EAST LAKE — It is only natural to think of East Lake’s boys team more in terms of the future than the present.
After all, the Eagles lost their top five golfers from last year who helped the team make three straight state tournaments. Now, the starting lineup consists of three sophomores — Parker Fox, Sebastian Hilpl and Zack Wood — among its top five.
Because of that, it seemed East Lake was destined to win championships later rather than sooner.
There are older, more experienced teams that have been waiting their turn at the top, and the Eagles have not served the lengthy apprenticeship that seems mandatory before winning a team title.
But for a young East Lake team, the future is now.
The Eagles won the Pinellas County Athletic Conference North County championship Tuesday by shooting 157 to beat defending champion Palm Harbor University by a stroke.
“These guys have been working hard and concentrating on their drills,” East Lake coach Terry O’Reilly said. “They’re starting to believe in themselves and have that attitude of why not us.”
Dunedin’s Travis Huston won individual honors with 35, 1 under par. Fox was right behind at 37. The Eagles’ other two sophomores, Hilpl and Wood, shot 39 and 40, respectively. East Lake was the only team to have three golfers shoot 40 or below.
“We’re starting to play well together,” O’Reilly said. “Hopefully this is good for us going into the postseason.”