Times’ all-North Suncoast girls golf
Golfer of the year
Megan Van Etten, Sr., Mitchell
Why we picked her: Van Etten accomplished her No. 1 goal, which was to lead Mitchell to a team berth at state. Her 34.6-strokes-per-nine-holes average entering the Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament led all North Suncoast golfers. Van Etten won individual conference, and finished fourth at districts and fifth at regionals.
Most impressive accomplishment: In her final tournament, Van Etten shot 79-73—152 to lead the Mustangs and finish in a 16th-place tie.
Future plans: Van Etten continues to assess her college options and hopes to play golf wherever she lands. She had plans to visit Florida Gulf Coast as well as USF, where older sister, Emily, plays.
Did you know? Van Etten admits she is superstitious. The same ball mark is clipped to her hat and she consumes the same PowerBar over and over. She carries the same three tees on her bag and wears non-matching socks. One of her tees fell off the bag once and her parents combed through areas of rough trying to recover the tiny piece of wood, but they never found it.
Megan Van Etten, Sr., Mitchell: Continues the Van Etten tradition of top golfers, which began with Emily.
Rebecca Van Etten, So., Mitchell: Second place at district tournament, sister’s best competitor; next to carry the Van Etten torch.
Megan Berube, Fr., Springstead: Freshman sensation led all of Hernando County; second at districts with 72.
Lauren Shuford, Sr., Hernando: Won district title, finished fourth at regionals.
Sarah Baniszewski, Sr., Zephyrhills: Shot 90 at Silverado to advance to regionals.
Lauren Riehle, So., Saddlebrook
Anika Schroeder, Jr., Saddlebrook
Spencer Valdespino, So., Bishop McLaughlin
Kaelynn Elliot, Fr., Nature Coast
Victoria Kinney, Sr., Mitchell
Academy at the Lakes: Ellen Crowley
Central: Stephanie Rodney
Mitchell: Emma Fivecoat, Kristen Pitts
Nature Coast: Kae Elliott
Pasco: Kellianne May
River Ridge: Kim Donato, Nicole Bylski
Wiregrass Ranch: Taylor Upchurch
Zephyrhills: Tiffany Bahr, Taylor Brady
Coach of the Year
Scott Schmitz, Mitchell: The former football coach guided the Mustangs to the state tournament for the first time since 2004. His calm demeanor and inspirational speeches helped keep the Mustangs focused, especially at state. The Mustangs won the conference, district and region titles, and had a seventh-place finish at state.
Photo: Mitchell's Megan Van Etten and Ridgewood's Austin Padova, the all-North Suncoast golfers of the year.