What a difference a year makes.After forfeiting multiple matches for using an ineligible player in 2011, the Camarillo High boys’ golf team has rebounded with a Pacific View League championship.
The Scorpions were 13- 1 overall and 8-0 in the PVL entering Thursday’s regular-season finale against Oxnard at Camarillo Springs Golf Course.
Camarillo earned one of its biggest victories of the season by upending rival Rio Mesa 401-418 on Tuesday at Las Posas Country Club.
“It’s a good win,” senior Johnny Ruiz said. “It’s all about going out there and playing your best.”
The Scorpions picked up solid victories against Moorpark— one of the Marmonte League’s top regular-season outfits—and Oxnard—with all five starters scoring in the 70s—en route to another dominating season.
Their only losing match was against Newbury Park.
“We try to play our best each match,” said Ruiz, who led the way with a 1-under par 70 at Las Posas.
The two-day individual PVL tournament starts Monday at Soule Park Golf Club in Ojai and concludes Tuesday at Ventura’s Olivas Links Golf Course.
The top seven individuals advance into the postseason.
Ruiz and fellow senior Joe Ahn propel Camarillo.
They are the perfect foils for each other.
Ruiz is the serious man who glides across the course. Ahn is a jokester with the biggest driver on the squad. When it’s time to golf, they’re ready to win.
“Johnny and Joe are just awesome week in and week out,” said junior Ethan Weilbacher.
“I really enjoy playing with Johnny. And Joe makes me laugh every day at practice.”
Ruiz reached the state tournament last spring and hopes to return to the grand stage for his last hurrah with the Scorpions.
He also wants the team to make a deep postseason run.
The senior leader’s taking a more cerebral approach on the links.
“I like the way I’m staying focused on the golf course,” Ruiz said. “I’m focusing on each shot and playing smarter.
“Last year, it was hit and go. This year, I’m staying out of trouble and minimizing my mistakes.”
Ruiz, who is considering playing golf at Ventura College or College of the Canyons, said teammates pry his brain for advice.
“I try to help them as much as I can,” said Ruiz, a former baseball standout who played outside linebacker on the ACHS football team as a sophomore.
Weilbacher said he appreciates the help.
“If I’m having a bad day, Johnny will pull me aside and say, ‘Okay, man. You can finish strong. Don’t give up. You’ve got this,’” Weilbacher said.
“Joe’s just really funny. It’s amazing how far he can hit the ball. He’s got 25 yards on reserve— he can hit it another 25 yards longer when he wants to. He’s just happy-go-lucky. He tells jokes but he can pull you aside and discuss mental aspects of the game. If anybody has a bad day, Joe will pat you on the back and say it’s all right.”
Weilbacher has confidence in his putter and driver.
The junior rebounded from a rough start at Moorpark Country Club—when he was 7-over after four holes—but he ended up notching four birdies to save the round and earn a respectable 78 against Moorpark.
“I’m going into league and individuals with no expectations,” Weilbacher said.
“Just go in and play my game and keep a level head.”
Steven Porta has enjoyed his first year with the Scorpions.
The freshman barely made the varsity cut. He earned the No. 6 spot the first week of the season.
Armed with a new driver, Porta said he likes how he’s driving the ball off the tees. His irons are solid and his short game is adequate, he said.
“Every bit of my game could get better,” Porta said.
Senior Adrian Sun and junior Ameer Bahhur complete head coach Bill Dowden’s varsity lineup.
“We’re a close-knit group of guys,” Weilbacher said.
“We’re more than just teammates. We’re friends.”