Four-year letterman Brian Bashaw and freshman Sergio Nunez led an improving group of Yucaipa High School golfers to a 234-241 win over Citrus Valley in a match held at Yucaipa Valley Golf Course last Tuesday. YHS kept its Citrus Belt League title hopes alive by improving to 2-1 (4-4) overall.
Like he usually does, Bashaw led the Thunderbirds by finishing nine holes in 40 strokes. Bashaw has flirted with par 36 on a number of occasions. Nunez and D.J. Swift, another freshman, registered scores of 44 and 49. It was a career low for Nunez. Ethan Zander led Citrus Valley with a 44. Yucaipa shot a team low 225 earlier this season against Coachella Valley. YHS coach Garrett Maxwell says his team is capable of better. High school team scores are based on the top-5 finishers. CIF-championship caliber teams produce scores under 200.
Bashaw is the last at YHS to play for Yucaipa Athletic Hall of Fame coach Scott Adams and the last to play at Calimesa Country Club when it was the school's home course. Maxwell said Bashaw has the natural ability to play at the Division I college level if he can increase his determination and improve his discipline.
After the Citrus Valley win, Bashaw was called on by Maxwell to give his younger teammates a post game assessment.
“He is our captain and most experienced,” said Maxwell. “The kids look up to him.” Bashaw advised teammates to get out and practice on their own, saying, “Practice your chip shots. It makes a big difference. That’s where you win.”
Bashaw was quick to point out the consistent play of youngsters Nunez and Swift. He noted the improvement of senior Jake Vrolyks whose recent scores are even more impressive since he has not played organized golf in three years. “It feels good being a leader,” said Bashaw. “Now I can focus more on my game and also try to help others.”
Maxwell said he often sees Bashaw out practicing by himself. YHS assistant Brian Blaylock has coached Bashaw since middle school and thinks he has immense potential. “He has learned to shake off bad shots and move on.” Blalock gave Vrolyks high marks as well.
Maxwell said also that he likes the team chemistry of young and old players.
“We’re really starting to go in the right direction. I’m optimistic. Our ultimate goal is to win league and then work on qualifying as many players possible for league finals and then deeper into the postseason.”
Maxwell said that he has a solid top-4 with Bashaw, Vrolyks, Nunez, and Swift. His No. 5 and No. 6 finishers have rotated among Tim Gwalik, Jacob Barber, Rustin Soffel, Gunner Simpson, and Luke Wolbert.