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Oak Park Wants to Stay the Course in New Setting

High school golf: Eagles aiming for high finish in Southern Section team championships today in Somis.


Oak Park High will make its first appearance in the Southern Section boys' golf team championships at Saticoy Country Club in Somis today, but the Eagles aren't just being happy to be there.

Oak Park tied Harvard-Westlake for second place in the Northern regional at Soule Park Golf Course in Ojai on Monday, but grabbed the second--and final--qualifying spot because their No. 6 player, Anton Nikolic, shot an 81 and Harvard-Westlake's No. 6, Nathan Botwick, shot an 86.

"They want to finish in the top five," Oak Park Coach John Vogel said. "And if top four is what goes [to the CIF-Southern California Golf Assn. championships at The SCGA Members' Club at Rancho California in Murrieta on June 6], that would be one of their goals."

The 16-team tournament starts at 11 a.m.

Oak Park didn't field a golf team for several years in the mid-1990s for a variety of reasons, but it hasn't taken long for the Eagles to become a quality program.

They finished second to traditional power Nordhoff in Tri-Valley League play last year and defeated the Rangers for the league title this season.

They were 23-3 during the regular season--their only losses coming to Nordhoff--and placed second in the 20-team Northern regional by shooting a 16-over-par 376 to finish nine shots behind Loyola.

"They feel like there will be no home-course advantage for any of the teams," Vogel said of the par-72 layout at Saticoy. "None of them have ever played at Saticoy and they don't think any of the other kids have either. So they like their chances in that type of situation."

James Logeman, a junior, is the Eagles' top player.

He shot a one-under 71 in the Northern regional and finished second in the Tri-Valley League individual standings behind senior Tommy Hajduk of Nordhoff.

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