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Times’ all-North Suncoast boys golf
Golfer of the year
Austin Padova, So., Ridgewood
Why we picked him: After finishing in a seventh-place tie at the Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament, Padova raised his game. He was the lone North Suncoast golfer to advance from his district and to make state. Once there, Padova shot 79-76—155 to tie for 49th.
Most impressive accomplishment: Padova’s low-trajectory shots helped him overcome windy conditions at Fox Hollow Golf Club for 8-over 79 to advance to regionals.
Future plans: With two years remaining in his prep career, Padova hopes to sharpen his skills and earn his way onto a collegiate team. One potential target is UCF, which older brother and former Rams star, Jordan, attends.
Did you know? Padova began playing golf at age 5, but truly became dedicated to the sport in the past few years. He made a pact with his older brother to become as good at golf as possible. Of course, he has an advantage many of his competitors do not: Padova’s parents own Meadow Oaks Golf and Country Club.
Austin Padova, So., Ridgewood: Lone North Suncoaster to qualify for state.
Chaz Heinz, Sr., Mitchell: Won his second straight Sunshine Athletic Conference championship.
Dylan Larson, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Won the Class 2A, District 6 individual title and led all Bulls with a 4-over 76 at regionals.
Alex Bensahel, Jr., Saddlebrook: Shot 3-over 73 for top medalist honors at Class A, District 9 tournament.
Kentaro Toyota, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin: Shot 77 to become the lone golfer to break 80 to win the A-8 district title.
Logan Horrigan, So., Wiregrass Ranch
Zach Teele, Jr., Hernando
Donald Eubanks, Sr., Sunlake
Jacob Fleck, Jr., Wesley Chapel
Johnathan Kopsell, Jr., Ridgewood
Central: Ryan Johnston
Land O’Lakes: Robert Neiman
Mitchell: Dominick Dithmer, Austin Richardson, Dylan Strout
Nature Coast: Dayne Dukes
Pasco: Winston Johnson
Ridgewood: Jeff Koos
Saddlebrook: Adam Chowdhari, Arthur Edelman, Seokil Kim
Springstead: Ryan Kiely, Shane Murphy
Wesley Chapel: Brandon Mumaw
Wiregrass Ranch: Nick Stutt, Chris Kluender
Coach of the year
Nick Cuviello, Wiregrass Ranch: Guided the Bulls to the program’s first Sunshine Athletic Conference title and second place in the 2A-6 district tournament. Cuviello was instrumental in helping keep the talented and youthful Bulls composed.
Photo: Mitchell's Megan Van Etten and Ridgewood's Austin Padova, the all-North Suncoast golfers of the year.