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East Union claims outright VOL title; Allen is first MVP in school history
Sierra High junior Drew Allen is the first boys golfer at his school to be MVP of the Valley Oak League. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

East Union High’s boys golf team claimed its fourth Valley Oak League championship in five seasons, and Drew Allen of Sierra made school history at the conference tournament Tuesday Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort in Angels Camp.

East Union, which went 12-2 in the regular season and finished a match behind Oakdale, beat Sonora by 10 strokes with a 423. Oakdale finished with a 438 for third place and will join the other two in Stockton next Monday for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament at Brookside Country Club.

The top six individuals on the final season-long points standings also qualify, and Allen is one of three Timberwolves to move on.

Allen entered the event as the league’s leader and became Sierra’s first boys golfer to earn the league’s Most Valuable Player honor.

He was one of three medalists Tuesday, finishing with a 4-over-par 76 while coming up with a clutch birdie on the final hole. The others were Michael Sturgis of Sonora and Oakdale’s Issac Rellamas.

Allen was a freshman two years ago when Sierra garnered its first-ever VOL team championship, but he wasn’t a part of the starting six. He has obviously come a long ways since.

In 13 league dual matches this year (Lathrop forfeited all of its matches over the second half), Allen was the medalist for 10 of them.

“All year I was going head-to-head with Will Brink and Jordan Duval (both of East Union) as well as a few others from Oakdale, Sonora and Kimball,” Allen said. “There are some great players in our league, and with me coming out as MVP it’s just a great feeling.

“I set it as my goal at the beginning of the season, and now that I’ve achieved that it really hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Teammates joining Allen at the divisional tournament next week are all-league honorees Ryan Leasure and Kasey Milam, who carded an 85 and 91, respectively. Blake Settlemoir (109), Tyler Gulbronson (116) and Chris Schmitz (116) make up the rest of Sierra’s team score.

Leading East Union was Brink, who finished a stroke behind the three-way leaders. Duval took fifth with an 80 and Evan Lewis’ 84 was good for ninth. Zac Couch (89) and Jordan Lund (96) also contributed, with Eric Lewis producing the team’s throw-out score of 106.

East Union coach Dennis Wells got more or less what he expected out of his top two golfers, but he said some of the less experienced Lancers keyed the championship run. Sophomores Couch and Lund and Eric Lewis, a freshman, had never participated in a competitive match going into the year.

“Those three guys showed great improvement all year, and to come through like they did was huge,” Wells said. “Will had a good chance to be MVP, but he’s happy for Drew and so am I. If it wasn’t going to be one of my guys, I wanted it to be him.”

Manteca High finished in sixth with a 531 and will not have a representative in the SJS Division-IV tourney. Scoring were: Tim Baker (99), Derek Benson (104), Casey Benson (107), Kody Morris (108) and Brandon Vilaysack (113).

Weston Ranch’s Joel Keough finished in a three-way tie for 14th with a 92 and will advance.