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"Fore" Love Of The Game Bruin Golfers Ready For A Big Season
Casey Floyd isn't much bigger than the golf bag he totes from green to green, but the Riverbank High freshman carries a secret weapon you wouldn't expect from a student of his age and stature.

It's his golf swing.

Floyd's smooth strokes of the dimpled ball have already made a big impact on the local links, and the Bruin underclassman leads an upstart program at RHS that is seeing huge improvements in their overall game.

Floyd delivered a 50-stroke top-score medalist performance at the Diablo Grande Golf and Country Club on Thursday to lead Riverbank to a 301 team score and victory over host Orestimba. It was Riverbank's first Trans-Valley League victory in over four years, and the first of coach John Heaton's career.

"It was unbelievable," Heaton said. "The team was so happy about it. To get our first win of the season after what we went through last year was pretty incredible."

Junior Zack Vannest was the only RHS student to finish last year's golf season after a player quit the team and four more were cut by coach Heaton after repeated no-shows to team practices and competitions.

Vannest has worked steadily to improve his game, and carded a 55 on Thursday to keep Riverbank lower than Orestimba. He hasn't bested his freshman counterpart yet, but Floyd and Vannest have certainly given the rest of Riverbank's golf team a platform to shoot for.

"Both have put the practice time in during the summer and fall," Heaton said. "They are not beginners."

Floyd is a rising star from the First Tee program for youth golfers, and spent time learning the game with longtime PGA pro, Greg Silva. Casey's father, Charlie Floyd, is also an assistant coach for the golfing Bruins.

Vannest has participated in a match play program at the River Oaks Golf Course for three years, and also carries a seasoned approach to the links.

The two have been instrumental in mentoring the greener Bruin golfers this season. First-year shooters Dominick Mulkey and Jesus Carrillo have responded well to the tutelage thus far, and should make an impact on scores this season.

"This year's squad is really excited about the season, especially the players that are new to the s port," Coach Heaton said. "They want to practice, they want to learn the rules and etiquette that not only makes a golfer, but also prepares them to be successful young men."