There is so much that coach Bob Freschi and the players on the Napa Valley College women’s golf team have put into the 2018 season.
There are the tournaments, the practice rounds and the all the sessions spent on the driving range and practice green.
“To have a student-athlete commit to college, it’s a lot of work and a lot of effort,” Freschi said during a practice on Wednesday at the Chardonnay Golf Club. “It’s not easy. You’ve got to work at it.
“We go five to six days a week. A couple of those days, they’re on their own. They play and practice during the season a lot. They’re dedicated and devoted to the game and wanting to get themselves better, and the team.”
Napa Valley finished the Big 8 Conference season in third place. Modesto Junior College won the title, Sierra-Rocklin was second and Sacramento City took fourth.
Napa Valley will continue its season Sunday and Monday at the California Community College Athletic Association Northern California Regional Championships at Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis.
Eight teams, plus individuals, are entered. Players will start from the first and 10th tees beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday. There is an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start on Monday.
The two-day, 36-hole event will determine team and individual titles. Four teams and six individuals will qualify for the CCCAA State Championship. It’s scheduled for Nov. 11 and 12 at Morro Bay Golf Course in in San Luis Obispo County.
Napa Valley is led by Desiree Ramos, the team’s only sophomore, and Jordan Lowe, a freshman. Each was named to the All-Big 8 Conference team. Lowe (83) and Ramos (87) have the top scoring averages for the Storm.
The Storm placed third in the final Big 8 Conference tournament of the season at Spring Creek Country Club in Ripon. Lowe (90), Ramos (92), Baylee Vyenielo (95) and Ruthie Bowen (104) led the Storm.
There are six players on the team, with four scores counting in a tournament.
Isabella Ash and Peyton Oller are also on the team. All six players are in the field for NorCals.
“To accomplish third place is wonderful. I love it,” said Ramos, a 2017 Vacaville High School graduate. “Going to NorCals and being part of a team is what makes it memorable. As a team, we come together, support each other.
“I definitely do think we have a chance of making it to the state championships as a team as long as we stay focused and we think about every shot.”
The rest of the team consists of freshmen – Lowe is from Vacaville, Vyenielo is from Analy-Sebastopol, Ash is from Vacaville, Bowen is from Buckingham Charter-Vacaville, Oller is from Vanden.
“It’s been a really good season, a really great experience,” said Lowe. “I’ve learned a lot of things. I’ve accomplished some of my goals, of shooting in the 70s for the first time.
“It’s been a lot of fun, because I’ve known most of the girls on the team for a long time now. It’s cool to get to play with them from when I was younger to now. I feel like our team is pretty bonded.
“There is the potential to go on to state as a team.”
It’s the first time since the 2013 season that Napa Valley has qualified for NorCals.
Coach Jim Wiechers led the 2012 team to NorCals at the Bing Maloney Golf Complex in south Sacramento. The following year, the Storm qualified again, going to Fig Garden Golf Course in Fresno.
“I’m really happy and proud of the ladies on our team,” said Freschi, who is also NVC’s assistant athletic director and the president of the CCCAA Golf Coaches Association. “They worked hard to earn it. Golf is hard work. You’ve got to put in a lot of hours. And you have to know each and every shot.
“They have a scoring average after so many rounds. And our goal the next match is to beat your scoring average.”
It’s also to be a great teammate, to support one another, to do things right on the golf course and in the classroom, and to have a good time doing it, said Freschi.
It’s also to love coming to the golf course and competing and working, he added.
The Storm is dedicating its season to Wiechers, a former PGA Tour player who died on Oct. 15 at Queen of the Valley Medical Center after a four-month illness. Wiechers, who was an NCAA All-American at Santa Clara University, was 74.
He had a successful amateur career and played the PGA Tour for 13 years, qualifying for the U.S. Open four times.
He is in the Santa Clara Athletic Hall of Fame. He spent several years as the head men’s and women’s golf coach and working as a coach in the P.E. Department at Napa Valley College.
“What an awesome gentleman,” said Freschi.
Sierra Smith, the Storm’ assistant coach, finished in a tie for 22nd place at last year’s CCCAA Women’s Golf State Championships at the Morro Bay Golf Course.
She tied for 18th and was the sixth individual at the Northern California Regional Championship, held at Buena Vista Golf Course in Taft.
Napa Valley College will host the CCCAA Men’s State Golf Championships in May of 2019 at Silverado Resort and Spa.
“Our goal for the men is to make states, and we’ll give it our best effort,” said Freschi, the Storm’s coach. “I’m excited for our men’s season. We’re grinding and working out right now and preparing hard for our men’s season, which is right around the corner.”
The men’s season begins in January.