PASADENA — Shortly after being named coach of the St. Francis High golf team last summer, Kyle Ostrom closely examined the Golden Knights’ player personnel.
Ostrom studied the potential lineup combinations and had an inkling the Golden Knights would be in line to possibly advance to the postseason for the first time since 2008.
“I knew the guys real well and a lot of it just had to do with maturity on the course,” said Ostrom, whose team picked up a 192-236 Mission League home win against Crespi on Wednesday at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 after clinching a playoff appearance Tuesday. “These guys have come out here and done a good job.
“There’s a lot to like. There’s a lot of depth. It’s a different guy each time who can go out there and lead the way. That’s what you need.”
St. Francis improved to 10-5 and 8-4 in league with the league prelims set to take place Tuesday at Lakewood Golf Course in Lakewood. The Golden Knights will enter the prelims no worse than third in the ultra-competitive league entering Tuesday’s 18-hole round.
The top four teams from the Mission League qualify for the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional Championships on May 6 at Lakewood.
St. Francis, which posted a 195-218 win against Crespi on Tuesday at Braemar Country Club to secure a playoff berth, received one-over-par 37s from Nathan Han and Michael Finney to share medalist honors on Wednesday.
Han, a junior, said solid course management paved the way for him to taste some success.
“It’s about being able to take your time and hit the greens and fairways,” Han said. “I had to stick to what I do best and that’s hit a lot of good shots on to the greens.
“It means everything to be going to the playoffs. It hasn’t happened in a while, plus it can boost the program even more.”
St. Francis, which finished fifth in league last season, got a 38 from Johnny Brandt, 39 from Vince De Pinto and 41 from Michael Mozilo.
De Pinto, a four-year varsity athlete, said the Golden Knights had the building blocks in place to succeed this season.
“We basically had our entire starting lineup back,” De Pinto said. “We have a lot of young players, but they were able to step it up after the first couple of matches.
“It’s great to be able to go to the playoffs. We still have to go out there and play well. We think we can do that, and it will be exciting.”
Crespi (2-10 in league) received a team-best 42 from Michael Short.
The league’s individual tournament, featuring the top 24 finishers from the prelims, will take place Wednesday at Wilson Golf Course and Griffith Park.