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Two Folsom golfers receive scholarships

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Two seniors from the Folsom High golf team recently received scholarships to play at the collegiate level. Taylor Knoll will be attending the University of Nevada Reno and Joel Slak will head down Highway 99 to Stockton to play for the University of the Pacific next year. Knoll has been selected to the Delta River All-League team in each of his three varsity seasons and will have a chance to go for the sweep this spring. His brother Brian, who graduated from Folsom a year ago, also plays for the Wolfpack golf team and was a major component in Taylor’s decision. “It’ll be good to have (Brian) as a teammate again. By the time I get there, he’ll already have a year under his belt on the collegiate level and he’ll be able to help me through everything,” said Knoll, who describes himself as a bit of a “risky” player. “I don’t like to lay up. If there’s a visible green on a par four, I’m going for it.” “Taylor’s game is best described as extremely aggressive. There isn’t a shot he doesn’t love,” said Folsom golf coach Steve Burgess, who has coached both Knoll and Slak since they were freshmen in 2008. “He looks at every shot and attacks the golf course. There’s not a golf course that he doesn’t think he can score well on.” Slak, also an all-league performer from a year ago, is a third team All-American for the Future Collegiate World Tour junior golf association. He was Folsom’s low scoring average leader last spring and plans to help the Bulldogs once again qualify for the state tournament this year. “I couldn’t refuse UOP’s offer. They have a great coach. The campus has a great atmosphere and I love all the courses,” said Slak, who will be studying finance and plans to go into stocks and investments. “Hopefully I can bring a lot of low scores, some knowledge and a fun attitude. I’m just going to work hard, have fun and get it done.” “Joel is a very precise player. He hits a lot of fairways and greens. I have a lot of confidence in his game,” explains Burgess. Two years ago, the tandem of Knoll and Slak helped the Bulldogs win their first Sac-Joaquin Section title and took it a step further by reaching their first state tournament for golf since 1975 according to Burgess — an accomplishment that Burgess says would not have happened without their contributions. “It’s going to be good to have both of them back this year. We lost a lot of talent from last year but with them returning, it gives us an opportunity to compete,” said Burgess of his dynamic duo. “We’re going to ask a lot of them to be leaders for the kids coming in behind them. They’re not just players; they’re students of the game. They eat, sleep and breathe golf.”