Golf season for UC Riverside doesn’t start until Feb. 4 for the women’s team and Jan. 28 for the men’s team. Both have a lot going for them with Coach Eric Riehle guiding the way, however, the athletes must produce.

Riehle has set up his men’s and women’s teams for success for this season and beyond with his core of young and successful athletes.

Sophomore Rayan Smith was MVP all four years at Colton High School. Sophomore Jason Semthiti was MVP from 2009-2011 at Pacifica Christian High School. Sophomore David Gazzolo is a three-time Big VIII league champion at Riverside Poly High and was MVP in 2012. Freshman Bradley Fox was team MVP all four years and league MVP as a junior at Ontario Christian High School. The experience of these four young athletes can lead the team to many first place finishes.

Next year the men’s team will have three freshmen, Andre Vu, Sam Gillis and Léven Simon-Seay to join their already young core. The three of them can bring a lot to the table with their past winning experiences.

Vu is ranked 14th in the state. His best finish was at the 54th Annual Lee Hammil Memorial when he finished second. Sam Gillis is ranked 21st in the state and his top finish was at the 2012 Toyota Tour Cup at Oak Valley when he finished second. Simon-Seay is ranked 52 in the state and has his best finish at the 2011 Toyota Tour Cup at Oak Valley when he finished second.

Women’s team next year will have freshmen Isabelle Shee and Tina Nagai can help bring youth to a team which includes four seniors. Nagai is ranked 45th in the state and with two of her best finishes at the 2011 Costa Mesa City Championship and the 2012 JAGS Tour I.E. Junior Championship, where she finished second. Shee is ranked 32nd in the state and finished third at the 2012 Toyota Cup at Primm Valley.

The athletics department and Athletic Director Brian Wickstrom here at UC Riverside have done an excellent job. They have turned UC Riverside into a college that students have as their priority because of Riverside’s great athletic department.