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Pinellas district golf preview

Boys

2A-12

When/where: Tuesday, 10 a.m. Fox Hollow Golf Club, Trinity

Teams: Clearwater, Countryside, Dunedin, East Lake, Hudson, Mitchell, Palm Harbor University, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Tarpon Springs

At a glance: Should prove to be the most competitive of all the district tournaments. Dunedin, East Lake, Mitchell, Palm Harbor University and Ridgewood are capable of claiming the district title. East Lake has been the county's most consistent team and enters as the favorite, but PHU, which won the PCAC title Thursday, is playing its best golf now. Dunedin is sparked by the return of 2008 Pinellas Golfer of the Year Travis Huston to its lineup. Ridgewood, behind Jonathan Kopsell, Jeff Koos and Austin Padova, will challenge for a region berth. The Rams defeated Dunedin and were three strokes back of PHU at the season-opening East Lake Invitational. Mitchell was undefeated until losing the Sunshine Athletic Conference title to Wiregrass Ranch on Tuesday. The Mustangs' Chaz Heinz won the SAC individual title for the second year in a row.

2A-13

When/where: Monday, 10:30 a.m. Mangrove Bay Golf Course, St. Petersburg

Teams: Boca Ciega, Dixie Hollins, Gibbs, Largo, Northeast, Osceola, Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, Seminole

At a glance: Northeast defeated St. Petersburg by four strokes at Mangrove Bay for the PCAC South County championship Wednesday, but the Green Devils were without two of their top golfers in brothers M.J. and Jack Maguire. With a complete lineup for districts, St. Petersburg is the team to beat. Seminole has flown under the radar all season, but the Warhawks have a solid top four in PCAC Mid-County champ Eric Ines, Matt Olson, Adam Norris and Tyler Zacur. Look for Northeast, St. Petersburg and Seminole to claim all three spots for regionals.

A-15

When/where: Tuesday, noon Countryside Country Club

Teams: Admiral Farragut, Calvary Christian, Canterbury, Clearwater Central Catholic, Indian Rocks Christian, Keswick Christian, Lakewood, Northside Christian, St. Petersburg Catholic, Shorecrest

At a glance: Behind three of the bay area's top golfers — Taylor Hancock, Lee McCoy and Aaron Watson — Calvary Christian has the talent to make a deep playoff run. If the Warriors can get consistent scoring from their fourth golfer, they'll contend for a state title. Northside Christian was just three strokes behind Calvary at the Bay Conference Championships at Countryside on Tuesday, so expect the Mustangs to contend. St. Petersburg Catholic defeated Calvary and Northside at the Vinoy Invitational. Barring an upset, those three schools will advance to regionals.

Girls

2A-12

When/where: Monday, 9 a.m. Meadow Oaks Golf and Country Club, Hudson

Teams: Clearwater, Countryside, Dunedin, East Lake, Hudson, Mitchell, Palm Harbor University, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Tarpon Springs

At a glance: Mitchell is the defending champ and favorite to repeat with sisters Megan and Rebecca Van Etten leading the charge. Megan won her third consecutive SAC title Monday. Jordan Patton leads a deep and talented East Lake squad that looks to be the Mustangs' greatest threat. PHU, behind sophomore Jasmine Wade, should also earn a region berth. The individual title will, in all likelihood, be decided among the Van Etten sisters, Patton, Wade and Dunedin's Justine Knox.

2A-13

When/where: Monday, 10:30 a.m. Mangrove Bay Golf Course, St. Petersburg

Teams: Boca Ciega, Dixie Hollins, Gibbs, Largo, Northeast, Osceola, Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, Seminole

At a glance: Only Osceola and St. Petersburg field complete teams, so the Warriors and Green Devils will advance automatically. St. Petersburg's Shane Crutchfield won the district tournament by 19 strokes last season and is the odds-on favorite to repeat.

A-15

When/where: Tuesday, 1 p.m. Countryside Country Club

Teams: Admiral Farragut, Calvary Christian, Canterbury, Clearwater Central Catholic, Indian Rocks Christian, Keswick Christian, Lakewood, Northside Christian, St. Petersburg Catholic, Shorecrest

At a glance: Northside Christian has won the past five district tournaments and is a shoo-in to make it six straight. The Mustangs, behind A.J. Newell, Michelle Butler, Anna Newell and Danielle Grace, have a legitimate shot to win the Class A state title. The most interesting competition will be between A.J. Newell and IRC's Ryan Ashburn, who captured medalist honors by a stroke over Newell last year. Newell, however, has been the more consistent of the two this season and defeated Ashburn by six strokes at Countryside Country Club (Bay Conference Championships) on Tuesday. Butler and Anna Newell are also contenders for the individual district title.

Bryan Burns, Times staff writer

Pinellas district golf preview 10/16/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 16, 2009 7:50pm]
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