Cougars are No. 1 golf team in Northern Section

Steve Gerace

The Weed Cougars have won plenty of league golf championships in recent years, and they won their second consecutive Northern Section Division II?title a week ago in Chico.

But they still wanted more.

On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, they got it, claiming the overall Section title for schools of all sizes at the Fall River Valley Golf and Country Club in Fall River Mills. It was Weed’s first Section championship, and the first time since the 1970s that a Division II team won the NSCIF title.

Jake West, the three-time Shasta Cascade League MVP, had the best score of the tournament, shooting two-under par 70. That was 6 shots better than the next best individual score, by Jessie Stephens of Pleasant Valley.

Also for Weed, Tanner Shelton shot 80, Robert West 83, Liam Hagarty 87 and Adam Anderson 88.

Weed's team score of 408 was 14 shots better than 2nd place Pleasant Valley (422). Red Bluff finished 3rd at 426 and Chico was fourth at 429.

Weed and Pleasant Valley both qualified for the NorCal Championships, scheduled for May 24 at Diablo Grande Golf Club (Legends Course) in Patterson. The top four individuals who weren't on one of the qualifying teams also advance to NorCals. Drew Morgan of Modoc, and Calvin Noetzel of Foothill both shot 77, while Taylor Greenhood of Enterprise and Nick Schwabauer of Shasta both shot 78.

Daulton Davis of Mount Shasta, who qualified as an individual from the Division II tournament, shot 85 at Fall River.

It’s a sign of how good the Cougars are this season that they shot what may have been their worst team score in two years and still won a second consecutive Division II title the week before at Butte Creek in Chico.

“Our scores were not what they usually are, and that made it a little closer,” said Cougar coach Steve Neel.

Weed's team score of 441 in the DII Championship was still 9 strokes better than second place Modoc.

Neel said the Cougars are actually better on longer courses, where their long driving skills can pay off. He said before the NSCIF tournament that he expected them to play better at Fall River.

Cougar players all said they came into this season, during which they won a fourth consecutive league championship, hoping to go further than last year.

Now they have.

The Cougars took on all comers this season, winning several tournaments against larger schools and going undefeated in league.

This is a group with a lot of experience, dating back to their junior golfing days.

Jake West, Robert West, Tanner Shelton and Liam Hagarty all earned all-SCL honors this season, and Adam Anderson was honorable mention.

Cody Kennedy played well enough in the Division II tournament to have his score counted in Weed’s top 5.

While some of the other Cougars struggled at Chico, Hagarty came up big with an 82 to help the Cougars win. Jake West's 80 tied for the top score that day.

Weed came close in last year’s Section tournament but just missed qualifying for Nor Cals.

They set that as their goal this season.

Jake West said he wanted to see the Cougars qualify for Nor Cals and “make some noise there.”

They’ll get their chance to do just that.