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Snakes snag an Eagle

Del Oro's Furgeson will golf for Division II St. Mary's Rattlers
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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Waking up at 4 a.m. to hit the ice skating rink grew old fast when Camille Furgeson entered Del Oro High as a freshman. After spending 12-hour days at the rink as an eighth grader, the Newcastle native could no longer fit competitive skating into her high school schedule. Furgeson dropped the sport, joining her brother for golf lessons on the side. She quickly emerged as one of the dominant players on the local links. Next spring, she’ll continue her golf career on a full-ride scholarship at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. “I liked the size of the school,” Furgeson said of the private campus. “It’s not too big, not too small. The golf coach and I got along great.” Furgeson’s future teammates showed her the town during a visit earlier this year and treated her to dinner at a Mexican restaurant on the River Walk. “The girls on the team are people I’ll really get along with,” she said. “They were really open to me and happy I’m going to their school.” A first-team Sierra Foothill League selection all three years she played on the Golden Eagles’ varsity squad, Furgeson led Del Oro to its second straight SFL title during the fall. The Eagles ran off 24 consecutive league dual match wins over the two seasons she served as captain. Furgeson was the first to sign for the Rattlers last month. “She had options,” Del Oro golf coach Hal Steinback said. “It’s a good fit for her. She was very impressed with the program on her visit down there.” The Rattlers finished the 2008-09 season second the Heartland Conference Championships in April under coach Wes Skidmore, their best finish in the program’s nine-year history. Turning down offers from Sonoma State and Chico State was difficult for Furgeson, who would have preferred to stay within driving distance for weekend visits. “It’s really hard to cope with the fact that I’m going to be moving so far away from home,” she said. “That’s why Chico and Sonoma interested me so much. It really freaks me out moving so far away but I feel my parents have raised me to be mature and live on my own.” Furgeson plans to major in communications with aspirations of being a corporate event planner. “I never had any idea this was going to happen,” she said. “It just all fell into place. I thought I was going to go to Davis with all my synchronized skating friends.” Playing in more than 100 tournaments over her three-year career at Del Oro, competing in the SFL and advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament have prepared Furgeson for what awaits in Texas. “Joining the team having one year of golf experience was pretty insane for me,” Furgeson said. “We’ve made it to Masters, one step away from NorCals. As far as being prepared for college golf, I think I’m ready.” Steinback agrees. “One of the points I made when I was writing letters for her was she just started golfing three years ago,” he said. “She’s just scratching the surface.”