La Habra’s Michael Lascari stands on the first hole tee box at Westridge Golf Club in La Habra on Monday June 22, 2015. Lascari was selected as the Whittier Daily News Golfer of the Year.
Player of the Year: Michael Lascari, La Habra, senior
Michael Lascari turned hihort game into a senior-leading attack.
The La Habra High School senior is very adept around the greens. It carried him to the CIF Southern Section individual tournament and helped the Highlanders to their best team finish in school history. For his efforts, Lascari is the Player of the Year.
Lascari won two tournaments and had one of the lowest scores in the CIF-SS Central Division team finals, shooting a 4-under-par 68 to tie for fourth place at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach. The Highlanders finished a school-best ninth place.
“My season? It was pretty good. I had a lot of low scores.”
La Habra coach Cody Venegas said it is Lascari’s short game that made his No. 1 player tough.
“He does not hit the farthest, but he is a magician around the greens,” Venegas said.
Lascari said it is the part of the game he works on the most.
“If I need to get up and down for a par, I can do it,” he said. “I have a lot trust in my chipping and I really practice a lot on my short game. It’s the most important part of your game when you’re grinding to save par. If you cannot get up and down, it puts you in a bad spot.”
Lascari won the league title as a junior, but finished third in the league’s individual tournament this season.
One of his biggest victories this season was the Whittier Christian Tournament at Candlewood Country Club in Whittier.
His only hiccup was in the CIF-SS Central Division individual regional tournament at Victoria Golf Club in Riverside. Lascari shot an 8-over-par 80 and missed the cut to advance to the CIF-SS all-divisional finals by five strokes.
“It was the wrong time to have one of those days,” he recalled.
He will play at Santiago Canyon College next season.
Coach of the Year: Cody Verdugo, La Habra
La Habra High School may be one of the perennial top schools in the Freeway League in sports such as football and softball. But the league is top-heavy in golf with CIF-SS powers Sunny Hills and Troy; Sunny Hills advanced to the CIF-SS all-division team finals at Mission Lakes Country Club.
The Highlanders, however, are making inroads against the two league powers. They finished third in league play and advanced to the CIF-SS team playoffs for the second consecutive season, a first for the school. The Highlanders had a school-best ninth place finish at the Southern Division team finals at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach. For that, Cody Venegas has been selected Coach of the Year.
The Highlanders had three seniors, led by Mike Lascari and Ben Livesay. Three underclass players who started in the CIF-SS Southern finals return next season.
Karsten Briley, Whittier Christian, junior
Josh Gardea, Whittier, senior
Kyle Henderson, Pioneer, senior
Ben Livesay, La Habra, senior
Derek Marquez, Santa Fe, senior
Leland Wilcox, La Mirada, sophomore
Jonathan Bernal, Santa Fe, senior
Evan Eastman, La Serna, sophomore
Joe Egan, La Habra, senior
Aaron Chang, La Habra, freshman
Bryan Rafter, Whittier Christian, junior
Matt Rafter, Whittier Christian, junior