The thing about the first time is that it can’t be repeated.
However, the Cypress Creek boys golf team sure is going to try to repeat its incredible success from 2021.
“We’ve been trying to build on each match, and focus on practice and get better each day,” the team’s No. 1 golfer, junior Connor Newbold, said, “and really just prepare for the playoffs. That’s what we’ve really been looking at because we know that’s where the competition will be the hardest.
“Because it’s all about getting back to states.”
One can’t blame the Coyotes (10-2) wanting to get back to their most successful season ever in the program’s short history. Last year, Cypress Creek finished sixth in the Class 2A state tournament, which is obviously a best for the school and a best for local teams.
“The expectation is, absolutely, to improve upon what we did last year,” said Dennis Martin, the team’s coach. “We only lost one senior from last year, and had two really good freshmen jump right in and make a difference, so the expectation is to get back.”
“We’re feeling pretty confident about getting back,” Newbold added, noting the team has experienced players who have competed in tournaments and at states.
“So, they can play 18 holes out there, and score low and play smart.”
Playing smart will start with Newbold. As the team’s No. 1 golfer, he’ll be looking to go low in the postseason, including when he finished fifth at the 2A tournament last year with a two-round 5-over par (149). The score gave him the best score among all local golfers.
Newbold will need help, but the Coyotes do return three other of the top five starters, including Trey Sasser (tied 66th, +32), Joaquin Parrilla (tied 70th, +34) and Levi Wade (93rd, +58).
“(They’re) easy to coach — I don’t have any knuckleheads,” Martin said. “They’re a great group of guys and they’re not just recreational golfers, if you will. They’re very serious about it and put in the work and can be hard on themselves because they expect to do well.”
So far so good, as the Coyotes lost just twice in the regular season — to the perennially top team, Mitchell, and Jesuit, which was 2A state runner-up last season.
“The mindset has been one match at a time,” Martin reiterated. “That’s what we focus on, and if we continue to practice and play up to our potential, then the results will take care of itself.
“We don’t really talk about states — we talk about the next match, and they’re focused on the task at hand. Sometimes they don’t even know who the next opponent is because the day before they’ll ask, ‘Who are we playing tomorrow? Where are we playing?’ (laughs).”
High School Golf Postseason
Class 3A-District 9
Host: Mitchell High School
When: Boys – Oct. 25, 9 a.m.; Girls – Oct. 26, noon.
Where: Boys: Crescent Oaks Golf Club, 3300 Crescent Oaks Blvd., Tarpon Springs; Girls: Heritage Springs Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity
Teams: Countryside, East Lake, Land O’ Lakes, Largo, Mitchell, Palm Harbor University, Pinellas Park, Sunlake
Class 3A-District 10
Host: Wharton High
When: Boys – Oct. 24, 7:30 a.m.; Girls – 7:30 a.m.
Where: Heritage Isles Golf & Country Club, 10630 Plantation Bay Drive, Tampa
Teams: Alonso, Armwood, Gaither, Steinbrenner, Hillsborough, Leto, Plant, Plant City, Sickles, Strawberry Crest, Wharton, Wiregrass Ranch
Class 2A-District 9
Host: Springstead High
When: Boys – Oct. 25, 9 a.m.; Oct. 24 – 9 a.m.
Where: Hernando Oaks Golf & Country Club, 5230 Delacroix Drive, Brooksville
Teams: Central, Cypress Creek, Fivay, Gulf, Hernando, Hudson, Nature Coast, Pasco, River Ridge, Springstead, Weeki Wachee, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills
Class 1A-District 10
Host: Tampa Prep
When: Boys – Oct. 25, 9 a.m.; Girls – Oct. 25, 9 a.m.
Where: Westchase Golf Club, 11602 Westchase Golf Drive, Tampa
Teams: Academy at the Lakes, Bayshore Christian, Berkeley Prep, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic, Cambridge Christian, Carrollwood Day, Hernando Christian, Seven Rivers Christian, Tampa Catholic, Tampa Prep
When: Oct. 21 thru Nov. 2
Where: Varying sites
When: Class 1A, Nov. 11-12
Class 2A, Nov. 15-16
Class 3A, Nov. 8-9
Where: Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 FL-48, Howey-In-The-Hills
Info: Visit, FHSAA.com/sports/golf.
*Bolded teams are Pasco County teams and teams in the publication’s coverage area.
Published October 19, 2022