Clovis West Captures 8th Straight Central Section Girls’ Golf Championship

From left to right: Lisa Shimmon, Olivia Lew, Ellie Lew, Isa Montes, Alyson Burgess and Tori Ruiz celebrate Clovis West’s Central Section championship in girls’ golf on Monday. (Photo courtesy of CW Athletics)

A Clovis West girls’ sport continued its Central Valley dynasty on Monday — but it wasn’t on the basketball court.

Instead, it was on the greens of the Madera Golf and Country Club.

Clovis West won its eighth Central Section girls’ golf championship in a row, recording a team score of 426. The Golden Eagles have won 13 of the last 15 girls’ golf section titles, with 12 of them under the watch of head coach Ken Shipley.

Buchanan finished runner-up with a team score of 455. Clovis North recorded 460 points and Clovis scored 461 to finish third and fourth, respectively.

“This has been a special year, particularly with the pandemic,” Shipley said. “This year, none of the Varsity girls had classes on-campus, practices were limited, and the courses were extremely busy as golf is an outside sport. We weren’t even sure there would be a season until a couple months ago, and it was shorter and more compact than normal.”

The Golden Eagles finished atop the Tri-River Athletic Conference (TRAC) standings this season, going a perfect 5-0 in one-on-one matches against league opponents.

With this local dominance, there are parallels between the Clovis West girls’ golf team and the well-known girls’ basketball dynasty. Both have won eight straight Section titles — the girls’ basketball team tries for nine on Thursday — and 16 consecutive TRAC titles.

Both dynasties, according to Shipley, have also become “legacy” programs, deriving their power from the student-athletes’ dedication to their craft.

“The girls on both teams are proud of the legacies and successes of their programs,” Shipley said.  “The players on both teams work hard, appreciate being part of successful programs, understand what it takes to be successful, and enjoy learning and improving.”

The individual championship went to Iris Han of Stockdale, who won a three-way playoff against Avery Foster of Clovis and Claire Alford of Righetti after the three golfers tied at 74 through 18 holes. It is Han’s second straight year winning the individual Section title.

TRAC girls’ golfer of the year Alexa Tran of Clovis North finished fifth with a score of  78, and Clovis West’s Isa Montes finished sixth with a 79.

Montes, Lisa Shimmon (85), Tori Ruiz (85), Olivia Lew (88) and Ellie Lew (89) recorded Clovis West’s top five scores as they navigated a golf course that played hard Monday.

“The girls played in the present and future, not in the past,” Shipley said. “They battled and continued to focus on the next shot being the important one.”

“They understood the difference between ‘hoping something happens’ and ‘making it happen.’”

Gabriel Camarillo has written for the Clovis Roundup since August 2019 and follows high school athletics, Fresno State football and former Clovis Unified student-athletes. Gabe also writes for The Collegian as a staff sports writer and works at One Putt Broadcasting as a board op for 940 ESPN radio.