Thunder win Northern California championship

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Rocklin High’s boys golf team won the CIF Northern California championship Monday at Richmond Country Club. The Thunder, who placed seventh at this tournament last year and eighth in 2006, will now play in the state finals at Santa Maria Country Club June 3. The top three finishers from the NorCal tournament qualified for the state tournament. Rocklin shot its best round of the year (369) on the par-71 course that was playing as a par-70 this week because of some construction on one hole. Rocklin’s previous best this year was 375 and the school record for an 18-hole round is 368. Seniors Kyle Chatelain (69) and Nick Brown (73) led the way while junior Skyler Mills (74), sophomore Nick Schafer (76) and sophomore Eli Libby (77) rounded out the top five. Rocklin’s other player, junior Curtis Wise, shot an 80 and Rocklin would have placed second and still advanced to the state tournament if Wise was in the top-five instead of Libby. Chatelain’s score was the fourth best of the tournament. The Thunder finished two strokes better than Cardinal Newman to take the title. “Last year we really were very disappointed in our performance at this tournament and that was with us all year long,” Rocklin coach Dave Stewart said. “Anytime it’s two strokes, everyone can find a shot out there where they saved par or did something to win it. Obviously Kyle and Nick have been carrying us all year but our sixth guy, Libby, got up and down (one-putted) on the last five holes to save par. You want to talk about a guy grinding it out.” Libby was the final Rocklin player to finish. “Eli or Curtis, they’ve been the fifth and sixth players for us and their role is to shoot right around 80,” Stewart said. “That’s their role. You don’t have to make par every hole, just minimize the big numbers and take advantage of the ones you can.” Stewart was confident that his team could play well Monday. “We looked at the numbers throughout the section and I really believed that our team hadn’t had their best round on the same day and I knew that if we did that we’d be right there,” said Stewart, who made a point of thanking Whitney Oaks and Sunset Whitney for supporting junior golf in Rocklin. “Golf is a very fickle game and we were able to play our best (Monday).”