The Kimball High golf team made a tentative start Wednesday with a round against Lathrop High at Old River Golf Course on MacArthur Drive, followed up by the team’s first complete match Thursday at Tracy Golf & Country Club.
Coach Gary Moore, who previously coached at West High, said he wasn’t sure until this week whether he’d have a full six-player team for the start of the pre-league season — five individual scores make up the team score, and teams like to have a sixth shooter for another chance at a low score or a tiebreaker.
But now, Moore and assistant coach Sean Rivera are confident their players will be competitive by the time they face other Tri-City Athletic League teams.
“For the first week out here, we had four guys and just worked with them,” Moore said. “They’re good kids and wanted to work hard. That was positive.”
Nine players went to the team’s orientation meeting. That number dwindled to six by the second meeting and to four by the first practice.
“We’ve got kids who came to the meeting and probably got scared away by the $150 transportation fee,” Moore said, adding that the sport also requires other fees players must come up with. And, as for any sport, players must have good grades to stay on the team.
After the coaches recruited a couple more players, the team started its season with one sophomore and five freshmen. Wednesday’s match was the first day of competitive golf for most of them.
The first round of the season, against Lathrop, ended on account of darkness before all of the golfers could finish the front nine at Old River. Kimball’s top two were the only players to log full scores.
Phillip Simpson, the team’s sophomore, shot 44, and freshman Michael Crooms shot 60. Eight-hole scores for the other players were 51 for Jack Gustafson; 57 for John Tait; 58 for Christian Andrews; and 63 for Cameron Sales.
On Thursday, the Jaguars played at Tracy Golf & Country Club against Los Banos, with Los Banos taking the team win, 261-317. Simpson shot 44; Crooms, 57; Sales, 70; Tait, 72; Gustafson, 74; and Andrews, 78.
Moore said the team has some bigger challenges coming up next week, as it heads to Shoreline Golf Links on Tuesday to play Mountain View High and to Oakdale Country Club on Thursday to play Escalon High.
“They’re being thrown into the fire, no doubt,” Moore said. “The thing this year is just to keep positive. If they’re having fun with it, there’s no doubt they’ll get better.”
Granada 211, Tracy 228
Tracy High’s golf team lost its first match of the season Thursday at the par-36 Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore.
Anthony Manguray scored 42 for Tracy. Other Bulldogs scores: Carter Duerksen, 45; Gaspond Manguray, 45; Nick McCleery, 50; and Anthony Napoli, 56.
Tracy will play Monday at the St. Mary’s Tournament at Stockton Golf & Country Club.
Sierra 218, West 249
West High’s golfers took a loss in their first match of the season against Sierra High on the par-37 front nine of Manteca Park Golf Course.
West’s Brandon Vergel de Dios shot 43, Allan Silveira and Dane de Jesus each shot 44, Edward Sembrano carded a 51, David Cummings shot 67, and Billy Baylor posted a 69. Sierra’s top scorer was Miguel Dominguez, 40.
West’s next match will be Tuesday against Los Banos at Tracy Golf & Country Club.