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Leppere shines as Buffaloes beat Weston Ranch by forfeiture
Jonelle Mungcal of Weston Ranch, left, is congratulated by Manteca Highs Brooke Mejorado after sinking a birdie putt on the par-3 fifth hole at Manteca Park Golf Course Tuesday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

Three players hit the maximum score of 83 on Manteca Park Golf Course’s par-37 front nine, and none of the three favored to post the lowest individual score did not.

The first-match jitters may have been in play during the Valley Oak League season opener between Manteca High and Weston Ranch Tuesday. Low medalist honors went to Manteca’s Caitlyn Leppere, and the Buffaloes won by forfeiture as the visiting Cougars were one player shy of fielding a full squad.

Leppere edged Weston Ranch’s Jonelle Mungcal — a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament qualifier last year — by a stroke with a 51 to win the round.  The Buffaloes scored a 318 as a team.

“Caitlyn has just been steady,” Manteca coach Greg Conway said. “She’s going to continue to improve this year, and I expect her to medal a few times this year.”

Manteca’s two four-year seniors had a rough start to the season, as Kaylie Grimes and Brooke Mejorado turned in a 56 and 59, respectively. Nicole Brown shot a 69, and Dominique Graham rounded out the team total with an 83.

“Brooke and Kaylie will be fine,” Conway said. “They’ll be closer to the low 50s and upper 40s, but I think the lack of match experience in the early part of the year is affecting them. Their scores will be lower as the season goes on.”

Manteca next hosts Sonora on Thursday, while Oakdale visits Van Buskirk Golf Course to face Weston Ranch.


Sonora 280, Sierra 295

Sonora golfers went 1-2-3 led by medalist Rachel Rosasco’s 11-over-par 46. Runner-up Emma Holloway was the only other player to break 50, finishing with a 49.

Sierra’s Melanie Kiesel and Elia Vasquez finished in a fourth-place tie. They each carded a 55, while Lexus Barnes followed with a 57, Vanessa Rodriguez a 60 and McKenna Doyle a 68.