Piedmont boys golf has ton of talent

The Piedmont boys golf team. (L-R) Patrick Brayer, Jackson Lommen, Bodhi Bloemker, Derek Lee, Jackson Van Kleeck, River Bloemker, Coach Gary Lorin. (Photo by Wayne Lee)

Piedmont High School boys golf coach Gary Lorin said this will be his first and last season coaching the team. But he also said he believes the program has a bright future.

“It seems like we have a ton of talent,” he said. “We had 21 kids come out, probably 12 on varsity. The program is going to be in good shape for years.”

Freshman Derek Lee and senior Bodhi Bloemker will top the ladder. Lorin said Bloemker is the “Top dog. Hits it a long way, (has a) good short game.”

Of Lee, Lorin said, “Derek’s consistent, gorgeous swing, well-coached, good fundamentals and also hits it a mile.”

The gap between the top two and the rest of the varsity is significant. Lorin said eight players could compete to fill the four remaining spots.

“It’s going to be competitive all year for who’s going to play in those spots,” Lorin said.

River Bloemker, the freshman brother of Bodhi, will compete for one of those spots. He is consistent and not too flashy, according to Lorin. Senior Cole Nash is also right there.

“He’s a great kid,” Lorin said. “Good demeanor, nice swing. Hits the ball really straight.”

Freshman Jackson Van Kleek is a left-handed hitter.

“Hits the ball a long way for being our smallest starter,” Lorin said.

(L-R) River Bloemker and Jackson Van Kleeck (Photo by Wayne Lee)

Junior Charlie Wright is another power hitter. P.J. Brayer and Jackson Lommen are also in the mix.

Lorin took over for Howard Oliver, who was the coach for several seasons. The new guy said he doesn’t know the league yet but expects his team to be competitive based on what he has seen so far.

“We’ll be competitive all year,” Lorin said. “We’ll be above middle. I think well compete for the top spots.”

The Highlanders have started 2-1 on the year. They split matches with Bishop O’Dowd and San Leandro on February 29 at Sequoya Country Club, with the Dragons scoring 120, Piedmont 127 and the Pirates 143. Lee was low-man for the Highlanders at 20, with Bodhi Bloemker next at 22, River Bloemker at 27, Van Kleek at 29 along with Nash and Wright at 32. The match was shortened by rain to five holes.

On March 6, Piedmont beat Encinal, 167-178. Bodhi Bloemker shot a one-over 28 on the nine-hole Corica Park Golf Course in Alameda. Lee shot a 30, Brayer a 35, and River Bloemker a 36. Van Kleek had a 38 and Lommen a 39.

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