By Nicholas Peralta
Coming off of a novice 2016 season, Riverside City College’s golf team capped off a historic year, with a California Community College Athletic Association regional championship title and placing fourth in the CCCAA State championships.
RCC’s golf team competed in the CCCAA South Regional championships at the El Camino Country Club on May 8, hot off of their Orange Empire Conference championship victory on May 1.
The Tigers shot a combined team score of 750 to win by eight strokes over fellow OEC member Cypress College.
Combined over the course of the morning and afternoon games, RCC’s golfing phenom Everett Najera scored an impressive 144 score, with fellow sophomore Robby Melton scoring 150, Nick Bridge and Michael Herrera scoring 152, Jordan Sams with 158, and freshman Brian Nielson scoring 155.
With this momentous victory, RCC would go on to challenge for the CCCAA State championships at the Cypress Ridge Golf Course. RCC’s golf team had only ever won one state championship in its history back in 2014. It would be the fourth state championship appearance by RCC.
In a hotly contested round of high level golf against seven other regional winning teams, RCC shot a 390 in the morning round and 404 in the afternoon session for a team total of 794 strokes, leading the team to a fourth place standing.
The eventual first place honor went to Santa Clarita’s College of the Canyons who shot a 761, second place went to Cypress College who shot a 785, and third went to Ventura College who shot 789.
“Bottom line we didn’t play our best, but from where we were at last season this team accomplished a lot,” Sigloch said.
“And it’s hard to judge how other teams are going to look, especially the northern schools because they could play poorly some days but it could be on a course I’ve never seen before. Who knows how difficult those courses are.”
Despite coming up short after one of the most successful seasons, Sigloch sees star potential in this seasons team and predicts the talent will continue to improve as well as achieve big success in the sport of professional golf.
“This team came away with one of the best records in the school’s history.” Sigloch said.
But with four of the eight players on the team moving on from the program, questions arise as to whether next season’s roster will be able to tap into the same magic that elicited the momentous run that nearly saw the Tigers win a state championship team this spring.
However, Sigloch is confident the success that has preceded the last several seasons will pique the interest of aspiring players looking for a program that will lead them to a rewarding future.
“Players on this team will go on to do big things,” he said. “And it will depend on the recruits we get but this program has proven successful and I expect great players from around the region will come.”
After wrapping up another historic season Sigloch reflects on the success that has followed since his inauguration as the RCC head coach back in 2008.
As has been mentioned, the Tigers have gone to the state championships four times, a feat that had yet to be achieved before Coach Sigloch had arrived.
Along with this year, RCC has won the regional championships and competed in the state championships in 2010, 2014 and 2015 season.
“This team will go down as one of the top years ever in RCC,” Sigloch said. “After what we got done this year, there’s no reason we can’t continue to succeed.”