MHS girls earn milestone golf win

Sjansen@mercedsun-star.comSeptember 12, 2012 

The Merced High girls golf team gathered at lunch on Wednesday to enjoy their reward.

Assistant coach John Kane treated them to Panda Express after the Bears defeated Turlock on Tuesday 241-247.

The golf team isn't rewarded after every win, but handing Turlock its first Central California Conference loss in 15 years was worth a couple egg rolls.

The mood was quite festive, as you can imagine.

"Extremely happy," said senior Serina Castillo, who turned in a round of 47. " It puts us in a better position to hang a number in the gym on our girls golf banner. It's one match, and it's a long season but it was sweet to finally get over on the Bulldogs."

Castillo and Malina Meza are four-year players on the team who were 0-12 against Turlock in their high school careers until Tuesday.

Two years ago they were sophomores on a Merced team that lost to Turlock by just one stroke.

This time they didn't let the win get away.

Meza shot a 48. Freshman Netanya Hernandez turned in the lowest score with a round of 43. Marissa Castillo (51) and Elizabeth Azevedo (52) also chipped in for the win.

"We were all just really calm about it, not cocky, but confident in our ability post a solid number," Meza said. "We knew that five solid rounds would give us a great shot. We did it and we're extremely happy."

So just what were Merced players doing in 1997, the last time Turlock lost a conference match?

"I was 3, just getting the whole reading thing down," Castillo said.

Meza wasn't sure.

"My memory only goes back to first grade," she said.

And then there's the freshmen.

"I wasn't even born yet," Hernandez said.

A good sign for the Bears is nobody had to play out of their mind to beat Turlock. For the first time the pressure didn't get to them.

"Not really, we were just focused on sticking to our game and not trying to do too much," Castillo said. "In past years we tried too hard and got out of our comfort zone and it cost us."

The golf team isn't the only Merced team off to a great start.

The Bears boys water polo team raised some eyebrows by winning the 34-team Sierra Shootout over the weekend.

Merced went 5-0 in the tournament, including wins over Atwater, Golden Valley and a 13-5 win over Tamalpais in the championship game.

Brett Fogelberg led the way with 19 goals, 12 assists and seven steals in five games.

Isaac Santana added 14 goals, including five in the championship game.

The Bears are off to a 7-0 start heading into their CCC opener today against Buhach Colony.

Los Banos running back James Sams is making an early pitch to be Player of the Year.

Sams carried the ball 39 times for 336 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-28 win over Manteca.

Sams has racked up 669 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns to help the Tigers start 3-0.

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