To say that the Archbishop McCarthy and Plantation American Heritage girls’ golf teams have dominated the landscape in the state of Florida over the past six years might be understating the issue.
And the two went at it again this week at the Class 2A state golf championships on the Las Colinas course at Mission Inn Resort at Howey-in-the-Hills in Central Florida.
For the sixth consecutive year, the two programs finished first and second (out of 16 teams) at state and this time, after settling for runnerup finishes each of the past two years to Heritage, the Lady Mavericks came out on top.
Led by Isabella Bailly, McCarthy, in a down-to-the-wire finished, edged out the Patriots by two shots, recording a two-day total of 643 to Heritage’s 645. Bailly shot a 10-over-par total of 152 (75-77) to finish in a tie for fourth individually. She finished tied with Kelly Shanahan of Heritage who shot the same rounds of 75-77.
“I just can’t be more proud of the girls for finding a way to grind it out and come out on top,” said McCarthy coach Carl Phillips, whose team captured its third state title after winning back-to-back on 2015-16. “Our goal all year was to get back up here and get that first place trophy back.”
Jennifer Lilly (81-80: 161), Natalia Jimenez (82-81: 163) and Rileigh Baker (83-84: 167) rounded out the McCarthy scoring, and Katherine Schaefer (76-80:156), Alessandra Lorenz (82-79: 161) and Sophia Rickers (87-91: 178) accounted for the Heritage team score.
Said Phillips: “It’s funny how Linda [Heritage girls coach Linda Sibio], and I were standing around last week kind of marveling how every year it comes down to just our two teams. I guess I could best compare it maybe to Duke/North Carlina in college basketball and that says a lot about how much female golf talent there is down here in South Florida.”
Cardinal Gibbons was the other South Florida girls’ participant as the Chiefs finished 13th with a team score of 775.
On the boys’ side, for the third year in a row, American Heritage shot well but not quite good enough.
Playing the El Campeon course, the Patriots had to settle for the runnerup trophy after their team score of 610 was six shots behind winner Ponte Vedra, the same team they finished second to each of the last two years.
Luke Clanton led the way individually for the Patriots with rounds of 77-70 for a two-day total of three-over par 147 to finish in a tie for second, two shots behind medalist champion Jason Duff of St. Augustine Menendez.
Jude Kim (79-72:151), Leo Poldo III (73-79: 152) and Gabriel Hegerstrom (82-81: 163) rounded out the Heritage scoring. Kade Cannon tied for fourth individually (73-75:148) to lead Archbishop McCarthy to a sixth place team finish.
North Broward Prep. (679 – 10th place) and Belen Jesuit (695 – 14th place) were the other two South Florida teams competing.
▪ Led by Gillian Pons who shot a Miami-Dade hight 212 and a 674 series for the 4-game qualifying set, the TERRA girls bowling team sat in 22nd place at the FHSAA State Bowling finals at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando. Cutler Bay, Mourning and Krop were in 29th, 31st and 34th place, respectively.