Delta River League Division I girls golf competition is underway with a few changes from last season.
In 2010 the standings were based on total strokes per team compiled over four 18-hole tournaments — quite a difference for the two new teams, Oak Ridge and Ponderosa. The format in their previous Sierra Valley Conference awarded placement points in dual matches and the two 18-hole tournaments that counted toward the final standings.
“This year the format has been changed as follows: there will be three 18-hole tournaments and five dual matches,” said Trojan coach Tony Diaz, who is also the DRL representative.
“Each of these contacts will receive points, seven for the winner of the 18-hole tournaments, five for second, four for third, three for fourth, two for fifth and one for sixth. The winner of each dual match receives two points, the loser is awarded one,” Diaz added. “In all, instead of having your entire season based on tournament strokes, it’s based on winning a match. The final league standings will be based on points earned in the tournaments and dual matches.”
Unfortunately, the league is still in limbo heading into the season. Folsom was unable to field a team and Sheldon needs a coach. The Huskies will be forced to drop out if the search so late in the year is fruitless.
While pleased with the new format, Ponderosa coach Steve King sees a problem if only four teams compete. The league may only include Pleasant Grove, powerhouse St. Francis, Ponderosa and Oak Ridge.
“Because of the loss of teams it will be really difficult — and unfair in my opinion — for girls to qualify for individual berths in the section tournament,” King said.
Sheldon’s fortunes affects playoff spots. If Sheldon fields a team, the league would be able to send two teams and three individuals to the postseason. If not, just one team and six individuals would qualify.
The El Dorado County teams are ready to play. The Trojans, who host their home matches at Serrano Country Club, lost their Nos. 1 and 2 players to graduation, Nicolette Bondura and Lauren Swan, along with Kelsey Sullivan. But three-year varsity player Julia Bulotti returns for her senior year, joined by junior Beomyun Han, both ready to assume the top spots.
“Both these young ladies are capable of shooting low scores and we’ll be looking for both of them to help lead our team,” Diaz said. “We will also have returning juniors Shivani Sharma and Breanna Baker from our top six from last year.”
New to the varsity squad this season are sophomore Ashley Dean and freshman Carolyn Almeida, who will be playing in the top six. Other members of the squad include senior Erika Schiff and freshmen Sabrina Laut, Amanda Lowrey and Mackenzie Parker.
“Although we have a young team, we are hoping to play well enough to move onto playoffs,” Diaz said. “The ladies are excited to gain experience and try their best to uphold the tradition of Oak Ridge High golf.
The Trojans played a preseason dual match at Sierra View Country Club, edging Roseville 227-233. Han shot a 40, Sharma posted a 43, Almeida and Baker fired a pair of 47s, and Bulotti finished with a 50.
“It was a great day for the girls. They hit the ball well,” Diaz said. “We still have things to improve on but in all, they played a tremendous round. This is a pretty young team and we just need more experience.”
The Trojans’ first league contact will be Sept. 14 in the first Delta River League 18-hole tournament. They are playing Union Mine in two preseason matches Sept. 8 and 13.