With 15-year-olds Marie Dean, Courtney Cervellin and Jillian Knox leading the way, high school golf in the Delta League was certainly an exhibition of excellent young talent on the links this fall.
In an age of video games and reality television occupying much of a teenagers’ mind and time, Dean, a sophomore at Davis High School, Cervellin, a freshman at Franklin, and Knox, a sophomore at Elk Grove, became vivid examples that days spent outdoors crafting a golf game - as opposed to staring at a cellphone or a televison - can be richly rewarding.
Dean wrapped up the league’s Most Valuable Player honors Monday by firing a three-over-par 75 at Haggin Oaks’ Arcade Creek Golf Course in the third and final Delta League center match. Her efforts helped put her school’s team into next Monday’s Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I North championships at Napa’s Silverado Country Club. Also, qualifying for the divisionals were St. Francis, who wrapped up the Delta’s team championship Monday, and Pleasant Grove.
All six Troubies shot in the 80’s Monday and had a team total of 411. Pleasant Grove was second with 448 while Elk Grove was third with a team total of 472.
Because of points gathered over all three Delta League matches this fall, Davis qualified as the third and final team for the divisionals just narrowing out Elk Grove.
Davis’ Dean looked the role as a veteran on the links despite the fact she’s been playing golf for just two years.
“I just love to practice,” she smiled. “I started playing in the Bay Area. Now, I practice every day.”
Marie Dean (Davis ) – Most Valuable Golfer Award
Courtney Cervellin (Franklin)
Jillian Knox (Elk Grove)
Madison Green (Davis)
Kate Swanson (St. Francis)
Olivia Alcora (St. Francis)
Ashley Cho (Franklin)
Emily Avila (Pleasant Grove)
Arriana Custodio (Elk Grove)
Patricia Sweeney (St. Francis)
Team champions – St. Francis
It showed in Monday’s 18-hole contest with her very long drives and accurate irons. She outdistanced easily St. Francis’ top two golfers Kate Swanson and Mikia Fang, who both fashioned an 80.
Elk Grove’s Knox and St. Francis’ Olivia Alcora both fired an 82.
Cervellin was in sixth place at Arcade Creek with an 84. She admitted afterwards her short game could use some work.
“I did okay, it was a rough day, didn’t sink too many putts, but still grinded through the round,” she said.
See Photos of Delta League Center Match #3 on the EG SportsCorner Facebook site
She said the bumpy greens at Arcade Creek gave her some issues.
“I hit a long ball, but I need to work around the greens,” Cervellin said.
|Courtney Cervellin, on Arcade Creek's 18th fairway
The top six individuals not on one of the three Delta League qualifiers also will advance to next week’s 18-hole tournament. Cervellin tops that list along with teammate Ashley Cho, Knox, Arriana Custodio and Riley Krum from Elk Grove, and Angelina Reyes of Sheldon. Franklin’s Lauren Lopes will be an alternate.
Cervellin played a lot of softball up until a couple years ago, but started going to the course with her dad and said she realized she had a natural golf swing.
“I started coming up to (Haggin Oaks Golf Facility), took some lessons and things took off from there,” Cervellin said. “I practice every day. I take Fridays off sometimes.”
She credits golf instructors Tom Morton and Kelli Corlett with her rapid progress.
The two professional golfers Cervellin likes to emulate are men – Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
“Both are individuals. They play their own game. They don’t let the press get in their heads and they are very humble players,” she said.
When she’s not busy on the links, Cervellin likes to spend time with a camera in her hand. She is very intrigued with photography.
“I took a class in middle school with my friends and that was a great time,” she said.
In the meantime, though, looking through a camera lens will take a back seat to preparations for the Divisionals next week. In order to qualify for the Section Masters’ Golf Championship on Nov. 2., she’ll need to finish in the top six on Monday. She’s confident now that she’ll be playing that day.
The entire Pleasant Grove team of Emily Avila, Kendall Doty, Allison Curtis, Ari Samuel, Lexi Martin and Brie Sheehy will tee it up Monday.
|Jillian Knox of EGHS gets her All-Delta League patch
The top four teams from the tournament in Napa will advance to the Masters, as well. Teams from the Sierra Foothill League and the Monticello Empire Conference will join the trio from the Delta League at Silverado’s North Course. The first groups will tee off at 7:30 a.m.