Golf | Miami-Dade County

Deep Columbus golf squad setting the bar high


Dade’s boys’ and girls’ golfers have the talent to play deep into the postseason.



Tuesday: Westminster Christian Invitational; American Heritage boys’ invitational

Thursday: Lady Maverick Invitational at Jacaranda

Sept. 13-14: Carrollton Invitational

Sept. 17: Youth Fair boys at CC of Miami

Sept. 18: Youth Fair girls at CC of Miami

Oct. 3: GMAC championship

Oct. 14-15: Districts

Oct. 21-22: Regionals

Oct. 29-30: Class 2A-1A state mee

Nov. 5-6: Class 3A state meet


Julio Betancourt, Columbus, Jr.

Juan Yumar, Columbus, Sr.

David Castano, Palmetto

Guillermo Saade, Belen, Sr.

Eddie Martinez, Columbus, Sr.

Zachary Granoff, Coral Reef, Sr.


Tanya Eathakotti, Carrollton, 8th

Carolina Garrett, Ransom, Jr.

Alix Hamilton, Ransom, Sr.

Michelle Rodriguez, Gulliver, So.

Chloe Horton, Ransom, Jr.

Lauren Eustace, Coral Reef, So.



1. COLUMBUS (Coach Mike Marinelli, 4th year, 40-4-1). Last year: 10-2 (12th at state). Top golfers: Julio Betancourt, Jr.; Juan Yumar, Sr.; Eddie Martinez, Sr.; Francisco DeLaTorre.

2. BELEN (Coach Mario Avello, 4th year). Last year: 9-3. Top golfers: Guillermo Saade, Sr.; Pedro Gomez, Sr.; Armando Marquez, Jr.; Danny Perez, Sr.

3. CORAL REEF (Coach Mike Klekotka, 2nd year at CR). Last year: 11-4. Top golfers: Zach Granoff, Sr.; Connor Creighton, Jr.; Alex Hartnett, Jr.; Tyler Thompson, Fr.

4. CORAL GABLES (Coach Tracy Watkins, 8th year). Last year: 12-1-1. Top golfers: Tomas Nieves, So.; Brent Webber, Sr.; Michael Hammond, Sr.; Zebastian Alzamora, Jr.

5. REAGAN (Coach Kevin Whelan, 1st year). Top golfers: Marcos Montesano, Sr.; Matias De La Puente, So.

6. SOUTH DADE (Coach Greg Isom, 13th year). Last year: 6-4. Top golfers: Kevin Perham, Sr.

7. DR. KROP (Coach Mike Kypriss, 2nd year). Last year: 7-3. Top golfers: Tyler Sloman, Sr.; Leeland Bien, So.

8. BRADDOCK (Coach David Kaufman, 16th year). Last year: 4-4. Top golfers: Kelvin Valdes, Jr.; Alex Valdes, So.


GULLIVER (Coach Steve Solomon, 10th year). Last year: 12-4. Top golfers: Braden Donayre, Sr.; Michael Lefkowitz, Sr.; Victor Bruzos, Jr.; Javier Zedan, Sr.


1. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Dave Ragan, 10th year, 80-43-1). Last year: 15-4-1. Top golfers: Daniel Tannenbaum, Jr.; Philip Straus, Sr.; Patrick McGrath, Jr.

2. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Bryan Parizo, 13th year). Last year: 6-2. Top golfers: Jonathan Roberts, Sr.; Spencer Berens, Jr.; Lorenzo Figueroa, Jr.; Juan Serralles, Jr.

3. PALMER TRINITY (Coach Jeff Rose, 2nd year). Last year: 3-5. Top golfers: Jackson Fox, Jr.; Michael Gravier, So.; Cameron Cookson, Sr.; Jack Fumagalli, So.



1. CORAL REEF (Coach Mike Klekotka). Last year: 12-3. Top golfers: Leia Schwartz, Sr.; Lauren Eustace, So.; Krystal Farinas, Jr.; Ximena Corona, Jr.

2. CORAL GABLES (Coach Tracy Watkins, 8th year). Last year: N/A. Top golfers: Marisa Urrutia, Fr.; Juliet Flynn, Jr.; Bianca Mangravite, Fr.; Abbie Wagner, Fr.

3. LOURDES (Coach Ignacio Vazquez, 1st year). Top golfers: Natania Quiros, Sr.; Olivia Cabanas, Sr.; Elizabeth Robelo, Sr.; Isabella Otruba, Sr.

4. KROP (Coach Mike Kypriss, 2nd year). Last year: N/A. Top golfers: Lindsay Hibbert, Sr.

5. REAGAN (Coach Kevin Whelan, 2nd year at RR, 4th overall). Top golfers: Mariana Ronrescheib, Jr.


GULLIVER (Coach John Reed, 9th year). Last year: N/A. Top golfers: Michelle Rodriguez, So.; Ruby Willie, So.; Olivia Lundeen, So.; Paloma Chavez, Fr.


1. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Julie Carse, 6th year). Last year: 4-1 (10th at state). Top golfers: Carolina Garrett, Jr.; Alix Hamilton, Sr.; Chloe Horton, Jr.; Katie Hanley, Jr.

2. CARROLLTON (Coach Armando Echeverria, 3rd year, 8-5). Last year: 3-3. Top golfers: Tanya Eathakotti, 8th; Charlotte Stott, So.; Gabriela Delgado, So.

Columbus golfer Julio Betancourt had a solid performance at the Westminster Christian Invitational, finishing second Tuesday.

But settling for runner-up trophies is not what the Explorers expect to be doing much this season.

As a team, Columbus secured the championship, and it could be the first of several for a squad that returns all of its key players from last season and is one of the deepest in Miami-Dade County.

“I don’t want to say it’s a sure thing because we’ve had talented teams in the past that haven’t finished strong, but there’s definitely the potential to make it a special year,” Columbus coach Mike Marinelli said. “If these guys play the way they’re capable of throughout the season, it could be an exciting year for us.”

Betancourt, the Miami Herald’s Dade Golfer of the Year, enters his junior season leading the Explorers’ talented squad that also brings back seniors Juan Yumar and Eddie Martinez.

In offseason play, Betancourt recently won the Palmetto Open to qualify for the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl tournament.

Yumar, the Westminster champion last season, also won the GMAC in 2012 and is one of six Columbus players that average 18-hole scores of 76 or better.

Martinez and his brother, sophomore Rafa, should give the team depth along with juniors Francisco DeLaTorre and Joaquin Trigueros.

Columbus and the majority of Miami-Dade’s large schools moved into Class 3A, as the Florida High School Athletic Association expanded golf to three classifications for the next two seasons.

The state tournament will now be played over two weekends on Oct. 29-30 for Classes 1A and 2A, and November 5-6 for Class 3A.


Like Columbus, Ransom Everglades’ girls are tired of finishing second to some of Broward County’s best.

The Raiders figure to have Dade’s most talented girls’ team returning their four top athletes, including junior Carolina Garrett.

Senior Alix Hamilton and juniors Chloe Horton and Katie Hanley should give Ransom depth and a chance to win several tournaments.

The Raiders qualified for state last season in Class 1A where they will remain, but no longer have to contend with some of the state’s best, including defending state runner-up Plantation American Heritage.

Ransom coach Julie Carse expects this to be her strongest team in the five years she’s been coaching the Raiders.

Ransom’s district rival Carrollton will be less-experienced this season, but led by eighth-grader Tanya Eathakotti, who has the potential to be Miami-Dade’s top individual girls’ golfer. Eathakotti was an individual state qualifier as a seventh-grader last year.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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