Christian Manes has golf skill running through his ancestry.
The Ripon Christian graduate’s grandfather Lee Weintz, who co-designed Ripon’s Spring Creek Golf & Country Club course in 1965, was also one of the facilities’ first golf pros.
“I’ve been playing golf since I was really little,” said Manes, who signed his National Letter of Intent to play golf and attend Dordt College on Tuesday morning. “My grandpa used to always take me out when I was about four or five.
“He’s really helped me a lot…definitely extremely blessed to have him.”
Manes, who has been a member of the Knights’ boys varsity golf program for the past four years, was also a key factor during Ripon Christian’s run to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship this spring.
Manes will be headed to Dordt College of Sioux Center, Iowa – an NAIA Christian school that competes against the Great Plains Athletic Conference in athletics.
“Coach (Mark) Christians, I’ve met with him a few times, and he’s a good golfer himself,” said Manes, who was a Southern League All-League selection this past season and in 2012. “It’s going to be good to go out there and learn from some other guys. Their golf program is growing and it’s looking up.
“I don’t think I’ll be one of the top five my first year, but by working on my game year round I think I can make the top five by my junior year. That’s my goal.”
During his sophomore season at RC, Manes was also an All-Leaguer as an honorable mention on the links. His team won the section banner this spring and it was the runner-up in 2012.
RC beat its league rival Turlock Christian for its banner (451-459) and got redemption against the same squad that beat them for the league championship a week prior.
Manes didn’t just excel in one sport, either.
On the soccer pitch he was a standout athlete and helped lead the Knights (8-3-3 SL, 13-5-4 overall) to its first postseason appearance in almost a decade.
Ripon Christian’s soccer squad made the tournament, knocked off Global Youth Charter of Antelope 3-0 in the first round and then it was eliminated in the second round against Sacramento Country Day, 4-0.
“We had a real successful season,” said the former RC standout defender Manes. “We went to the playoffs, which is big for our school in soccer. That was a pretty big deal for us.”
Dordt’s athletic department noticed that and gave him the opportunity to become a two-sport athlete at the collegiate level.
“I was going to go to a bigger public college, but I wasn’t going to be able to play,” said Manes, who graduated with a 3.62 GPA and an undeclared major last week. “But by choosing Dordt, I knew I was going to be able to play (golf, and) soccer as well.
“They have a split season for golf, so they offered me to play soccer in the fall and golf in the spring. I just decided to go with one, full time. I just chose golf because I thought it would be more fun.”