments during the summer and did pretty well. She's going to do better this year. She's worked at it."

Vongphoumy made history by becoming the first female golfer from Central Valley to advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament and win the Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player award her junior year.

Janita, a transfer from Rhode Island, shot a 14-over-par 86 while finishing in the top 15 at Masters. The event featured 108 competitors.

She posted the fourth-best score (85) at Divisionals.

She fired a 7-over-par 79 on her way to claiming the title at the WAC Year-End Championships.

She posted a near-perfect 7-1 record during the conference dual season.

Vongphoumy surpassed Brooke Davis as Central Valley's all-time greatest female golfer.

Davis, a 2008 graduate, secured two trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs and made the All-Valley Oak League team twice.

"Janita doesn't like being in the spotlight," Wheelock said. "She's very humble. That's one of her biggest assets."

Central Valley returns just three players from last year's team, including Vongphoumy, senior Else Smith and sophomore Emily Almanza. Smith placed 24th at the conference's year-end tournament.

The Hawks compiled a 4-8 record on their way to a sixth-place finish in the 2014 WAC regular-season dual standings.

Crosstown-rival Ceres High won all 12 of its matches.

"We'll probably finish in the middle of the pack," Wheelock said. "We'll be competitive. Ceres will be tough. I was happy for them last year. It's always great to see local talent be successful."

Wheelock believes Vongphoumy has the talent to compete at a Division-I university.

Janita's older sister Juliet had a storied golf career with the University of Maryland. She was selected to the All-Big Ten First-Team and won the league's sportsmanship award this past season.