Tigers rely on junior class to carry load in 2016

Roseville looks to make the postseason to cap three-year improvement
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Head Coach: Corey Fukuman

Top Returning Athletes:

  • Sam Jensen (Jr.) 
  • Jake Littlejohn (Jr.)
  • Andrew Smith (Jr.)
  • Parker Crews (Jr.)
  • George Hughes (Jr.)

Top Newcomers:

  • Alec Martig (Fr.)
  • Cory Nuss (Sr.)

Key Departures:

  • Jameson Plaskett
  • Sam King

Strengths: Roseville’s youthful roster gives coach Corey Fukuman a lot to work with. With six juniors on the roster, including the team’s one and two Andrew Smith and Jake Littlejohn, the Tigers should cause waves in the league for the next two seasons.

Weaknesses: The only problem facing the Tigers this season is consistency. If the team can earn consistent wins at home and put up similar numbers on the road, they could knock off the defending CVC champs from Oakmont.

Conference outlook: Roseville’s toughest competition will come from cross-town foe Oakmont, but the team will also face stiff 

Head Golf Coach Corey Fukuman’s mission over the past three seasons has been to turn around the boys golf team. After losing each of their league contests two years ago, the Tigers finished fourth in the Capital Valley Conference last year, and they’ve seen great improvements from their underclassmen. 

“Starting a junior varsity program over the last few years has been one of my biggest goals to help build our program and turn the team around,” Fukuman explained. “This year, we had our largest turnout for both squads and we had to make cuts for the first time since I have been coaching boys or girls golf at Roseville. The junior varsity team allows us to keep many of our younger players and hopefully develop them to play at the varsity level when they are ready.”

That sort of commitment to player development has helped the Tigers see growth over the past three years. 

“Many of our juniors have been playing JV or varsity golf since their freshman year, so hopefully that experience will help us finish in the top three in our league and reach the playoffs,” Fukuman explained. “Currently juniors Andrew Smith and Jake Littlejohn have been leading the team in all of our matches.” 

After gaining significant playing time as freshmen and sophomores, the junior class at Roseville is ready to lead their team into the postseason. But they’re not overlooking the joy that comes with playing the game.

“We try not to take it too seriously,” junior golfer Andrew Smith explained. “Our coach is a really cool guy and just lets us have fun. He doesn’t hold us to a standard where we have to go play at the next level. Whether you’re out here to have fun or out here to get noticed, he will help get you there. It’s the opposite of some other local teams.”

Roseville’s fourth place finish in the CVC last year was just one spot shy of a postseason berth and it came down to the team’s final match. 

“If we performed a little better in the last CVC tournament at Morgan Creek, then we could have made it,” Smith explained. “But that helped us going into this year. We know what we need to do now.”

Despite Jake Littlejohn’s top finish (76) at that tournament, the team couldn’t keep up with the other league squads and the Tigers fell just short. That loss added a little fuel to the team’s fire this offseason and they are hungry to perform better this year.

“We definitely want to make playoffs this year,” Littlejohn said. “We’re working hard to become more consistent every day and get in the top three in the CVC. We’re an older team now and so we should be shooting better scores as the season goes on.”

The team retained a majority of its talented golfers from a year ago, while adding three-year baseball catcher Cory Nuss. After winning a section title with the Tigers varsity baseball team last year, Nuss decided to replace his bat with a club.

“I just wanted to try something new after playing baseball over the last three years,” Nuss admitted. “I thought this would be a fun transition, and so far I like it. It’s a new challenge.”

The Tigers will take next week off before hosting their first league tournament of the season at Sierra View Country Club, April 4.