Ever since her middle-school days, Carrollton’s Tanya Eathakotti has been earning golf recognition worthy of players beyond her years.
This summer was no different.
Eathakotti, a sophomore and three-sport athlete who plays basketball, softball and golf at Carrollton, earned entry in the Nature Valley First Tee open in Pebble Beach, where she will play alongside players from the Champions Tour.
Eathakotti, who also earned entry in the Junior Orange Bowl tournament, is hoping that success will continue to carry over to the high school level in what could be a promising season for the Cyclones.
Carrollton brings back an experienced group, led by Eathakotti, that could take back its standing as Miami-Dade County’s top girls’ golf team this season.
Eathakotti, who won a district title and placed in the top three in four major high school tournaments last season, is a strong contender to reach state. And with Ransom Everglades having graduated several of its top players, Carrollton should have a strong chance to improve upon its 12th-place finish at state last year.
Ransom finished fifth at state last season but graduated top players Carolina Garrett (University of Indiana), Chloe Horton (Bradley) and Katie Hanley (Oglethorpe), all of whom signed to play college golf.
The Raiders, who also changed coaches as Eric Salomatoff replaced Julie Carse, still have talent led by eighth-grader Phoebe Beber-Frankel, who finished in the top 50 individually at the Class 1A state meet last season. Returning senior Kaelie Cochran also played at state last season.
Palmetto’s Alexa Rivas figures to be one of the top players in the county again, and Coral Reef (led by Abigail Chai-Onn and Lauren Eustace) and Lourdes (led by Daniella Spillert and Cristina Almaraz) each have strong squads in Class 3A.
Columbus should still field one of the strongest boys’ golf teams in Dade and compete in a few family rivalries as well.
The Explorers’ top returning golfer — senior Rafa Martinez — is cousins with one of rival Belen’s top golfers, A.J. Martinez. Rafa was a district and Youth Fair champion last season.
Coral Gables senior Tomas Nieves, a district champion each of the past two seasons, is back. His brother Roberto is a sophomore at Columbus, which figures to be one of that team’s key players this season.
Belen and Gulliver each figure to battle for spots at state after the Wolverines moved to Class 2A.
Led by A.J. Martinez, senior Andrew Cecol and eighth-grader Leo Herrera, Belen has a chance to make it to the state meet as it did in 2010. Led by senior Scott Martinez and junior Christian Nido, Gulliver has two of the stronger players in the classification.
Aug. 21: Coral Reef Invitational
Aug. 24: Regular season meets begin
Aug. 26: Westminster Christian Invitational
Aug. 28: Lady Maverick Invitational
Sept. 15: Youth Fair boys Invitational
Sept. 16: Youth Fair girls Invitational
Sept. 29: Crutchfield/Hawkins Invitational
Oct. 8: GMAC championship at Redland Golf and Country Club
Oct. 10-11: Honda Classic at PGA National
Oct. 12-14: Districts
Oct. 19-21: Regionals
Oct. 27-28: Class 1A state meet at Howey-in-the-Hills
Oct. 30-31: Class 2A state meet at Howey-in-the-Hills
Nov. 3-4: Class 3A state meet at Howey-in-the-Hills
TOP RETURNING BOYS’ GOLFERS
Jake Beber-Frankel, Ransom Everglades, 8th
Cole Castro, South Dade, Jr.
Leo Herrera, Belen, 8th
Andrew Cecol, Belen, Sr.
A.J. Martinez, Belen, Sr.
Rafa Martinez, Columbus, Sr.
Scott Martinez, Gulliver, Sr.
Tomas Nieves, Coral Gables, Sr.
Tyler Thompson, Coral Reef, Jr.
TOP RETURNING GIRLS’ GOLFERS
Phoebe Beber-Frankel, Ransom Everglades, 8th
Abigail Chai-Onn, Coral Reef, Jr.
Tanya Eathakotti, Carrollton, So.
Lauren Eustace, Coral Reef, Sr.
Alexa Rivas, Palmetto, So.
Daniella Spillert, Lourdes, Fr.
Charlotte Stott, Carrollton, Sr.
Marisa Urrutia, Coral Gables, Jr.
Boys: Belen, Gulliver, Columbus, Palmetto, Ransom Everglades.
Girls: Carrollton, Ransom, Coral Reef, Palmetto, Lourdes.
NOTE: For team-by-team outlooks, go to www.miamiherald.com/high-schools and click on the golf preview story. Outlooks will be posted as they are made available.
BOYS’ TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOKS
COLUMBUS (Coach Mike Marinelli, 6th year, 60-6-1). Last year: 10-0. Top players: Rafa Martinez, Sr.; Jake Moscoso, Jr.; Roberto Nieves, So.; Sharif Amastha, So.; Javi Rodriguez, Jr.
