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Published May 2nd, 2018
Lamorinda golf teams prep for NCS
From left: coach Dan Weiner, Will Condy, Mikey O'Donnell, Joe Evans, Tucker Gannon, Tyler Schenone, coach Tim Scott Photos Gint Federas

Mark Twain described golf as a good walk spoiled. However, for Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte, it's far more satisfying than that as all three schools are finishing the regular season on high notes and are preparing for the NCS tournament. In the competitive Diablo league, the three teams have a combined 14-8 record in league play. In non-league play, the schools have won 13 of their 15 matches.
Campolindo head coach Gary O'Neill has come to really appreciate how much his team has overcome this year to have an overall record of 9-1 and 6-1 in league play: "It's been a crazy year. We've had several players out sick this year. The flu bug hit our team and the school very hard and we have had to have more alternates ready to play every match."
Campolindo has been helped by the fact that it is a very mature team, according to O'Neill. "We have six seniors on the team with four of them playing regularly and have good depth. We are solid with our first eight players. When we are on, we are a formidable team."
The Cougars are led by co-captains Ryan Burnett and Nicholas Klock. Burnett will be attending the University of North Carolina and will be playing on Team USA in the Toyota Challenge later this year in Japan. Klock will be attending the Naval Academy and just won the award for the longest drive (320 yards) earlier this week at the Transbay Tournament at Dollar Ranch in Rossmoor.
The other senior captains are Jay Thomas and Edward Anaya. Says O'Neill: "Nick and Jay are our vocal leaders. Edward is more of a quiet leader and Ryan leads by example with his work ethic. What they all have in common is that they are all top scholar athletes."
Balancing out the seniors are sophomore Hayden Catron and freshman Baron Szeto.
O'Neill feels his team is hitting their stride at the right time: "We started off the season with a great performance in a tournament at Wente Vineyards and then we were hit with the flu bug. Fortunately, we should be in good shape for the North Coast Sectional Tournament."
The Cougars have a 4-1 home record at the Moraga Country Club. O'Neill appreciates the home course advantage at this course: "It's not a long course with a lot of side hill lies. Knowing how to play the course and read the greens is a real advantage and good for several strokes in a round."
As competitive as all the teams are, there is a great familiarity between all the players which is a good thing, according to O'Neill: "I really like the camaraderie between all of the teams and they get along very well."
Miramonte is a well-balanced team with six seniors and seven underclassman that has come together at the right time winning four straight matches last week, their highlight being the first team to defeat Campolindo in a league match. It's a group that head coach Jack Schram really enjoys: "It's a really good team. They're all good guys that have a passion for the game and have fun out there."
Senior Travis Armistead playing No. 1 has been the teams' steadiest player, recently shooting a 74 at the Transbay Tournament. Junior Conner Steward and sophomores Joe Henderson and Ben Duncan line up at 2-4. Rounding out the final two spots are seniors Xavier Clark and Kieren Weiszmann.
Clark, who was the quarterback on Miramonte's football team, came out for golf for the first time and has been a very valuable addition, according to Schram: "Xavier has been a pleasant surprise and has been instrumental in our wins over Campolindo and Acalanes."
The Matadors took a big hit early in the season when sophomore Bennett Millham was lost for the year when he suffered a back injury. This was after shooting a 36 in the opening match of the season.
Miramonte has been undefeated at the Orinda Country Club, their home course. Says Schram appreciatively: "Due to our familiarity with the course, we probably get a 10-stroke advantage with each match."
Like Miramonte, Acalanes also lost a top player due to an injury. Senior Jake Rosenberg, the Don's No. 1 player broke a bone in his arm while playing basketball. With a very young team, the Dons started the season off slowly with winning only one of their first five matches.
Head coach Tim Scott has seen his team win five of their next seven matches: "We are a very young team and they have been playing better golf as the season has progressed. Our underclassmen make up the bulk of the team and are all solid players. It's just natural maturation. Freshmen can be a little anxious in their first matches and then they realize the responsibility of playing on the varsity. It's a lot of fun watching these kids mature as they learn to play at the varsity level."
Sophomores Will Condy, playing number one and Mikey O'Donnell have stepped up to lead the team.
Two freshmen, Tucker Gannon and Joe Evans have been very pleasant surprises. Gannon's father is a PGA pro and one of the owners of the East Bay School of Golf in Lafayette.
Playing at Rossmoor does provide Acalanes with some home course advantage though not as much as Campolindo and Moraga get at their home courses. Says Scott: "Those courses can be difficult to play on. With the strength of our young players, they need to dial it down a little bit and that can be hard to do. Still, I am looking forward to our team moving on to qualifying for the North Coast Section."

Miramonte team
From left: coach Gary O'Neill, Jay Thomas, Nick Klock, Ryan Burnett, Edward Anaya, Hayden Catron, Baron Szeto and Head Coach Steve Robinson.

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