While the results may no longer be surprising, the La Cañada High boys’ golf team is still enjoying the perks of a banner season.
With one more league match still remaining, the Spartans already wrapped up a Rio Hondo League team championship after a 176-217 victory over host South Pasadena on Tuesday afternoon at par-36 Almansor Golf Course in Alhambra.
The victory improved the Spartans’ record to 15-1 overall this season and 7-0 in league.
“This will be our ninth straight championship and it has a special meaning,” Spartans Coach Richard Tetu said. “We’re shooting some excellent golf, both individually and as a team, and you want to do that as you get ready for the playoffs.”
As a squad, the Spartans shot an outstanding four-under-par 176, which grabbed the attention of at least one other coach.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything as awesome as La Cañada golf this season,” Tigers Coach Richard Goto said. “First of all, I’m not even sure how they lost this year because when you can shoot like that as a team, that’s special. They have to be one of the best teams in the state, if not the country.”
Sophomore Robby Stehlin had a career day, leading the Spartans with a four-under 32.
“This guy, Robert, shot seven birdies and at one time had four straight birdies, which is amazing,” Goto said. “On four of those birdie attempts, he had legitimate chances at eagles. The scary part is he’s only a sophomore.”
Joshua Suh shot a two-under 34, while Adam Horne carded a par 36 and usual team leader Collin Morikawa finished with a one-over 37.
“The greens were pretty fast out there, but the guys shot well,” Tetu said. “Robby had a great round and Joshua was consistent, but Adam probably shot his best round of the year, too.”
South Pasadena’s Henry Sue paced the Tigers (5-4, 3-4) with a 36, while Cole Teague finished with a 38 and senior Ken Rodriguez tallied a 41.
The Spartans close the season Thursday hosting Monrovia at La Cañada Country Club. Both La Cañada and South Pasadena will prepare for next Wednesday and Thursday’s league preliminaries and finals at La Verne’s Marshall Canyon Golf Course, with tee times expected for noon.
“The last few postseasons, we haven’t played as well as we should and I think we can change that this year,” Tetu said. “We’re playing our best golf of the season. The timing of these kids is phenomenal. We’re hoping to have eight to 10 kids at the league championship and take another six to the playoffs at Ojai.”