Players looking to raise their game

GLENDALE — In a recent practice session at Altadena Golf Course, Flintridge Prep boys' golf Coach Bob Loughrie played several holes with budding standout Jack Bouchard.

While going from hole to hole, Loughrie, who will begin his 25th season in charge of the Rebels, gained additional knowledge about the sport from Bouchard. Loughrie also liked the way Bouchard, a sophomore, remained composed when hitting the ball.

"He's a dream player," Loughrie said of Bouchard. "Every drive he hit, his trajectory was perfect.

"He explained things to me about drives and putts that you either didn't know or don't think about much. He's that much ahead of the game and he's dedicated."

Bouchard enjoyed quite a debut with the Rebels last season. He finished second in the Prep League's individual final at Brookside Golf Course and qualified for the divisionals. He will look to become the first Rebel to capture a league championship since Hasan Doxey in 2007.

Loughrie, who has coached a cast of star Rebels' players that's included Jeff Osborn, Russell Surber and Brett Kanda, said Bouchard can further sharpen all areas of his game and make it to state.

"I think he learned a lot from last year and he's got a shot at winning league," Loughrie said. "He's much more powerful and savvy at this stage compared to last year.

"He's hitting the ball much farther. I would not be at all surprised if he makes it to state."

Joining Bouchard, a reigning All-Area pick, will be Will Guthrie, Justin Farshidi and Richard Lo.

Crescenta Valley will look for a new No. 1 player after Michael Timpson graduated. Timpson, who won the Pacific League's individual crown last season, is now a member of the Glendale Community College men's golf team.

There might be some qualified candidates on board to be able to replace Timpson, who earned All-Area honors last season. Among those in the equation is freshman Paul Park.

"Paul is near the level of play as Michael was for us last year," Crescenta Valley Coach John Pehar said. "He's tournament tough and he's going to be a good player for us."

Among those expected back are Nick Blackburn, Aaron Peskett, John Lee, Jason Lee and Adrian Chia.

"Arcadia and Burbank are going to be good," said Pehar, whose team finished 13th at CIF Southern Section Northern Team Divisional last season. "Once we see the teams, we will get a better idea of where we might finish in league."

Crescenta Valley will compete with Arcadia, Burroughs and Burbank in the Pacific League's A Division. Glendale will be pitted with Muir and Pasadena in the league's B Division, along with senior Alan Cho of Hoover.

The Nitros figure to have plenty of depth to challenge for the B Division title after winning only two matches last season. Glendale Coach Anthony Mohr will return juniors Kevin Aguirre and Evan Norton and seniors Raymond Bognot and Mikael Gayon.

"The first four guys in our lineup are good," Mohr said. "It will be nice to have some depth and we want to be near the top of our [league's] division."

Hoover will not have enough players to field a full team for the third season in a row. However, Cho will participate in league matches.

Cho finished in the top 10 in the league prelims in 2008 and 2009 before placing 16th last season.

"He came close to qualifying for CIF, but fell apart in the second round of prelims," Hoover Coach Vigen Jilizian said. "Hopefully, he can put two good rounds together this year and qualify."

St. Francis finished a disappointing fifth in the Mission League last season after beginning it with high expectations. The Golden Knights will return a couple of players, including senior Richie Maloof and junior Austin Puertas, in their bid to move up in league.

Maloof said the Knights might be in a rebuilding mode.

"We need to find a way to pull together, and, hopefully we can do that by working hard," Maloof said. "We don't have the [depth] like we have in the past."

Renaissance Academy will compete in the Harbor League. The Wildcats didn't have enough players to field a team last season, but Coach Niko Fontanilla said he's looking for that to change this season. Among those expected to participate are Troy Fontanilla, Mitchell Kim, Ed Burrows and Nick Troplent.

"I want their scores to improve by 10 strokes by the end of the season," the elder Fontanilla said.

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