Oakmont seeks to conquer a new foe

Vikings, coming off an SFL crown, join the CVC
By: Bill Poindexter
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Oakmont High School girls golf coach Gary Donnell said he doesn’t know much about the Capital Valley Conference, the Vikings’ new post-realignment home. But it’s a safe bet the CVC schools know about Oakmont. The Vikings are coming off a season in which they won two Sierra Foothill League regular-season tournaments on their way to the league championship, and they advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II tournament. Oakmont, which opened the season Monday against former SFL opponent Woodcreek, has its three best players back: Madelin Gideon, Blake Peterson and Nicki Holm. Gideon averaged 1 over par for the 2009 season and was second in the SFL in points, Peterson was third in points, and Holm was honorable mention All-SFL. Consistent senior Ciera Leidheisl also returns. “We’re looking for a couple more to fill in the fifth and sixth slots,” Donnell said. “It’s a pretty strong team. I just have no idea what the league’s like. I don’t know the first thing about it.” In the SFL, Woodcreek coach Gary Stringfellow welcomed 21 girls to practice. “Del Oro has 26,” he said. “Women’s golf is growing in the area. It’s very popular.” Two-time first-team All-SFL honoree Dana Vasko is back for her senior year, and Kimi Schenkl and Jessica Roberts, members of the program since their freshmen year, provide experience to Woodcreek, which was fourth in the SFL last season. “They’ve been around the block a few times, and it’s always nice to have someone who knows the rules, doesn’t disqualify themselves and gets the ball around reasonably close to bogey golf,” Stringfellow said. “It means if we play well, we’re going to be in most of our matches. The league has several very, very good teams.” Putting could be a strength of the Timberwolves, who include a “hollaback” as part of their practices. Anyone who makes a long putt during practice or a practice match gets to give Stringfellow a holler. “We’ve had three or four do it,” he said. Granite Bay welcomes back Paige Lee, the SFL and Division II individual champion who advanced to the NorCal tournament last year as a freshman. Deedra Dollison is a freshman this season who joins Lee and juniors Ashley Sweeting and Elizabeth Porter on coach Jason Sitterud’s team. At Roseville, freshman Elizabeth Velazquez has had a strong preseason, according to new coach Scott McCullough, and joins returning players Michaela Gobron, a junior, and Amanda Ellsworth, a senior. “The league is highly competitive and filled with strong teams from top to bottom,” McCullough said. “We hope to have a good season and play some competitive golf.” Bill Poindexter can be reached at billp@goldcountrymedia