Nelson, Tigers crowned champs after competitive H-DNL season

Submitted photos – The Arcata girls react after clinching the league championship this week.

An exciting and competitive H-DNL girls golf season concluded on Tuesday at Baywood Golf & Country Club with Arcata High’s Madyson Nelson clinching the individual league title and leading the Tigers to another team championship.

Nelson posted the low round of the day for the fourth time in seven rounds of league play, shooting a 101 to beat the field by six strokes.

As expected, the Arcata junior clinched the league championship by a sizable margin, beating the field by 23 strokes, with St. Bernard’s Hannah Finck placing second.

This year’s league was the most competitive in a few years with four different players from four different schools each winning a round or at least tying for a win.

Five different schools were represented in the top five in the season standings, with McKinleyville’s Neyr-Res Bartoo in third, Eureka’s Mia Lopez fourth and Del Norte’s Charley Tygart fifth.

The Tigers comfortably defended their league pennant by a margin of 87 strokes.

“It was a lot of fun,” Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “The girls did a great job all the way through.”

The league title was officially the fourth straight for Ghisetti and the Arcata girls, although considering how they dominated in the COVID-shortened season in the spring of 2021 it was unofficially their fifth straight.

And remarkably they achieved it this year with no seniors and only one golfer (Nelson) with any real experience.

The team included three softball players — Lily Cunningham, Lucia Hernandez and Toni Diaz — playing golf for the first time.

“To have these girls step up was huge for us,” Ghisetti said.

Madyson Nelson is the 2023 H-DNL champion.

Ash Osceola, who was with the team a year ago but didn’t feature heavily on a senior-laden roster, and newcomer Ashlynn Bowen, who improved every week, according to her coach, rounded out this year’s impressive squad.

On Tuesday, the Arcata girls had the low team score for the fifth time in seven rounds, tying St. Bernard’s with a 480 total.

McKinleyville was just one stroke back.

The Crusaders closed out the season strong and placed second in the team standings, followed by Eureka, McKinleyville and Del Norte.

The Del Norte girls were led this season by Tygart and took a league-best three of the seven all-league selections, with Madi Calleja and Sophia Jager tying for sixth in the final standings.


Bartoo had the second best score of the day on Tuesday, shooting a 107, followed by Finck and Lopez, who each shot a 109, and McKinleyville’s Addie Morrison, who shot a 110.

Del Norte’s Jager (116) and Calleja (117), Arcata’s Cunningham (119), St. Bernard’s Ingrid Monahan (119) and McKinleyville’s Jaxin Bartoo (119) rounded out the top 10 on Tuesday.

The H-DNL girls will now turn their attention toward the North Coast Section tournament, which take place at the Oakland Metropolitan Golf Course on Oct. 23.

The Tigers qualified as a team and will compete alongside five individual H-DNL golfers, including Finck, Neyr-Res Bartoo, Lopez, Tygart and Jager.

Leave a Reply