Chip Shots

August 28, 2008 

Around The Leagues

• East Union shoots for three-peat: The Lancers won Division IV section titles the last two seasons, but key components of last year's talented team graduated. While EU still ranks among the best teams in the district, it remains to be seen whether the Lancers can continue to rule the section.

• Uhalde has an opportunity in the MMC: Christine Uhalde was close to winning conference titles the last two years but watched Beyer golfers win both — Marina Martinez in 2006 and Katie Canadas last year. The Johansen junior should benefit from experience she gained at last year's Masters Tournament.

• There's no clear No. 1: Sierra's Julie Shutler began last season as the player to beat and lived up to the expectations, and Martinez was the district's best from wire to wire in 2006. There's no consensus No. 1 this season, but the race should begin Sept. 8 at the Merced Invitational.

• Small-schools race: All the area's small schools that play girls golf are in the same league: The Valley Foothill League. The race for the VFL title appears to be between Bret Harte and Escalon. The Bullfrogs return Kirsten Locke and Shannon Woodward, two of the area's top golfers. Escalon, meanwhile, has the most depth with three returning all-MVL golfers and five of six starters. The Cougars will be led by all-league players Virginia Pinasco, Hailey Homen and Samantha Luque. Escalon's lineup has also been bolstered by transfer Presli Pilati, Modesto Christian's top golfer last year. Central Catholic's entire team returns. The Raiders, favorites in the VFL's southern division, return four all-league golfers in Jessica Ferlmann, Giovanna Pecchenino, Brittany Storer and Meghan Crumm.

— RICHARD T. ESTRADA

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