By Steve Breazeale and Jim Shilander
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Dolphins Girls Golf Primed for New Season
Golf is a game that can be decided by the slimmest of margins. A putt that hangs on the lip of the cup or a ball that gets the friendliest of bounces and rolls an extra five feet towards the hole can sometimes be the difference between a loss and a win.
The Dana Hills girls golf team knows this all too well. Last season they were neck and neck with South Coast League rival Tesoro all season, but the Titans were able to get the better of the Dolphins, even if it was by a slim margin. In their two matches played against one another in 2012, Tesoro won both by a combined total of two shots.
Despite losing the South Coast League title Dana Hills advanced to the CIF Southern Section Team Regionals for the second year in a row, which marked the end to a successful season.
The sights of the Dolphins this year will be set on Tesoro and league play.
“When we get to play against them we are definitely going to try and have our comeback and hopefully steal the title from them,” senior Elizabeth Soewondo said.
The Dolphins will be without three-time South Coast League individual champion Avery French, who is playing collegiate golf at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. French was the backbone of the 2012 team and now, that role has fallen to Soewondo, the team’s new No. 1 player. As of September 4 Soewondo’s nine-hole scoring average was a team best 40.1.
Soewondo will be joined by returning juniors Tori Hummel (42.8) and Sophia Nichols (46.5) at the top of the rotation. But the most surprising player that has broken into the Dolphins top-5 is Soewondo’s younger sister, Joan.
Joan Soewondo, a freshman, is off to a hot start in the early season and is averaging 40.4 strokes per nine holes, just behind her big sister.
Head coach Phil Wilburton has been liking the mix of returning players and young upstarts that have the Dolphins standing at 2-0 overall in the early 2013 season.
“One through four we are pretty strong … I’ve been very impressed,” Wilburton said. “My expectations are to obviously make the playoffs. I would like to avenge our losses to Tesoro but it’s early in the season.” —Steve Breazeale
Injuries, Mistakes Costly for Dana Hills Football in Season Opener
After a quarter and a half, the Dana Hills football team played essentially even with Trabuco Hills, a pre-season county top-10 team. Within five plays, however, the tenor of the then tied 7-7 game changed dramatically.
After Mustang quarterback Tommy Kelley sprinted in for a touchdown from 35 yards out to give the Mustangs a 14-7 lead, the Dolphins went three and out. Trabuco Hills’ Noah Thompson took the ensuing punt 85 yards for a score, giving the Mustangs a lead they would not relinquish, as they went on to defeat the Dolphins 31-10 at Dana Hills High School on August 30.
“They’re a South Coast League team, a Pac-5 team, we needed to play a perfect game to win,” Dana Hills head coach Todd Rusinkovich said. “We made a lot of mistakes that we’ll get corrected.”
The Dolphins lost starting running back Brian Scott during the team’s first drive, on which he accounted for 41 rushing yards on the way to the game’s first score. Quarterback Mac Vail made the key play on the drive, however, scrambling through the Mustang defense for 13 yards on fourth and 10, helping set up Andrew Dunn’s 5-yard touchdown run that opened the game’s scoring.
The loss of Brian Scott led to older brother Justin stepping into the running back role. He went for 82 yards on the night.
However, that move necessitated shuffling on the defensive side, Rusinkovich said, as did the loss of personnel in the secondary during the game.
Trabuco Hills answered the Dolphins score on their ensuing drive and, following the 14-point swing in the middle of the second quarter, added a 40-yard field goal at the close of the first half.
The teams continued to play even football in the third, which included both turning the ball over, and the Dolphins adding a field goal at the close of a drive that started at their own 10-yard line. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, a final would-be scoring drive ended with a Vail pass being broken up in the end-zone in the fourth quarter. On the next drive, Kelley connected with Daniel Ahrenholtz to close out the scoring with just over four minutes left.
Vail finished with 161 yards passing with one interception, with Sean Schulte accounting for 84 yards on five catches and Drew Falk with six catches for 65 yards. –Jim Shilander
The Dolphins will now travel to play Fountain Valley at Huntington Beach High on September 6.
Fountain Valley made waves in the Orange County high school football scene by beating Foothill 49-28 in their season opener. The Barons are under the direction of first-year head coach Bob Fenton and seem to be responding to their new leader’s style of play.
Fountain Valley had several players on offense put up big numbers, including a 111-yard, one touchdown effort from senior wide-out Jacob Church. Quarterback Scott Schultz passed for 152 yards. Running back Isaiah Davis also burst out for a 73-yard touchdown run.
On September 4, Rusinkovich said Brian Scott is out for the team’s game against Fountain Valley on Friday night. Justin Scott will be replacing his brother as the go-to running back. Rusinkovich anticipates Brian Scott will be back in time for next week’s nonleague game against San Clemente. –Steve Breazeale
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