Jess Scheller desperately needed sleep.
On Wednesday, the Hart golfer had choir rehearsal from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Just six hours later, he was in the car and on his way to the CIF-Southern Section Individual Finals at Soule Park Golf Course in Ojai on Thursday.
On top of that, finals are looming for the senior.
After carding a 3-over 75 to make the cut at the finals for a trip to the CIF/SCGA Southern State Regional Championship, though, Scheller might want to consider making sleep deprivation a regular occurrence.
“I was surprised how much energy I had for what little sleep I got,” Scheller said.
“…This is a big accomplishment for me and I’m glad I get to do it. It’s my last opportunity to do it. It’s nice to play well. But I’m definitely tired right now.”
Playing at Soule was an additional challenge. Scheller had never seen the venue before and had to battle undulation in the greens and a tight course.
Although he says his putting could’ve been stronger, Scheller excelled when it came to hitting the ball.
“The course was tight, so that can be considered hard for some people, but I’m a very good ball-striker in golf,” he said. “It was definitely more of the greens that were pretty tricky.”
In addition to Scheller competing in the individual tournament on Thursday, West Ranch was competing as a team in the CIF-SS SCGA Team Qualifier on the same course.
The Wildcats’ score of 389 wasn’t enough to advance to the next round, however. Palos Verdes and Simi Valley were the top two qualifiers at 344 and 364, respectively.
Gunnar Murray paced the Cats, who were this year’s league team champions, with a 2-under.
Having two Foothill League teams represented late in the CIF-SS postseason was a big deal for Scheller, regardless of the outcome.
“We’re a good valley. We have some very good players,” Scheller said. “Gunnar shot 70 today. I feel like it’s a big privilege to play and represent the valley this way.”
Scheller will continue his playoff run on May 24 in Pasadena at Brookside Golf Course in the CIF/SCGA Southern State Regional Championship.
He’ll be playing there with a full night’s sleep and no choir practice or finals on the brain.
“I will have graduated the day before the third round,” Scheller said. “So I think that’s kind of funny because I’ll be done with high school but still be playing high school golf. I’ll be a little more prepared for that round.”