MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Golfer of the year: Austin Padova, Sr., Fivay
Why we picked him: Padova dominated the North Suncoast, breezing to the Sunshine Athletic Conference title by six strokes and claiming the Outback Invitational crown. He shot even par at the Class A state tournament, finishing a personal-best sixth in his third consecutive trip to state. He also placed fourth at the region tournament.
Most impressive accomplishment: Padova was consistent throughout his high school career with three straight trips to state and three consecutive North Suncoast Player of the Year honors.
Future plans: Padova has signed to play golf at the University of North Florida. He plans to follow his father and brother by studying accounting. “I’m really good at math,” Padova said, “so I’m thinking it’d be a good major.”
Did you know? Padova comes from a golf family — his parents own Meadow Oaks — and started working as a cart boy at the course during the end of summer. He says the job can get tedious on slow days. “During the summer, it’s just sitting there kind of waiting for carts,” Padova said. He also enjoys bass fishing with his teammates at Fivay.
Coach of the year
Rick Hyatt, Mitchell: After two recent years of dominance but no conference or district titles, Hyatt and the Mustangs finally broke through this year. Mitchell went undefeated to claim the Sunshine Athletic Conference crown and won its first district championship since 2002 by six strokes.
Dylan Strout, Jr., Mitchell: Tied for second behind Padova at the Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament. Tied as the top individual at the Class 2A, Region 4 tournament to qualify for state, where he placed 43rd.
Anthony Swinford, Fr., Mitchell: Took the Class 2A, District 11 title with 73 to help the Mustangs finally break through and win their first district championship since 2002.
Tom Ng, Jr., Saddlebrook: Claimed the Class A, District 9 title and tied for fifth at regionals, narrowly missing out on a trip to state.
Cody Montgomery, So., Hernando: Tied for individual medalist honors with 75 at districts (A-8) and finished 11th at regionals (A-3).
Ryan Nicoll, Jr., Springstead: Hernando County’s top player won the county tournament and finished fourth at districts (2A-5).
Donnie Gabrelcik, Fr., Mitchell
Logan Horrigan, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
Anthony Fiocca, Sr., Springstead
Michael Richards, Sr., Saddlebrook Prep
Mitchell Campbell, Jr., Hudson
Anclote: Austin Moukazis; Central: Bill Jackson; Fivay: Jake Schoonover, Nick Piro; Gulf: Evan Johnes; Hudson: Andrew Nardozzi, Blaine West; Land O’Lakes: Jordan Dollbaum; Mitchell: Loren Chateau, Dominick Dithmer; Nature Coast: Jake Arnett; Pasco: Austin Riddaugh, Turner Imhoff; Ridgewood: C.J. St. Ana; River Ridge: Chris Dodson, Mike Stewart; Saddlebrook: Cameron Mather; Sunlake: Brandon Jungbauer, Justin Jungbauer; Wesley Chapel: Corey Mumaw; Zephyrhills: Cory Bahr, Cody Nichols
Golfer of the year: Megan Berube, Jr., Springstead
Why we picked her: Berube was one of the North Suncoat’s most consistent golfers. She dominated the Hernando County Championship with a six-stroke victory to claim the honor for the third time in three years. She barely missed qualifying for the state tournament after finishing fifth at regionals.
Most impressive accomplishment: Berube was clutch at the Class 2A, District 5 tournament, shooting 71 to earn her second straight individual title. She also helped Springstead qualify for the region tournament as a team.
Future plans: Berube plans to continue golf in college and has been in touch with USF and Stetson. After college, she hopes to play on the LPGA Futures Tour to test out a pro career.
Did you know? If golf doesn’t work out, Berube hopes to get into a music career. She’s playing the Ghost of Christmas Present in this week’s production of A Christmas Carol. Berube, who has also acted in The Wizard of Oz and Seussical the Musical, got hooked on Broadway after seeing Phantom of the Opera when she was in sixth grade. She plans to study musical theater in college.
Coach of the year
Tom Stratman, Mitchell: New coach, no problem for the Mustangs, who cruised to a perfect Sunshine Athletic Conference title and their 11th crown. Mitchell also took the Class 2A, District 9 championship with a 14-stroke victory over Palm Harbor University.
Lauren Riehle, Sr., Saddlebrook Prep: Miami recruit advanced to state for the third time in her high school career. Shot 3 over on the final day to finish 19th.
Rebecca Van Etten, Sr., Mitchell: The Sunshine Athletic Conference’s player of the year won the conference tournament with 65. Tied for second at districts (2A-8) and placed eighth at regionals (2A-4).
Kellianne May, Sr., Pasco: Took first at the Class A, District 8 tournament with 67. Finished second at the conference tournament and fifth at regionals.
Kaelynn Elliott, Jr., Nature Coast: Finished third at the Hernando County tournament, fourth at districst and sixth at regionals.
Nina Hwang, Sr., Saddlebrook Prep: Barely missed a trip to state, finishing third in the Class A, Region 3 tournament after a runnerup finish at districts.
Stephanie Rodney, Jr., Central
Spencer Valdespino, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin
Ellen Crowley, Sr., Academy at the Lakes
Ashley Richardson, So., Mitchell
Emma Fivecoat, Sr., Mitchell
Bishop McLaughlin: Hannah Debella-Stodden; Fivay: Ashlyn Arrington, Taylor Rhoades, Amber Mariano; Land O’Lakes: Eden Shirmohammad; Mitchell: Lindsey Ritchey, Antonina Argento; Pasco: Jordan Lane, Kelli Parker; River Ridge: Heather Stewart; Springstead: Emma Betters; Sunlake: Rachel Palenik; Wesley Chapel: Allison Kosloski, Savanna Bischof; Wiregrass Ranch: Cassidi Fernando; Zephyrhills: Karisten Deem, Tiffany Bahr, Sydney Owens