TRINITY — For the past three regular seasons, Mitchell’s boys golf team had an aura about it, an air of invincibility, a cloak of confidence. The Mustangs have won 33 regular-season matches, including a perfect record this year.
But Mitchell was still looking for that indefinable something that could lead the program to its first district title since 2002. Anthony Swinford provided it.
The freshman won individual honors at the Class 2A, District 11 tournament with a score of 73 and helped the Mustangs shoot 309 overall to win the team title by six strokes over East Lake.
“Our goal was to win a district title and it’s nice to finally out on top and advance in one of these,” said Mitchell coach Rick Hyatt, whose team has finished fourth and did not advance to regionals the past two years. “Anthony has played well lately and really came through for us.”
Swinford was the consummate course manager, displaying patience and striking the ball with authority to hit more greens than anyone else. He also made the critical putt when needed.
Swinford’s teammate, Dylan Strout, who led the Mustangs to the Sunshine Athletic Conference title last week, shot 75 Monday.
East Lake advanced to regionals for the seventh straight year. David Caulfield (77), Sebastian Hilpl (79) and Zack Wood (79) were the top three finishers for East Lake.
“We’re young, but we’ve played consistent golf all year,” Eagles coach Terry O’Reilly said. “It’s a testament to our guys to play well enough to keep our postseason streak alive in a tough district.”
Palm Harbor University finished third with an overall score of 316 and was the final team to advance. Dustin Dingus (75) and Brent Hajian (79) were the top scorers for the Hurricanes.
Countryside’s Donald Wasoff (75) and Jay Dixon (77), and Tarpon Springs’ Marcus Spaniolos (77) qualified as individuals.