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After a top-10 finish at last year’s Class 2A state tournament, St. Petersburg’s boys golf team had a lofty goal prior to this season: Win a state championship.
With every player on the team returning, it certainly seemed realistic.
The quest for a state title begins Tuesday in the Class 2A, District 12 tournament at Seminole Lake Country Club. The only problem is, the Green Devils don’t think they are quite ready.
“We’ve all played well enough to win states,’’ senior Jake Kevorkian said. “We just all have to do it at the same time. Not once have we put it all together as a team.’’
And this is a team loaded with talent.
It starts with No. 1 Jack Maguire, who is ranked ninth nationally by Golf Week and is headed to Florida State in January. In high school play this season, Maguire has a 34.7 stroke average in nine-hole matches and a 70.3 average in 18-hole matches. He won the Mustang Invitational at Seminole Lake with an even par 71.
“I think being able to play against the (No. 9) ranked kid in the country helps all of us,’’ Kevorkian said. “I was talking to a college coach who told me to play with Jack as much as possible. It really helps us as a team to have Jack out there. We’re only going to get better trying to beat him.’’
Kevorkian isn’t bad either. He has a 38-stroke nine-hole average and a 77.7 average for 18 holes. In his last 18-hole match, the CCC Invitational at Belleair Country Club, Kevorkian won individual honors with 67.
Kevorkian is home schooled, and Maguire takes online classes in order to graduate early — which gives both players more time to concentrate on golf.
“We play pretty much all day, every day together,’’ Maguire said. “There’s a lot of friendly games going on.’’
But to win, St. Petersburg has to be more than just those two players. Blake Dyer, Zack Monawar, Cameron Wolfe and Donald Weiss are all capable of breaking 80 in any round. In fact, Dyer averaged 76.7 shots in his three 18-hole matches this season.
With only today’s Vinoy Invitational left before the district tournament, St. Petersburg has little time to get everyone on the same page.
“That’s the problem with the team this year,’’ Maguire said. “We haven’t been able to put four scores together at the same time.’’