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Freshmen among area’s best

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East Union freshman Will Brink is making an immediate impact on the East Union High gold team.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED April 28, 2010 2:25 a.m.
Usually after a few seasons of learning the ropes and fine-tuning their games, players hold the possibility of becoming one of the team’s low scorers by the time their senior season rolls around. Nothing could be further from the case for Ripon High’s Andrew Bonner and East Union’s Will Brink, two of the area’s standout freshman golfers.

Both players have been key ingredients on successful seasons thus far for both programs, with Bonner turning in medalist rounds in a pair of tournaments against top-flight competition.

Bonner most recently snatched the Tracy Invitational crown when he shot a 5-under-par 67 to win the tournament. The victory was his second after winning the Al Croce Memorial Tournament in March at Lockeford Springs with a 68.

“Obviously, we wouldn’t even be in contention right now if wasn’t for the scores he has been shooting,” Ripon High head coach Chris Musseman said. “He is our most valuable player as far as what he does on that golf course.

“If he can keep it good off the course and continue to make good decisions that kid is going to have a really bright future in golf.”

Brink has been a sturdy branch for East Union’s pursuit of the Valley Oak League championship. Brink currently sits amongst the top five players in the VOL, averaging nine-hole rounds of 39 through the Lancers’ 14 league matches.

“After what I have seen out of that kid this season he doesn’t surprise me at all,” East Union head coach Dennis Wells said. “I have only been able to see Bonner play once, but these kids have so much potential.

“I really like Will’s potential, he’s as talented as anyone I’ve seen in a long time.”

Brink, the younger brother of 2007 Bulletin All-Area Golf MVP Jay Brink, has made his presence felt, resting a quality position to do something special during the VOL Golf Championships at Greenhorn Creek May 4.

“Going into the VOL’s our goal as a team is just to do well,” Brink said. “We want to continue to progress on into the tournaments.

“We’re hoping that as a team we can put it together and go far.”

Bonner has been the guiding force behind a talented Ripon High group, but now has to take full advantage of the opportunity to lead his Indian’s on an uphill climb through the Trans Valley League postseason.

“The expectations that I place on myself are to just to basically keep moving forward,” Bonner said. “I always carry the expectations of taking first in each match, and I will never expect anything less even though I don’t always do that.

“For our team, I’m expecting us to advance maybe, but it all depends on how we play as a team.”

Regardless of how their individual seasons will culminate, the future seemingly holds no limits for these two. Bonner will undoubtedly be Ripon’s No. 1 golfer for the next few years, while Brink holds all the cards for a talented Lancer program. Both share a rare opportunity of taking their skills to the highest of the next level.

“Will reminds me a lot of Kevin Wentworth (Manteca Hall of Fame 2007 athletics inductee),” Wells said. “And this is also coming from other players too, that have been around Kevin. His type of swing, his demeanor and stuff like that.

“All he has to do is work harder than everyone else.”
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