Locked and loaded with an array of talent, the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls' golf team are ready to challenge for the Pacific League championship.
Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope has cause for optimism and setting lofty goals after the Falcons finished second in league and sixth in the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional last season. Add to the equation that the Falcons return Jocelyn Chia, the two-time reigning All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year, and there's plenty of reason for Pope to be pleased with his team's future.
"At first, it might appear as though we lack in experience, but that's quite the contrary," said Pope, the reigning All-Area Girls' Golf Coach of the Year. "We like our lineup and the way it's situated and we are ready to take it to the next level.
"Arcadia seems to reload year after year, but we beat them twice last season. We expect to challenge with Arcadia for the top spot, certainly no worse than second."
The Falcons appear to have the personnel in tact to strive and meet those goals.
Chia, a junior, won her first league individual championship last season in a card-off. Chia, who finished with a league average score of 37.6, also made her second appearance in the CIF Individual Final and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament last season.
Pope said Chia competed in numerous tournaments throughout the summer, putting her in position to enjoy another standout season.
"She's a top-echelon player, not only in the area, but in Southern California," Pope said. "She's solid overall with her game from tee to green, and she hits her irons very solid.
"It's great to know that you can have a player like Jocelyn to be able to lead the team and be around par all the time. There's no question that she can get back to CIF and do even better."
Chia will be surrounded by a supporting cast that will feature senior Deborah Shin, juniors Alice Yoon and Esther Yee, sophomore Audrey Chung and freshmen Andrea Han, Gina Chung and Laura Perez.
"I think we have the depth and a lineup that's very much battle-tested," Pope said. "I wouldn't trade places with any other coach in our league."
At Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, the Tologs will again be a part of the Mission League, arguably one of the toughest in Southern California. Flintridge Sacred Heart will return juniors Katie Hartwig, Presley Maran and Raleigh Scharre. The trio will be joined by junior Karin Gredvig and sophomore Carra Liwanag.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Bill Sanchez said he's seeking to stabilize the team's lineup and future of the program.
"Katie brings a lot of experience to our team and will be our captain this year," Sanchez said. "Presley finished last year very strongly and Raleigh vastly improved last year.