Lake Jovita hosted SAC tourney
By Steve Lee
TRINITY — The Mitchell boys golf team surpassed last year’s 8-2 mark by going 11-0. The Mustangs clinched a perfect record on Oct. 6 with a 153-172 win against Land O’ Lakes.
Now, the unbeaten team has high hopes for the postseason.
The Mustangs, ousted in last year’s regionals, are aiming for a state berth. Last fall, they came within four strokes of that elusive goal.
“That was tough to take,” Mitchell coach Rick Hyatt said.
First, however, is pairing the Sunshine Athletic Conference regular-season title with the tournament championship. The overall SAC crown takes both facets into account and Mitchell has won one or the other in each of the past three seasons.
The SAC tourney took place Oct. 13 at Lake Jovita, but results were unavailable at press time.
“We’re halfway there,” Hyatt said. “That was our goal for the year, to put it all together.”
Chaz Heinz, a senior, leads a talented squad that includes four golfers who recently shot in the 30s during a 151-178 defeat of Gulf. Heinz and Dylan Strout shared the lead at 37.
A pivotal battle came in the season’s fifth match with Mitchell and Wiregrass Ranch sporting identical 4-0 records. The Mustangs remained unbeaten with a 157-166 victory at Crescent Oaks.
Mitchell’s dominant season came despite the graduation of 2008 SAC Player of the Year Kenny Cavender and five other seniors. Talent and depth, however, figured prominently in this year’s performance as five of the team’s 10 golfers shot in the 30s.
Heinz headed into the SAC tourney with a team-leading 37.6 average, Richardson was right behind at 38 while three others — Strout, Sterling Bash and Dominick Dithmer — were tied at 39.
“That carried us,” Hyatt said of the team’s depth. “When someone had a bad day there was someone else to pick them up.”
BULLS NEARLY PERFECT: That lone loss to Mitchell kept Wiregrass Ranch from an undefeated season. The team finished 10-1, closing out the regular campaign with a 161-177 win over River Ridge.
Wiregrass Ranch’s Logan Horrigan shot a 38 in that match and was followed by teammates Dylan Larson (39), Chris Kluender (41) and Nick Stutt (43).
As for Hillsborough County teams, Gaither had four golfers — Josh Black, Jimmy Stanger, Clyde Meadows and Shawn Sirignano — break 40 in a 146-164 win over Wharton.
The Cowboys improved to 9-1 with recent wins over Plant and Hillsborough. Stanger turned in a season-low of 35 in that Oct. 1 match.
GIRLS GOLF: Wiregrass Ranch has a girls team to be reckoned with. Senior Anna Caldwell, junior Taylor Upchurch and sophomore Bianca Scimali are the top three on a team that started 6-2.
In Hillsborough, Alex Milan of first-year Steinbrenner set a school record with a round of 33 at Heritage Harbor in a 196-230 win over Sickles. She also had rounds of 34 and 36 in previous wins over Sickles and Gaither, respectively.
The Warriors continued to impress by winning eight of their first 10 matches.
Freedom’s Caroline Sorrick led her team to a 198-218 win over Newsome by shooting a 35.