Ripon High’s boys golf team claimed its first championship since 2007 and did it with one of its top contributors sustaining an injury during the Trans-Valley League Tournament Monday at Trinitas Golf Club in Valley Springs.
Jason Williamson hurt his back early in the round and finally walked off the course after six holes. That eliminated Ripon’s use of a throw-out score (the best five of six count for each team), but it didn’t matter.
The Indians responded in a big way, as their combined score of 429 was far better than the second-place mark of 462 totaled by defending champion Escalon. Modesto Christian (469), Hilmar (520) and Hughson (532) followed in order.
“I was actually very surprised by the margin of victory,” said Ripon coach Chris Musseman. “My kids just stepped up. They felt the pressure and thrived under it.”
Ripon sophomore Andrew Bonner was the medalist with a 2-over-par round of 74, and he was one of just two golfers to card a score in the 70s. Modesto Christian’s Kyle Intorf was the runner-up with a 79. Dylan Delhart of Hughson was third with an 81.
For the second straight year, Bonner earned the league’s Most Outstanding Golfer honor for finishing first in the individual league standings. He was also voted the TVL’s MVP for the second time.
All-league honorees Zach Capel and Jordan Williamson did their part, as they scored an 85 and 89, respectively. Cole Bagdasarian’s 87 was his best 18-hole tally in his three-year career, Musseman said.
The biggest surprise came from sophomore Kyle Head, who, in his first-ever appearance in a TVL event, checked in with a 94, which was better than three of the six Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V Tournament qualifying scores.
The top three teams (Ripon, Escalon, Hilmar) and six individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the divisional tournament, which is next Monday, May 9 at Castle Oaks Golf Club in Ione.
Musseman was in his first year as head coach when Ripon last claimed a league championship.
“This is a lot sweeter than the first one,” he said. “Last time I didn’t know what I was doing, and the kids were so good we didn’t lose a single match. But this year we lost some kids and had to shuffle the lineup, and the improvements they made were incredible.”
At The Legends Golf Course at Diablo Grande in Patterson, Ripon Christian standout Logan Vos and Turlock Christian’s Kathleen Rojas each carded a 76 to share medalist honors in the conference tournament.
Turlock Christian and Ripon Christian went 1 and 2 (431-460), and both will represent the Southern League in the SJS Division-VI Tournament at Darkhorse Golf Club in Auburn next Monday, May 9.
Also contributing for Ripon Christian were Danny Vos (88), Tim Hoeksema (92), Christian Manes (102) and Brandon Dotinga (102).