TAMPA — As the King boys golf team adjusted to the straight fairways of Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club weeks into the season, the young Lions believed next year could be their breakout year.
But coach Garrett Zebos said, "Why wait? We can do it this year."
And in one of the area's most competitive districts, King edged Plant City by a stroke 337-338 Tuesday at Temple Terrace for the Lions' first district title in Zebos' eight years as coach.
Newsome, which placed third with a 343, also qualified for regionals.
Riverview's Ian McConnell won his second consecutive individual district title, shooting par 72, including 1 under on the back nine that included two birdies and bogey. McConnell pulled away from the field, beating individual runnerup Kyle Martin of Plant City by seven strokes. Newsome's Austin Taylor was third with 80.
"I'm pretty satisfied, but I could have done better," McConnell said. "I missed a lot of putts I felt I should have made. … I was planning on playing 2, 3 under, maybe even 4. They were all reachable for me."
An unfriendly wind brought the team scores together — nine strokes separated the top five teams — but the Lions' effort was anchored by rounds of 82 from seniors Matt Cook and Steven Romeo. Sophomore Drew Kloppenburg shot 83 and freshman Tyler Weed had 90.
"It's a great mix of kids," Zebos said. "One thing that helped us was that we were familiar with the course. I think they felt comfortable out there. With the wind and everything, that didn't bother them as much. This day showed that in high school golf, you never know what's going to happen."
At Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club
King 337 (M. Cook 82, S. Romeo 82, D. Kloppenburg 83, T. Weed 90), Plant City 338 (K. Martin 79, B. Hall 84, C. Hurst 87, N. Jones 88), Newsome 343 (A. Taylor 80, I. Seavey 85, K. Staggs 88, Z. Pearson 90), Riverview 344, Wharton 346, Freedom 354, Bloomingdale 360, Durant 362, East Bay 371, Brandon 408, Armwood 431, Tampa Bay Tech 95 (only one player)
Individual qualifiers: I. McConnell (Riverview) 72, B. Matharu (Wharton) 82, E. Soule (Durant) 84