Broward County had a banner season in golf in 2012 with two individuals and a team winning state championships.
Can they top it this season?
The Florida High School Athletic Association expanded golf to three classes this season creating the potential for its strongest program to potentially secure a pair of titles.
American Heritage’s girls bring back their entire squad that finished second in Class 1A last season. The Patriots were moved up to Class 2A this season, however, likely giving them a stronger chance at bringing home gold.
American Heritage’s boys are coming off their first state championship.
“The lineup is strong from top to bottom with everyone back and it should be more of a level playing field with us in Class 2A,” American Heritage boys coach Brandt Moser said.
The girls are led by Marisa Messana, a senior who recently committed to Clemson University. Messana will lead that program in its first season.
Also back is senior Claudia DeAntonio, who finished fifth at state last year, and senior Jamie Freedman, a regional champion. Sisters Alejandra Merchan, a sophomore, and Andreina Merchan, a junior, are also back and both were among the state’s best in 2012.
DeAntonio’s sister, Lorena, is also a rising standout on the team along with Gabriela Ferre.
Cypress Bay figures to contend once again in Class 3A among Broward’s top public schools.
The Lightning returns junior Valentina Haupt, one of the top returning golfers in the county in her class.
On the boys’ side, Heritage brings back its core three players led by junior Jorge Garcia — the state Class 1A individual champion last year.
Junior Matt Mourin finished second at the American Heritage Invitational on Tuesday and is joined by junior Kristian Caparros, a regional champion last year.
Among the other top individuals returning in Broward is a duo from Davie University School. Jordan Gumberg and Jonah Wasserstrom are two of the county’s top seniors.
Douglas also returns a talented squad led by Alec Herzfield, Matt Newman and Dan Whelan that should be among the best among Class 3A Broward teams.
Cardinal Gibbons senior Sam Madsen is also among the top returning individual golfers in Broward.
The state tournament will be played between Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-6.