Although the Yosemite High boys golf team has won four consecutive North Sequoia League Championships, Coach Reg Turner approached this season with guarded optimism having lost three of his six travel team players from last year.
But after winning the first three league tournaments, Turner is confident his team should win the fifth consecutive league title.
The team is lead by junior Spencer Uzzell, last year’s NSL MVP, and the medalist in all three of the tournaments.
“Spencer is not what you would call a long hitter, but he is a consistent ball striker, and he’s the best putter I have ever coached at Yosemite,” Turner said. “We have great expectations for Spencer to repeat as league MVP and qualify for Valley this year.”
Uzzell missed going to the Southern Regional tournament by two strokes last year, and Turner said if he continues to play well, he has a good chance of advancing to that level this year.
Uzzell is being challenged by Chowchilla freshman Jack Wright who has come in second in all three tournaments, and Liberty-Madera Ranchos junior Jake Sweeney, who is currently third in the league’s individual standings.
Other notable Badger golfers are Ryan Lopez, Michael Stieler, Tanner Meeks, Connor McMechan, and Matt Roberts.
“Ryan and Michael are sophomores and both are working on being more consistent,” Turner said. “Ryan is currently fifth place in league and is scoring well primarily due to a solid chipping and putting game. Michael is eighth in the league standings and has the game to move up in the standings. He is very close to putting it all together.”
Seniors Meeks and McMechan have also broken into the top 10 in the NSL.
“Tanner, a team leader, has been hampered with an injured ankle, got a late start on the season, but is starting to score like we expected,” Turner said.
Going into the season, Turner felt Meeks would be the team’s No. 2 player. And Like Stieler, McMechan played a limited role on the team last year.
“We have seen Connor’s scores improving every week since the start of play,” Turner said.
Junior Matt Roberts is also contributing to the team, and is currently ranked at No. 28 out of 46 players in the league.
The Badgers are fortunate to have three competitive freshman - Dylan Allen, Steven Kurz, and Jacob Abshire. Allen qualified to play in the fourth NSL tournament of the season held April 6 at Lemoore Golf Course. Results of that tournament will be in next week’s Star.