By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Led by a handful of returning All-Empire golfers, high school teams and top individuals compete in sectional tournaments today.
The North Coast Section Division 2 Championships is packed with Empire teams led by St. Vincent and low scorer Evan Knight. Middletown also is in the field from the Coastal Mountain Conference and led by Daniel Eagle. Willits made the field from the CMC with Daniel Bernish pacing the squad.
Also earning a spot in the small school championships is Healdsburg. Finishing second in the Sonoma County League, the Greyhounds are a strong contingent with Luis Perez at No. 1 followed by returning All-Empire golfer Alex Wood.
Making the small school field as individuals are: Kasey Cazet, an All-Empire player from Rincon Valley Christian; Corey Huber, Kelseyville; Jeremy Melka, St. Helena; Trace Yager and AJ Tainter, Point Arena, and Justin Garcia, Mendocino.
Today’s Division 2 finals are played at tight and difficult Tilden Park in the Berkeley hills.
Also playing in the East Bay today are Empire golfers aiming to advance from the NCS Div. 1 Qualifier to the section Tournament of Champions.
Finishing second in the North Bay League earned Maria Carrillo a spot in the tournament with Austin Wesley the Pumas low scorer on the season. Ukiah was strong enough to gain a bid to the qualifier, led by Javier Torres.
Coming out of the NBL tournament as individuals are a pair of Cardinal Newman players, Frank Euphrat and Griffin Mitchell. Joining them is Rancho Cotate’s Edgar Escobar.
Analy also placed two individuals — Clayton Francis and Mike O’Daniel — in the large-school qualifier. Returning All-Empire player Matt Mederios, Petaluma, takes a shot at retuning to the TOC.
Today’s large school qualifier is at Monarch Bay Golf Club in San Leandro.
Already in the TOC are NBL champion Montgomery and SCL title winner Casa Grande.
While both squads will be challenged to emerge from the field and reach the Nor Cal finals, the top Vikings and Gauchos golfers are aiming for spots in the regional championships. Nick Rogers leads Montgomery. Corey Ghiringhelli paces the Gauchos.