UPDATE: Clovis North won the Central Section Division I team championship on Tuesday, May 17, in Visalia. Clovis West finished second. Both teams advance to Southern California Championships on May 26 in Pasadena.
Golfers at Clovis North High School charged from behind to win the school’s first Tri-River Athletic Conference championship earlier this month.
“We don’t intend on stopping anytime soon,” said senior Justin Lagera, reflecting the team’s confidence about post-season tournaments taking place after the TRAC victory.
Coach Ron Ramos called that victory “very, very satisfying.”
In 2015, Clovis North finished one stroke behind champion Clovis West High School in the TRAC championship tournament.
This year, Clovis West led the tournament after the first 18 holes, and Clovis North was in second — nine strokes back. But the championship is a 36-hole tournament played over two days.
“We believed we could make up that difference,” Ramos said. But the challenge was daunting. Each Clovis North player had to beat the Clovis West golfer in his group by at least two strokes.
Clovis North caught and passed Clovis West on the second day and won by three strokes. Clovis West took second.
“Our TRAC championship was truly a team effort,” Ramos said.
Said Lagera: “It showed we could clutch it when we needed to.”
Senior Blake Hathcoat added: “We worked hard, and it showed we could get it done.”
Hathcoat — who will attend St. Mary’s College on a golf scholarship — and teammate Peter Faragia each shot a 68 on the second day of the tournament. They earned low scoring honors on that day.
After winning the TRAC, Clovis North played on May 9 in the North Area Tournament in Chowchilla, and the Broncos won again.
Buchanan, Clovis, Clovis East and Clovis West high schools also competed in the North Area Tournament, as well as seven other schools from Fresno to Oakhurst.
The Broncos shot a team score of 363 in Chowchilla, beating second-place Clovis West by 17 strokes. Clovis High finished third.
Ramos said his players have an “incredible” team chemistry.
“These boys play hard for each other,” he said. “This team has deep friendships that have been forged from many wins and from some losses.”
Ramos, who teaches math at Granite Ridge Intermediate School, has been varsity coach at Clovis North since the school opened in 2007.
Individually, Clovis North players have had impressive seasons. Hathcoat finished second in the TRAC in scoring for the season. Teammate Bryce Loosigian finished fourth in TRAC scoring, while Faragia was fifth and Kyle Stewart was sixth.
At the North Area Tournament, Hathcoat won low scoring honors with a 3-under 69. Other Broncos also did well. Stewart shot a 71 for fourth place, while Loosigian had a 72 for sixth and Lagera had a 74 for ninth. Hathcoat, Stewart, Loosigian and Lagera will play in the individual championship tournament on May 23 in Taft.
Here is a closer look at the eight players on the Clovis North varsity team:
Alexander Asmar (junior) Started playing at 10
Who was your first golf teacher? “Chris Doss. He always told me to keep swinging.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “It brings me peace and I like to hang out with my friends.”
Favorite golf course? “Poppy Hills at Pebble Beach because I like the course layout, and it is really a nice area.”
Favorite pro? “Smylie Kaufman because I enjoy the way he plays and he seems like a really fun guy to be around.”
Peter Faragia (junior) Started playing at 7
Who was your first golf teacher? “My dad, Pete, who told me to always stay positive.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “I enjoy the constant challenge.”
Favorite golf course? “Hunter Ranch in Paso Robles because it is always in great shape and the greens are always pure.”
Favorite pro? “Jordan Spieth because of how he carries himself on and off the course.”
Anthony Georgouses (senior) Started playing at 7
Who was your first golf teacher? “My dad, Tom. He taught me to never let a bad shot get to me.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “I enjoy the constant competition with myself.”
Favorite golf course? “Poppy Hills at Pebble Beach because it offers a true test for every component of the game: short game, long shots and drives.”
Favorite pro? “Bryson DeChambeau because he is a local kid (Clovis East grad).”
Blake Hathcoat (senior) Started playing at 2
Who was your first golf teacher? “My dad, David. He told me to keep my head down.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “I enjoy the challenge of competition.”
Favorite golf course? “Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach because I love the way the course changes over 18 holes.”
Favorite pro? “Tiger Woods because he is the greatest of all time and he is exciting to watch.”
Justin Lagera (senior) Started playing at 13
Who was your first golf teacher? “Cindy Vining, my swing coach. She taught me to keep on practicing hard if I want to do well.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “It’s a great way to hang out with friends and have a good time.”
Favorite golf course? “Poppy Hills at Pebble Beach because it is both challenging and has a great look to it.”
Favorite pro? “Richie Fowler because he knows how to work hard and have fun.”
Bryce Loosigian (junior) Started playing at 3
Who was your first golf teacher? “My father, Greg. He has told me over the years to have fun and enjoy the game because I will this game for my whole life, and I must look at each tournament as a small point in this long journey.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “I love the game of golf and enjoy playing with my friends.”
Favorite golf course? “Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach. It’s beautiful, and the starting holes — specifically No. 3 — is a straight downhill par 3 with the ocean in the background.”
Favorite pros? “Nick Watney and Kevin Chappell because they are both awesome people and love talking to all the people in Fresno when they come play Fort Washington at least once a year.”
Tyler Paboojian (junior) Started playing at 13
Who was your first golf teacher? “My dad, Warren. He emphasized to keep my head down while I was trying to make contact with the ball.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “I can constantly improve my game and be surrounded by competition and also friends.”
Favorite golf course? “Spyglass Hill at Pebble Beach because it contains high quality fairways and greens. Also, the course is set in a beautiful area.”
Favorite pro? “Jason Day because of how he composes his character on the PGA tour and demonstrates an impressive work ethic.”
Kyle Stewart (senior) Started playing at 12
Who was your first golf teacher? “My dad, Scott. He told me to always keep it in the fairway.”
Why do you enjoy playing? “I enjoy spending time with my friends and having fun while also keeping it competitive.”
Favorite golf course? “Torrey Pines South Course in San Diego because of the scenery along with it being a professional course.”
Favorite pro? “Tiger Woods because he is the greatest of all time.”