“I’m so proud for the team,” said Warriors junior golfer Sara Bair. “We knew we could do it. We’ve worked really hard to get better and this shows what we can do.”
Alan Black and Wildcat boys make states
By Kyle LoJacono
In the 11-year history of Wesley Chapel High no boy’s golf team had ever reached the state tournament until now.
“Really this is something we couldn’t have planned any better,” said Wesley Chapel senior Brandon Mumaw. “We have a lot of seniors and this is our last chance to get to states.”
The Wildcats shot 319, which was tied with Saddlebrook Prep after 18 holes. The two district rivals went to a playoff, which the Wildcats took to claim the Class 1A, Region 3 championship.
“It didn’t look good early, but the kids regrouped and truly every shot mattered,” said Wesley Chapel coach Alan Black. “They knew they were going to states when they got to the playoff because the top two teams advance, so they were able to play loose. Saddlebrook has been our big rival the last bunch of years, so you couldn’t have written a better script for us.”
The program first coincides with Black’s last season. Black has been at Wesley Chapel since the school opened after spending 10 years at Land O’ Lakes High.
“I’ve been on the team for four years now and we’ve been getting better each year,” Brandon said. “When we started the year we knew we’d have a chance to get to states and send coach Black out on top. It really is something special.”
Coach Black has taken two individual golfers to states before, including Cameron Knight who won the 2004 2A state title.
“The team finished third in districts, but the top three advance,” said Wildcats athletic director Steve Mumaw. “The kids had high expectations, but probably didn’t think they’d win the championship. Before every tournament they said to each other they needed to win for coach Black, so they put pressure on themselves all year and it’s great to see them win.”
Steve is also Brandon’s father.
“I’m proud of all the kids, not just my son,” Steve said. “Jacob (Fleck) went out and shot 2-under and was great all day. I’ve been around the team for four years because Brandon is on the team, so I’ve seen them grow up and get better.”
Fleck’s tournament low 70 claimed the individual championship. He also won the Sunshine Athletic Conference Oct. 11.
Coach Black did not make any dramatic guarantees for the state tournament, but does believe the Wildcats can compete with the other teams at states.
“We’ve compared scores and some of the teams we’re going against are very good,” Black said. “A lot of the teams are private schools that usually have very skilled golfers, but we beat some of those kinds of teams in regionals too. All we can do is play our best and see where we end up at the end of the tournament.”