Mt. San Jacinto College closed out the third year of the Lady Eagles Golf Program and second year as a team at their Banquet welcoming back their alumni, Kathryn New (Cal State Fullerton) and Katelyn Hard (University of Redlands), thanking their supporters (Banning Women 4 Hope, Grandfather’s For Golf, Golden Era Productions Golf Course, and the New Family), wooing some recruits, and recognizing the team and individual accomplishments of Lady Eagles Golf this past season.
MSJC finished in second place in the Foothill Conference with a 17-14 record, with the most wins of any team in the Foothill Conference, 57, in the last two years. The second place finish earned the Lady Eagles a second consecutive trip to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional where they finished fifth, as well as being the fifth best CCCAA team in the State. Mt. San Jacinto College is the only team from their conference to qualify to the CCCAA Southern California Regional in each of the last two years
Sophomore Co-Captain and International Student Ya-Ting (Tina) Yang (Oak Valley Academy) was recognized as the best female golfer in the CCCAA this past season following up on her CCCAA All-State recognition last year when she finished 3rd in the CCCAA State Tournament. Yang also received CCCAA All-Southern California 1st Team honors and finished second at the CCCAA Southern California Regional for the second consecutive year. Further, Yang was named Foothill Conference Most Valuable Player and received Foothill All-Conference First Team honors for the second consecutive year. Additionally, Yang also received the MSJC Lady Eagles Award for Low Stroke Average In Conference Play for the second consecutive year at 72.8, which was more than 4 strokes less than her average last year and just under more than 4 strokes better than her nearest competitor in the Foothill Conference.
Yang’s coach, Gene Stillman, commented, “Tina has come so far in the last two years both on the golf course and, more importantly, in the classroom. She clearly established herself as the best female golfer in the CCCAA this season, regardless of the extremely unfortunate circumstances giving rise to her disqualification at the CCCAA State Tournament after being the first round leader by 4 strokes. However, the most satisfying aspect of being Tina’s coach has been watching her evolve as a leader amongst her teammates, as well as all golfers in the CCCAA, and the development of her motivation to move on to a 4 year school to earn her degree in graphic arts and continue playing intercollegiate golf to see what happens thereafter. An NCAA Division II university is going to be very fortunate to get an NCAA Division I level golfer who has aspirations to do great things in the field of graphic arts.”
Sophomore Co-Captain Melissa Simpson (Moreno Valley Valley View HS) was recognized on the Foothill All-Conference Second Team for the second year in a row, as she and Yang were two of only three repeat members on the Foothill All-Conference Team from last year. Simpson, who lowered her scoring average from last year by over 10 strokes to 83.9 also improved her finish at the CCCAA Southern California Regional from 30th last year to 20th this year, even though the competition was so much tougher this year. Simpson also received the MSJC Lady Eagles Student-Athlete Golfer Of The Year Award given to the 2 year golfer who demonstrates in the classroom, on the golf course, and in the community the human qualities that best represent Mt. San Jacinto College Lady Eagles Golf.
Stillman spoke about Simpson, “Melissa took the co-captain responsibility that we gave her at the beginning of the season and ran with it leading by example resulting in our team playing to its fullest potential during the season. Our 4 freshmen who played during the season looked to her for leadership and guidance and she responded in the highest manner as reflected by us playing better as a team this year compared to last year when we won the Conference giving rise to us earning our second consecutive trip to the Regional. On a personal level, Melissa’s scoring this year would have earned her a trip to the State Tournament in each of the last two years, as well as placed her on the Foothill All-Conference First Team this past season and CCCAA All-Southern California Second Team in each of the past two seasons. However, the competition this year was so much greater. Nonetheless, Melissa has numerous opportunities at NCAA Division II and III and NAIA schools that have presented themselves as a result of her accomplishments as a Lady Eagle. She will do well at and be an asset to the university or college that she attends in the Fall of 2012, both in the classroom and on the golf course.”
Valerie Zulueta (Paloma Valley HS) earned a spot as the lone Lady Eagle freshman on the Foothill All-Conference Second Team with an 86.6 scoring average, which she will be looking to improve upon next season.
Stillman remarked about Zulueata, “Val, as well as several of our freshman, had very successful years that would have earned all of them Foothill All-Conference honors and CCCAA Southern California Regional individual qualifications in the last two years. However, the competition this year was so much greater, but the good in that is our young ladies are even more motivated to improve for next year. We expect to get better and be better next year because of the off-season work that our freshmen will be putting in coupled with the high school seniors we expect to attend MSJC and become a part of Lady Eagles Golf next Fall.”
The Fall 2012 Season for the Mt. San Jacinto College Lady Eagles will get under way August 15.