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Orange Lutheran hopes Barens will lead the way
OCVarsity's boys golf preview for the 2013 season.
There is a different feeling on the Orange Lutheran boys golf team, one that has Coach Ignacio Brache thinking the Lancers might be one of the teams to beat this season in the Trinity League.
The Patrick Cantlay (Servite) and Beau Hossler (Santa Margarita) era is over. They are currently building their professional and collegiate golf resumes, respectively.
Now, it is the No. 3 Lancers who have Trinity League and CIF-SS Individual Championship favorite, Blake Barens.
The Notre Dame-bound senior finished second in both postseason tournaments last year.
Barens was one of only two players in the league finals to card a round of even-par or better during the 36-hole tournament at Yorba Linda Country Club, shooting a pair of even-par 71s on his home course.
At the 2012 CIF tournament in Riverside, he finished one shot off the lead, posting a 5-under 67 after playing the five par-5s at Victoria Country Club at 4-under par.
"I think everyone is looking at Blake as the guy to beat," Brache said. "He has a big target on him. Everyone is going to be coming in to beat Blake. He knows that.
"I think he likes the pressure. Hopefully, in the years to come, people will say the Trinity League had Cantlay, Hossler and Barens."
Barens, though, doesn't feel like a favorite right now. He said he is struggling with his confidence after missing some putts in recent tournaments that he should have had no trouble making. It's all mental, he said, because he is trying too hard.
"There are a lot of good players in the Trinity League," Barens said. "I am just focused on our first match. Those (postseason) tournaments are a long way off. I haven't been playing great, but I am working hard, so hopefully, it will start to come around."
There is more to the Lancers this season than just Barens. Orange Lutheran has picked up a talented transfer from Troy, Danny Oh. Brache said Oh won't be able to play for the Lancers until April 1.
Depth is definitely among the Lancers' strengths. They have sevenseniors on the roster – Barens, Oh, Lucas Beltran, Tommy Nelson, Rob Rosenast, Andrew Moreno and Josh Donnell.
Barens said the Lancers are going to be "sneaky good" with multiple players being able to qualify for CIF. Last year, Barens was the Lancers' lone representative at the Southern Section events.
"We are definitely going to be good. I am not saying we are going to win league or anything," Barens said. "Servite is still the team to beat, but we have a chance."
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