Cervantes crowned H-DN champ after impressive stretch run

Submitted photos – Esteban Cervantes celebrates his league championship on Monday.

St. Bernard’s Esteban Cervantes has been crowned H-DN boys golf champion for 2023 after an exciting race for the championship that went down to the final round of action.

Cervantes, an exchange student from Spain, posted the low score of the day for the fourth time in six rounds of league play at Baywood Golf and Country Club on Monday, saving his best for the stretch run.

Trailing in the championship by six strokes with just two rounds remaining, the sophomore standout posted impressive back-to-back rounds to close out the campaign and edge Arcata’s Mason Alway by two strokes for the title.

Cervantes shot an 81 in rough conditions in the final round, with the cold, rain and wind all affecting play, especially over the back nine.

The 2022 league champion, Talon Vigil, tied Cervantes for the low score on the day to lead a deep Eureka Loggers team to a fifth straight team league title.

The Eureka boys had the low team score for the fifth time in six rounds to comfortably take the championship by 65 strokes.

The Arcata Tigers finished second, almost 200 strokes ahead of St. Bernard’s in third.

Three of the seven All-League spots went to Eureka, with Vigil finishing third in the season standings, just five strokes back of Alway, followed by teammates Julian Goodman in fourth and Andrew Stewart in seventh.

Cervantes’ teammate Jack Kramer placed fifth, with Del Norte’s Kai Russell in sixth.

The eureka boys and the top-five other individuals will all advance to the North Coast Section Division-II Championships in Petaluma next month.

In addition to the all-league honorees, Arcata’s Beck Pedersen, who was eighth in league, also advances to the NCS tournament, along with Eureka’s Jerome Lyon and Wyatt Zerlang.

Goodman shot an 83 on Monday for the third best score of the day, followed by South Fork’s Trevor Hunt, who shot an 88

Alway, Russell and Kramer each shot an 89.

Also impressing in the challenging conditions were Arcata’s Lennon Gieder, who shot a 90, and teammate Pedersen with a 91.

Stewart shot a 91, followed by Zerlang with a 92, while Jake Gardner again led McKinleyville with a 94 and Dawson McWhorter led Fortuna with a 97.

Arcata’s Zayne Morris-Slattery shot a 95, as did Del Norte’s Blake Larson.

The NCS tournament will be held at Rooster Run in Petaluma on May 8.

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