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JSerra secures spot in playoffs

STAFF WRITER

When Brian Schippel became the JSerra boys golf coach 10 years ago, the Lions consisted of a bunch of inexperienced kids checking out a new sport. Now, the roster is filled with low-handicap talent.

And for the first time in the history of the program, the Lions earned an automatic berth into the postseason.

With a 198-208 victory against St. John Bosco on Monday at Los Coyotes Country Club, the Lions clinched a tie for second with Santa Margarita in the Trinity League. The top three teams are guaranteed a spot in the CIF-SS Western Team Regional on May 18 at Whispering Lakes Golf Course in Ontario.

This will be the Lions’ second consecutive trip to the postseason, but last year they were an at-large team. This year, Schippel has already taken the Lions (13-4, 7-3) to Whispering Lakes for a practice round.

“That makes it that much easier to get prepared,” Schippel said of earning a guaranteed spot. “After 10 years of getting our butts beat by everyone in the Trinity League, this feels nice. But there have been a lot of firsts for us this year.”

This season was the first time the Lions beat Santa Margarita, and the first time they defeated Orange Lutheran on the Lancers’ home course (Black Gold). Their 13 victories overall and seven in league are both bests for the Lions.

This is also the highest JSerra has finished in the league standings.

“It has been fun to see the kids grow,” Schippel said, “Developing talent has been a long road, but now we are starting to see the fruits of our labor and it is fun.”

Blake Majano medaled for the first time this season for the Lions, shooting a 2-over-par 37. His teammate, Jack Lutz, also broke 40, carding a 38, which is a stroke-and-a-half lower than his nine-hole average.

“The talent is there (to get out of the regional),” Schippel said.

Only the top two teams will move onto the SCGA So Cal Championship qualifier in Desert Hot Springs on May 21.

“I don’t think we had one match this year where everyone put it together,” Schippel said. “But we were deep enough when one guy was down they picked him up and we still won.”

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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