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Ketner fills Lancers’ lead role to a tee

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After losing two of the area's best golfers, the East Union Lancers didn't miss a beat thanks to the play of Jackie Ketner - the Bulletin's All-Area girls golfer of the year.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED December 24, 2009 2:11 a.m.

With the graduation of two of arguably the best girls golfers in East Union golf history, the Lancers had huge spikes to fill following three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship runs.

Enter Jackie Ketner.

Ketner, who played in a handful of official matches as a freshman, would have to be the guiding force for an East Union program that has reigned supreme in the Valley Oak League for the past four seasons. The senior leader did not shun the challenge, but instead embraced it and closed out an illustrious career as The Bulletin’s 2009 All-Area Golfer of the Year.

“There was kind of some stress knowing that I would have to fill spots of some obviously good golfers before me,” Ketner said of her senior year expectations. “But I knew I could do it because I always felt I had the skills to do it.

“My coaches really helped me so I could get all the strokes off that I needed to.”

Gone were Krysta Clark, last year’s all-area golfer of the year, and teammate extraordinaire Lindsay Shoot, handing Ketner the squad’s No. 1 bag. Ketner responded, leading East Union back to the section title and grabbing VOL MVP honors along the way.

The leading Lancer posted medalist honors in nearly every one of East Union’s 14-0 season, continuing a string of perfection in matches that dates back to the 2007 season. Her dominance shined brightest in the VOL championship, where Ketner took advantage of professional tour event course Brookside Country Club in Stockton, turning in a medalist honor 4-over-par 76, and bringing home another VOL title.

“What we expected of her, (cut) not only happened, it happened in flying colors,” East Union co-head coach Brian Goulart said. “I predicted at the beginning of the year that she would be the best player in the area, finish as the player of the year and that she would shock our league and lead us to another championship.

“I was right.”

Ketner’s round of 76 in the VOL Championships was some 10-strokes ahead of Manteca High’s Kaylee Joaquin. Her excellence was even more magnified during the Division IV tournament at Oakdale Golf and Country Club, where her 81 was third best overall and anywhere from 11 strokes better than her nearest VOL counterparts.

Ketner closed out the season at The Reserve at Spanos Park in the section’s Master’s Girls Golf Tournament with a six-over 78, narrowly missing continuing her season by three strokes.

“I would have loved to done better at Masters and that is why I was so upset,” Ketner said of the emotional close to her season. “I knew that in order to help my team out I needed to get a better score than how I was playing that day. The three (practice) rounds I shot before that I was one-under par on the front and two over on the back.

“I could have shot even or maybe even one-under if I was having a really good day.”

Little argument could be wagered against Ketner being the area’s best golfer. Her play and attitude alike displayed the characteristics of a true champion. Even when the road seemed difficult, continuing the Lancers legacy of great golfers is something she took pride in fulfilling.

“I was definitely proud of how my East Union career ended,” Ketner said. “It takes a lot of hard work; it takes a lot of dedication. Knowing that you were able to do something that amazing was a great moment. My dad, at the end of a round, doesn’t always say he’s proud of me, although I know it. At the end of Master’s he said he was proud of me.

“It was my last match of my career and it really just brought everything together for me.”

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