Archbishop McCarthy’s girls highlighted a triumphant season for Broward County golf in 2015.
A year later, the Mavericks might be even stronger.
Last season, the Mavericks halted rival Plantation American Heritage’s two-year run as state champion with a playoff victory at the Class 2A state meet.
With the core of its roster returning, McCarthy believes it is strong enough to repeat as state champion.
The Mavericks are already off to a strong start, winning the Lady Cougar Invitational in Naples this week.
McCarthy graduated only one player and returns five seniors led by Julia Matzat, who finished tied for ninth at state. Matzat has committed to the University of Memphis.
She is joined by Christen Simons, who has committed to Texas A&M-Commerce, and Brooke Benedetto, who is headed to Lee University. Each finished in the top 20 at state along with senior Georgette Garcia.
Senior Katya Barahona and junior Casey Sommer round out the group, which will test itself this weekend at the Antigua National Golf tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“We had an incredible season last year, and we return all but one senior,” Archbishop McCarthy coach Carl Phillips said. “I think we are stronger this year than last season, but we haven’t really broken out yet. Hopefully this weekend we’ll start.”
McCarthy’s chief opposition remains American Heritage, which returns two of the state’s best golfers.
Freshman Jillian Bourdage, a district and regional champion, finished seventh at state last season. This week she won the individual title at the Lady Cougar tournament. Bourdage is joined by eighth-grader Casey Weidenfeld, who finished a Broward-best fifth at the 2A state meet last season.
American Heritage’s girls have finished in the top two at state each season since 2011.
American Heritage’s boys appear strong enough to contend for the Class 2A championship once again.
The Patriots graduated individual state champion Ty Strafaci, but return a strong group led by Jonathan Cachon, a top-20 finisher at state last season.
Pine Crest, led by senior Miles Castoro and sophomore Dominic Carrera, and North Broward Prep, led by Justin Shiao and Hunter Hoersch, are also solid contenders in Class 1A.
Miami-Dade and Broward season overview
Sept. 16: Ida Baker Invitational; Sept. 20-21: Youth Fair tournaments; Sept. 29: GMAC championship; Oct. 4: Maverick Invitational; Oct. 10-12: Districts; Oct. 17-19: Regionals; Oct. 25-26: Class 3A state meet at Howey-in-the-Hills; Oct. 28-29: Class 1A state meet at Howey-in-the-Hills; Nov. 1-2: Class 2A state meet at Howey-in-the-Hills.
2015 BOYS’ STATE CHAMPIONS
Class 3A: Lake Mary; 2A: Ponte Vedra; 1A: Lake Mary Prep.
2015 GIRLS’ STATE CHAMPIONS
Class 3A: Lake Mary; 2A: Archbishop McCarthy; 1A: Lake Mary Prep.
TOP RETURNING DADE BOYS’ GOLFERS
Sharif Amastha, Columbus, Jr.; Jake Beber-Frankel, Ransom Everglades, Fr.; Logan Bryant, Palmetto, Jr.; Cole Castro, South Dade, Sr.; Kristian Fortis, Palmer Trinity, So.; Jordan Laklak, Palmetto, Sr.; Roman Lopez, Gulliver, Jr.; J.P. Mehu, Westminster Christian, So.; Jake Moscoso, Columbus, Sr.; Chris Nido, Gulliver, Sr.; Roberto Nieves, Columbus, Jr.; Cameron Piedra, Palmer Trinity, Fr.; Tyler Thompson, Coral Reef, Sr.
TOP RETURNING BROWARD BOYS’ GOLFERS
Julius Boros, Cardinal Gibbons, Jr.; Jonathan Cachon, American Heritage, Sr.; Dominic Carrera, Pine Crest, So.; Miles Castoro, Pine Crest, Sr.; Leo Herrera, American Heritage, Fr.; Hunter Hoersch, North Broward Prep, Sr.; Jude Kim, American Heritage, Fr.; Justin Lilly, Archbishop McCarthy, Fr.; Alberto Martinez, American Heritage, Jr.; Justin Shiao, North Broward Prep, Sr.; Anthony Wells, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr.; Carson Yates, Cardinal Gibbons, Jr.
