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Breakers have high hopes

Parts of Orange County aren’t the only things that have been on fire lately.

Take the Laguna Beach High girls’ golf team, for instance.

The Breakers haven’t been able to practice, nor participate in the Golden West League individual tournament finals this week, after all school athletic events were canceled due to the fallout from the Santiago Canyon wildfire. But that hasn’t cooled down the team or its hopes, as it prepares for upcoming postseason team and individual tournament action which this week was canceled due to the wildfires.

The CIF Southern Division team tournament is scheduled for Oct. 29 with an 8 a.m. shotgun at El Prado Golf Course in Chino, Laguna Coach Val Quigley said.

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This Laguna team has achieved something no other Breakers girls’ golf team has done since the school started the program in 1999: win a league championship.

Laguna has been red-hot since dropping its season opener Sept. 6 to Aliso Niguel. The Breakers have won 11-straight matches, compiled an undefeated run (10-0) in league en route to its first-ever title and because it won the Golden West crown, has earned the right to enter all seven team members in the league individuals tournament.

The Breakers capped their regular and league season this past week by defeating Ocean View, a 253-308 victory at San Clemente Municipal Golf Course (par 37) that clinched the league championship, then won 210-247 over host Westminster at David L. Baker Golf Course (par 31) to run their record to 10-0 in league and 11-1 overall.

“I am just in awe of these girls,” Quigley said. “Each and everyone of these girls has contributed to the team’s success.

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“What’s really great about these girls is that they all support each other. They are there for each other not only mentally, but help each other out with aspects of the game, such as their golf swing. It’s an honor to be their coach.”

Just last year, Laguna had turned in the program’s best-ever finish by placing second to Estanica in the league standings. In addition, then-senior Sasha Speare went on to win the league’s individual title which also was a first for the school.

Entering the 2007 season, Quigley, who took over the program from Barbara Williams this fall, said she felt the league race would again come down to the Breakers and Estancia.

She was right, although Laguna twice defeated Estancia this season to atone for a sweep the Eagles got at the Breakers’ expense last year.

“The girls have done the little things that has helped them have such a great season,.” Quigley said. “They’ve really put a lot of work into their chipping and putting and they all have a really nice swing. Everyone also has lowered their scores this year, and that’s impressive to see.”

Seniors Caitlin Barretto, Shannon Sweeney, Diana Smith and Grace Stewart, and juniors Karina Shaw, Lexy Altman and Emily Marcus, now will focus on postseason play.

“This team has worked hard to win this league and they deserve it,” Quigley said. “I think that this team really is on fire.”



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