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Crescenta Valley boys' golf tees off under new coach

Crescenta Valley Falcons, St. Francis Golden Knights begin seasons under different leadership as 2013 season gets underway.

February 26, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • Tanner Bloks of Crescenta Valley High School watches his golf ball in flight at the driving range at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena.
Tanner Bloks of Crescenta Valley High School watches… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Lee Pope doesn’t jump into his newest head-coaching gig blindly.

Having served as coach of the Crescenta Valley High girls’ golf team the past three years — which included splitting the Pacific League title last season — Pope learned the ropes of gathering a nucleus of talent and seeing positive results on the links.

Pope will try to achieve equal success as Crescenta Valley’s boys’ coach after taking over the program from John Pehar.

“The experience I have gained from coaching the girls’ team will help,” said Pope, who guided the girls’ team to a sixth-place finish at the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional en route to earning All-Area Coach of the Year honors. “A few things will be different coaching the boys’ team, but it shouldn’t be hard to adapt.

“We will have around 14 players and some of them are young. That’s OK. We are still learning and trying to develop the younger guys quickly.”

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Crescenta Valley finished second in league last season before taking 16th at the Northern Team Divisional.

The Falcons will be led by seniors Adrian Chia and Tanner Bloks, junior Paul Park and sophomore Cody Renfro.

“Paul has been solid since the day he got here,” said Pope, who coached the junior varsity team the past three seasons. “You can count on him shooting in the 70s because he strikes the ball great.

“Adrian knows how to get the best out of his game. Cody came up to the varsity team last season and gained a lot of experience.”

St. Francis will begin a new chapter with its program under the direction of first-year coach Kyle Ostrom, who succeeds Jeff Durfee.

The Golden Knights will look to improve on their fifth-place finish in the Mission League last season. St. Francis will return the bulk of its starting lineup, including seniors Vince De Pinto and Eric Suarez and juniors Michael Finney, Johnny Brandt and Jack Tenney.

Ostrom, a St. Francis graduate, said he’s eager to see how the Golden Knights respond in some difficult nonleague matches before jumping into league.

“We are going to have some depth, which will be real nice because they will be challenging each other to get better,” Ostrom said. “They have some experience and have been working hard on their games.

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