TOP RETURNING DADE GIRLS’ GOLFERS
Phoebe Beber-Frankel, Ransom Everglades, Fr.; Alicia Cappellaro, Divine Savior, Sr.; Abigail Chai-Onn, Coral Reef, Sr.; Tanya Eathakotti, Carrollton, Jr.; Daniella Perez, Westminster Christian, Jr.; Alexa Rivas, Palmetto, Jr.; Daniella Spillert, Lourdes, So.
TOP RETURNING BROWARD GIRLS’ GOLFERS
Brooke Benedetto, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr.; Jillian Bourdage, American Heritage, Fr.; Georgette Garcia, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr.; Hannah Leiner, North Broward Prep, Sr.; Julia Matzat, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr.; Christen Simons, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr.; Casey Weidemfeld, American Heritage, 8th.
For complete season outlooks, go to www.miamiherald.com/high-schools
BOYS’ SEASON OUTLOOKS – CLASS 3A
CORAL GLADES (Coach Mark Montimurro, 3rd year, 18-11-2). Last year: 4-2-1. Top golfers: Daniel Melnick, So.; Kayla Holden, Fr.; Frank Lodato, Sr.; David Johnston, So.; Christian Matos, Sr.; Jake Hershowitz, Jr.
AMERICAN HERITAGE (Coach Brandt Moser, 22nd year, 325-66). Last year: 25-3 (State runner-up). Top golfers: Jonathan Cachon, Sr.; Alberto Martinez, Jr.; Jude Kim, Fr.; Leo Herrera, Fr.; Wade Howard, Sr.; Adamo DiTullio, So.; Johnathan Mourin, 8th; John Gregor, Jr.; Derek Li, Jr.; Jackson Kustin, 8th.
ARCHBISHOP MCCARTHY (Coach Carl Phillips, 14th year). Last year: District runner-up. Top golfers: Anthony Wells, Sr.; Justin Lilly, Fr.; Case Hinesley, So.; Eric Wagner, Jr.; Ian Rodriguez, So.; C.J. Cooper, Jr.
PINE CREST (Coach Karl Nitowski, 1st year). Last year: 5-4. Top golfers: Miles Castoro, Sr.; Dominic Carrera, So.; Justin Danzansky, Fr.; Dylan Glatt, Fr.
NORTH BROWARD PREP (Coach Ross Davenport, 3rd year, 13-9). Last year: 7-5. Top golfers: Justin Shiao, Sr.; Hunter Hoersch, Sr.; Jeremey Rauch, Sr.; Nicklaus O’Bryan, So.
SAGEMONT (Coach Marco Salemi, 3rd year, 8-8). Last year: 8-0 (District champions). Top golfers: Tyler Pham, Jr.; Val Salemi, Fr.; Kade Cannon, Fr.; Kolby Nguyen, Jr.; Taye Pham, Fr.
GIRLS’ SEASON OUTLOOKS – CLASS 2A
ARCHBISHOP MCCARTHY (Coach Carl Phillips, 14th year). Last year: State champions. Top golfers: Julia Matzat, Sr.; Christen Simons, Sr.; Georgette Garcia, Sr.; Brooke Benedetto, Sr.; Katya Barahona, Sr.; Casey Sommer, Jr.
AMERICAN HERITAGE (Coach Linda Sibio, 11th year). Last year: State runner-up. Top golfers: Jillian Bourdage, Fr.; Casey Weidenfeld, 8th; Ana Sofia Rodriguez, Sr.; Alena Lindh, So.; Ana Maria Lopez, Fr.; Zahra Willis-Cox, Fr.
PINE CREST (Coach Greg Burton, 1st year). Last year: 2-4. Top golfers: Lisbeth Rubin, Jr.; Rachel Rutstein, Sr.