Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Golfer Chance Muscianese, 13, has led Challenger K-8 to 5-0 start

Chance Muscianese, 13, practices putting at on the Silverthorn golf course in Spring Hill. He is captain of the Challenger K-8 School’s Gators golf team, which has a 5-0 start this season.


Chance Muscianese, 13, practices putting at on the Silverthorn golf course in Spring Hill. He is captain of the Challenger K-8 School’s Gators golf team, which has a 5-0 start this season.

SPRING HILL — The recent success of the golf program at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics has been a game of Chance.

Chance Muscianese, 13, has led the Gators to a 5-0 start this season.

After defeating every area middle school other than Explorer K-8 in September, Challenger K-8 now aims to defend its back-to-back Hernando County middle school championships.

As a member of the Challenger program all three years he has been there, Muscianese knows nothing but success at the middle school level. Richard Gomez is the coach of the team and believes that Muscianese, one of only two eighth-graders on the roster, has the leadership capabilities to keep the title run going.

"He's our captain," Gomez said. "Chance has matured over the past year in his game and his personality."

Muscianese first teed it up at age 3, with the encouragement of his father, Anthony Muscianese. He enjoyed it so much that by the time young Chance was 6, his dad signed him up for lessons at Oak Hills Golf Club in Spring Hill.

He continues to play golf most of the year and competes in North Suncoast Junior Golf Association events. Muscianese won the boys intermediate division title at the NSJGA Tournament of Champions at World Woods, north of Brooksville, in August, shooting 96 over 18 holes.

"He is a special kid," junior golf association coordinator Wendy Deans said. "He loves the sport, and he really cares a lot for his family."

In the Hernando County Middle School Athletic Conference Championship at the Heather Golf and Country Club last season, Muscianese shot a nine-hole score of 41, third best on the Challenger team. Only three boys shot better that day, all of whom have since gone on to high school. With that performance on a big stage, Gomez knew that he had a player ready to take over the top spot for this campaign.

Muscianese relates well with his teammates as the Gator captain, but he holds a special bond with teammate Jacob Arnett (43.6-stroke average), Gomez said. The coach said the players' relationship brings the entire team closer together.

"Jacob and Chance are friends and confidants that push each other to be better players," Gomez said. "Not only is golfing athletic, but to a certain extent it is also social. The camaraderie of golf is what they'll remember over the scores."

The next four years likely hold more success on the links for Muscianese. He intends to attend Springstead High School and compete in the Eagles' golf program. He wants to play well enough to earn a scholarship to the same college Tiger Woods attended, Stanford University in California.

Someday, he might even make a run as a pro golfer. He took a trip with his father to the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am to watch the senior pros in April at the TPC Tampa Bay course in Lutz. He took away some confidence from watching the tournament.

"They hit bad shots like everyone else," Muscianese said. "It makes you realize that everyone has good holes and bad holes. We aren't much different."

But before his focus shifts to goals like high school, college and the pros, Muscianese has targeted another county title for Challenger.

"I work hard in every practice and every event for one reason," he said. "It's a competitive thing. I want to be No. 1."

The county middle school championship will be Oct. 21 at Silverthorn Country Club, and Muscianese and the Gators have one goal: title No. 3.


Chance Muscianese

Age: 13

School: Eighth-grader at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics

Scoring average: 41.2 (nine holes)

Resides: Spring Hill

Accomplishments: Challenger K-8 2009 team captain; Boys Intermediate Champ, 2009 North Suncoast Junior Golf Association Tournament of Champions

Golfer Chance Muscianese, 13, has led Challenger K-8 to 5-0 start 10/07/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 5:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'


    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now


    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.