CORAL GABLES (Coach Tracy Watkins, 11th year). Last year: 6-4. Top players: Tomas Nieves, Sr.; Max Rego, Fr.
CORAL REEF (Coach Ray Lanway, 2nd year at CR, 11th overall). Last year: 9-1. Top players: Tyler Thompson, Jr.; Hagan Brewer, Sr.; Santiago Romero, Sr.; Daniel Perez, Jr.
DR. KROP (Coach Mike Kypriss, 3rd year, 17-6). Last year: 10-3. Top players: Leeland Bien, Sr.; Zachary Bien, Sr.; Adam Singer, Fr.; Salaman Levy, Sr.; Ben Manley, So.; Paul Chatitz, Fr.; Ryan Berg, Fr.
PALMETTO (Coach Mike Klekotka, 11th year at PAL, 13th overall). Top players: Jordan Laklak, Jr.; Gareth Williams, Sr.; Jason Bouchard, Jr.; Austin Malone, So.
REAGAN (Coach Kevin Whelan, 3rd year at RR, 5th overall, 17-7). Last year: 8-4. Top players: Bryson Harris, So.; Jose Buitrago, Fr.; Kevin Lejuez, So.
SUNSET (Coach Mandy Pelaez, 2nd year). Last year: 5-5. Top player: Jacob Zaldivar, Fr.
BELEN – Top players: Leo Herrera, 8th; Andrew Cecol, Sr.; A.J. Martinez, Sr.
GULLIVER (Coach Steve Solomon). Top players: Scott Martinez, Sr.; Christian Nido, Sr.; Trevor Pelletier, Sr.; Ryan Fluxman.
DIVINE SAVIOR (Coach Ryan Kirchoff, 1st year). Last year: First-year program. Top players: Lisandro Gil, Fr.; Luis Suarez, Fr.
MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Bryan Parizo, 14th year at MCD, 28th overall, 127-37). Last year: 6-4. Top players: Griffin Steutel, 8th; Simone Collazzo, Fr.; Torrence Mack, 6th; Lucas Zayden, 7th.
PALMER TRINITY (Coach Jeff Rose, 3rd year). Last year: 5-6. Top players: Jack Fumagalli, Sr.; Kristian Fortis, Fr.; Cameron Piedra, 8th; Mike Gravier, Sr.; Cooper Devine, Sr.; Robert Bistry, Fr.
RIVIERA PREP (Coach Wilbert Rodriguez, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top players: Ian Shaprio; Evan Fuertes; Dave Ragan; Ennio Mannella.
GIRLS’ TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOKS
CORAL GABLES (Coach Tracy Watkins, 11th year). Last year: 5-1. Top players: Marisa Urrutia, Jr.; Chanel Gonzalez, Sr.; Ally Jackman, So.; Abby Wagner, Jr.; Maria Schenck, Sr.
CORAL REEF (Coach Ray Lanway, 2nd year at CR, 11th overall). Last year: 10-0 (Regional runner-up). Top players: Abigail Chai-Onn, Jr.; Lauren Eustace, Sr.; Natalia Avila, Jr.; Anna Timmons, So.
DR. KROP (Coach Mike Kypriss, 3rd year, 10-3). Last year: N/A. Top players: Emily Palmeiro, So.; Catherine Knowles, So.; Haley Futerick, So.; Juli Futerick, Fr.
LOURDES (Coach Ignacio Vazquez, 5th year, 16-12). Last year: 4-5. Top players: Cristina Almaraz, Sr.; Nicole Garcia Rivera, Sr.; Victoria Someillan, Jr.; Sophie Vega, So.; Daniela Spillert, Fr.
REAGAN (Coach Kevin Whelan, 2nd year at RR, 4th overall, 3-3. Last year: 3-3. Top players: Paola Silva, Sr.; Claudia Pareja, Sr.
SUNSET (Coach Mandy Pelaez, 10th year). Last year: 5-5. Top players: Samantha Altamiranda, Jr.
CARROLLTON (Coach Armando Echevarria, 5th year, 14-10). Last year: 4-2 (Regional runner-up). Top players: Tanya Eathakotti, So.; Charlotte Stott, Sr.; Gaby Delgado, Sr.; Andrea Delgado, So.; Irene Labarta, Jr.
MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Bryan Parizo, 14th year at MCD, 28th overall). Last year: 6-1 (District champions). Top players: Mina Segall, Jr.; Sabrina Cabarcos, 8th; Sara Walker, Sr.; Gaby Palmisano, So.; Kaylee Parizo, 7th.
RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Eric Salomatoff, 1st year). Last year: Fifth at state. Top players: Phoebe Beber-Frankel, 8th; Kaelie Cochran, Kat Cochran, Madison Kinder, Anna Bhatt, Megan Houchin.