Years from now, the Bakersfield Christian boys’ tennis and golf teams will look back on Tuesday’s trip to Tulare with fond memories.
As a reminder, both teams will have a midsection championship plaque as a reminder.
The No. 6 Eagles tennis team completed an incredible run through the Division III playoffs, capped by Tuesday’s 6-0 win over top seed Tulare Union.
BCHS outscored its four opponents 30-3 in a playoff that also featured wins over No. 3 Atascadero and No. 2 Hanford-Sierra Pacific.
The win was a bit of revenge for the Eagles, who lost 5-4 to Sierra Pacific in last year’s title game.
“I think the kids felt like they had something to prove,” Bakerfield Christian first-year coach Rod Wallace said. “We really picked up our game as the season progressed and continued to improve and focus on what we needed to do,”
1 singles player Ryan Bashirtash, who finished fourth in the individual sectional tournament last weekend, beat Tulare’s Tyler Steelman, 6-3, 6-0, and rookie Zeb Duket swept David Valdovinos , 6-0, 6-0, to get the team off to a quick start.
Josh Banducci beat Mauricio Lopez Flores, 6-2, 6-3, Austin Cusator beat Reul Rivera 6-3, 6-3 and David Meshreky and Beneditto Caroccio picked up straight-set wins.
“The kids dug deep until the end,” Wallace said. “They were like ‘this was our year’ and they just had to go out and do it.”
For Duket and Cusator, it was a continuation of their strong performance in the individual tournament in Garces on Saturday. The two entered as the No. 11 doubles seed but scored two upset wins and finished fourth.
Just 10 minutes away, across Highway 99, the Bakersfield Christian Golf Team had the same success.
The Eagles’ Eric Schroeder finished fourth with a 72 at Tulare Golf Course to lead his team to the Division II Sectional Championship.
BCHS’ team total of 386 was four strokes better than Santa Maria-St. Joseph.
Schroeder’s round was a better shot than teammate Isaac Wells, who was tied for fifth, with Andrew Yacoub finishing tied for eighth with a 76.
Blaize Radar shot an 83, followed by Payton Richey’s 84 to explain the team’s point total. Cash McClain had an 86.