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Ripon Christian collects 2nd D6 title in 3 years
Ripons Sharp co-medalist in Division V Tournament
Ripon High standout Nick Sharp, left, and Landon Azevedo of Hilmar were co-medalists in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament held at La Contenta Golf Club on Monday. - photo by Photo Contributed

Ripon High’s Nick Sharp and the Ripon Christian boys golf team appear to be peaking at just the right time.

Sharp carded a 3-under 68 for co-medalist honors in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament on Monday, while Ripon Christian shot a season-low 419 to seize its second Division VI title in three years. They are the lone qualifiers from the area for next week’s SJS Masters Tournament set for The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton.

Ripon Christian was paced by runner-up Kyle Colyn’s 3-over 75 at Cherry Island Golf Course in Elverta. Head coach Kevin Schenk said that the senior-heavy team’s overall experience and patience were key.

“I have seniors with four years of golf experience under their belt,” Schenk said. “There are five seniors who are two-time section runners up and two-time section champions. These guys have proven they can play golf. Even though we’re a small Division VI school we’re developing a reputation as a solid golf program in the area.”

The Knights finished 13 strokes better than second-place Big Valley Christian (432). Turlock Christian was third with a 452. Individual Masters qualifier Jimmy Chang of Highlands was the top finisher with a 68.

Ripon Christian, of course, won it depth. Southern League Golfer of the Year Andrew Manes placed eighth with an 80 and was followed by Ryan Garcia’s 84, Austin Alger’s 87 and Jesse DeRousse’s 92.

“We played a practice round there, but for the most part anytime you go to these Sacramento courses it’s not familiar territory,” Schenk said. “We kind of have to play it more conservative and realize that par is a good score, and if we take a bogey so be it.

“At a course like Cherry Island you need to have pinpoint accuracy, you can’t just bust out a driver every single hole. Sometimes you need to hybrid off certain tees for position, and Kyle is very methodical. He can think his way through a golf course and I think that’s what makes him one of the better golfers in the section.

For Ripon Christian to advance past Masters and onto the CIF Northern California Championships it will likely have to score in the 300s. The Knights have already played at The Reserve this season, placing ninth out of 20 teams in the Ty Caplin Tournament. Many of the section’s larger-school heavy hitters were there, such as Central Catholic, Jesuit and St. Mary’s.

Colyn is one of the area’s best bets to advance. Last season he narrowly missed a NorCal bid with a 73 and was named the Manteca Bulletin’s All-Area Golfer of the Year.

“We’re going to go out there and do our best to represent Ripon Christian, the Southern League and Division VI,” Schenk said. “Hopefully we can put together five or six solid rounds from our players and post a good, respectable score.”


Division V

Although the lone Masters qualifying team, Sonora (422), hails from the Mother Lode League, the Trans-Valley League represented well at La Contenta Golf Club in Valley Springs.

Leading the charge were Hilmar’s Landon Azevedo and Sharp of Ripon, who share the individual crown. Lane Cadell of runner-up Escalon (431) also moves on as the third qualifier with a 72. Ripon ended up fourth (452) in the eight-team field. Kole Gonzales (91), Luis Candido (97), Rhet Herrin (97) and Justin Brito (99) were other Ripon scorers.

“The three (individuals) move on came from our three best teams,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “There is no one else from another league going to Masters except for the team that won it. It says a lot about the depth and quality of our league.”

Sharp had a chance to have the tournament championship all to himself but settled for bogey on 18 after a 6-foot putt lipped out. He also and one eagle and three birdies. The Pacific-bound Sharp scored a 76 at last year’s Masters event but has since vowed to do better his senior season.

“It’s been his sole focus to make NorCals,” Musseman said. “He put in more hours than any kid I’ve ever had.”


Division III

At Ancil Hoffman Golf Course in Sacramento, East Union placed sixth out of seven teams with a 432. No individuals from the Manteca area advanced to Masters.

Rio Americano (390) and Valley Oak League champion Central Catholic (391) are the two qualifying teams. East Union’s Trevor Baum was the area’s top finisher with an 80. Also contributing for the Lancers were Michael Lozano (81), Manuel Telles (87), Clayton Dorland (89) and Ezra Lendhardt (95).

Lathrop’s Christian Guzman, the Most Valuable Player in the VOL, rounded out his impressive freshman year with an 85. Sierra’s Matt Rose (86), Weston Ranch’s Austin Thao (101) and Lathrop’s Geoff Fallon (111) also competed at divisionals.

Medalist Alex Lee of Rio Americano carded a 73.