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Weston Ranch, Ripon optimistic following first non-league match
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RIPON — Ripon High’s return to prominence may come quicker than expected after winning Trans Valley League and Sac-Joaquin Section Division V titles two years ago.
Weston Ranch, meanwhile, may also be on the rise after five years of building its golf program from scratch.
Both teams have reason for optimism after meeting for their first preseason match of the season, with Ripon winning 192-217 Monday on Jack Tone’s par-31 front nine.
The victorious Indians have welcomed junior Matty Gay to the fold, and he didn’t disappoint in his first round. Gay carded an impressive two-over-par 33, edging teammate Daniel Cardoza by a stroke for medalist honors.
Cardoza earned the TVL’s Player of the Year recognition in 2007.
“It’s kind of nice having the score we put up while missing two of our top golfers,” said Ripon coach Chris Musseman, noting that one, freshman Jake Ratto, is a latecomer from the basketball season, while the other is out because of grades.
“One of (Gay’s) friends convinced him to come out and he’s having fun. I’m glad he made the decision, because he’s going to help us. He has a natural stroke.”
The future is even brighter than the present for Ripon. Junior Mark Bigelow checked in with a solid 41, and freshmen Cole Bagdasarian and Nick Mendonsa turned in a 42 and 43, respectively.
Weston Ranch’s Ryan Ortiz was just two strokes shy of the leader with a 34. Tim Weatherwax finished with a 43, James Aragon a 45, Dionne Narcisse a 43 and Arnell Narcisse a 49.
Ortiz has been a welcomed surprise for Weston Ranch coach Ryan Tarr so far.
“Ortiz was shooting in the 50s at (par-36) Van Buskirk last year, and he has been playing better since,” Tarr said. “I’ve been waiting for someone to establish himself as our No. 1 golfer, so that was good to see. It was also nice to see other guys step up, too.”
Weather permitting, Ripon next hosts Beyer today at Spring Creek Country Club, while Weston Ranch faces visiting Modesto Christian at Van Buskirk Golf Course.

— Jonamar Jacinto