FHSAA State Finals
The Florida State Golf Association assisted the Florida High School Athletic Association in conducting the State Golf Finals held at Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills. The State Finals consisted of six different tournaments being run over the course of six days. Class 3A Boys and Girls was the first class to play on October 25-26, followed by Class 1A Boys and Girls October 28-29, and finished with Class 2A Boys and Girls November 1-2. The girls competed on the Los Colinas Course while the boys were challenged by the El Campeon Course. The State Finals included many familiar names of FSGA competitors with impressive junior golf resumes.
Class 3A Boys
The Boys’ Class 3A team title was won by Plant High School with a 606 team total. Jackson Suber, winner on the FJT, was the leading scorer for Plant High School with a one under-par total of 143. The four remaining players on the team are all members of the FJT including Robert Eisch, Mac Suber, Chris Kern, and Carson Moran. Seventeen strokes (623 total) behind in second place finished Vero Beach High School with team members: Beck Fox, James Fischer, Carter Dalili, Austin Aliff, and Bryce Hauser. On the individual level, 2015 FSGA Junior Player of the Year, Brandon Mancheno, captured first place at three under-par, 141. Brandon, of Mandarin High School, posted rounds of 70-71 to win by two strokes. Jackson Suber claimed second place and Anthony Muttillo finished three shots back in third with two consistent even par rounds. Two other familiar names on the FJT rounded out the top five with Cole Castro taking fourth at 146 (+2) and Grant Drogosch in fifth at 147 (+3).
Class 3A Girls
Lake Mary High School captured the Girls’ Class 3A team title by 11 strokes with a 614 total. The team was composed of Jenny Kim, Haley Danford, Alyssa Mercado, Macy Somoskey, and Kayla Li. West Orange High School moved up the leaderboard into second place with a 625 team total. Erika Smith, 2016 FJT Major winner, stole first place individually with a one under-par total (72-71), 143. Smith finished two strokes ahead of Mindy Herrick, member of the FJT, who had consistent rounds of 72-73—145. Taylor Roberts and Loren Perez tied for third place at 146 (+2). 2016 Girls’ Junior Player of the Year, Alyssa Lamoureux, tied Lauren Miller for fifth place, four strokes back, at 147.
Class 2A Boys
American Heritage School went wire-to-wire to win the team title by 16 strokes with a 604 total. 2015 Boys’ Junior Champion, Alberto Martinez, was accompanied by a team of FJT players, Jonathan Cachon, Jude Kim, Leo Herrera, and Jonathan Mourin, to propel the team to victory. Ponte Vedra High School finished in second place with a 620 total from team members; Andrew Farraye, Spencer Slayden, Davis Lee, Stewart Slayden, and Justin Ortiguera. Cody Carroll, from Middleburg High School, and Ignacio Arcaya, from Bishop Moore Catholic High School, tied for first on the individual level with an even par total of 144. Carroll prevailed in a sudden death playoff to capture first place individually. Both Carroll and Arcaya have earned many top five finishes on the FJT and compete frequently. Luke Farmer and Jonathan Cachon, both familiar names at the top of FJT leaderboards, tied for third, three shots back, with a 147 total.
Class 2A Girls
Kendal Griffin, from Sebring High School, posted an impressive final round of 68 (-4) to capture the individual lead by three strokes. Griffin, past Girls’ Junior Champion and standout on the FJT, prevailed with a 140 (72-68) total. Avid FJT competitor, Julie Towne, representing Eustis High School, finished in second with consistent rounds of 72-71—143. Familiar names rounded out the top five including Sophie Membrino (third), Paige Wilson (fourth), Auston Kim, Claire Albrect, Cameron Fish, and Julia Matzat (tied for fifth). Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School, with team members Julia Matzat, Brooke Benedetto, Christen Simons, Natalia Jimenez, and Georgette Garcia, posted a 628 total to win the team title. Eleven strokes behind in second place finished American Heritage School (639 total) represented by Jillian Bourdage, Casey Weidenfeld, Alena Lindh, Ana Maria Lopez, and Ana Sofia Rodriguez.
Class 1A Boys
Windermere Preparatory School captured a seven stroke team victory with a 616 total. The team consisted of two past FJT winners, Manuel Girona and Eric Berggren, as well as FJT members; Patrick Wu, Eric Yu, and Chase Nowicki. Lake Mary Preparatory School finished in second place with a 623 total. Thomas Allkins, John Driscoll, Jan Schnelder, Leo Oyo, and Alex Hu helped Lake Mary Preparatory School seize second place. On the individual level several familiar names made up the top 20! Eugene Hong, of Circle Christian School, posted rounds of 70-73—143 (-1) to take first by one stroke. Joe Pagdin, 2016 FJT 54-hole Major winner, carded an even par total (70-74) to finish in second place and Andrew Kozan, who has several wins on the FJT, took third place with a 147 total. Pagdin attends Trinity Preparatory School while Kozan represents The King’s Academy.
Class 1A Girls
Mimi Chen, who has excelled on the FJT with several wins, shot an impressive eight under-par total (70-66--136) to capture first place individually. Three strokes behind, in second place, finished Zihuan Zhou with rounds of 68-71—139 (-5). Both girls represent Lake Mary Preparatory School. Valeria Pachecho and Ariel Yu tied for third at 143 (-1) and Morgan Baxendale tied Phoebe Beber-Frankel for fifth place with an even par total (144). The top two individual winners propelled Lake Mary Preparatory School to first place on the team level. Claire Hodges, Shihan Zhou, and Amy Zhang helped Chen and Zhou to a 575 team total. The First Academy, with team members Ariel Yu, Morgan Baxendale, Kelsey Zeng, Taylor Zeng, and Emma Zhao, finished in second place with a 586 total. All five players are strong names on the FJT with past wins.