Five questions with Steinbrenner junior Alex Milan, who took the local prep scene by storm as a Sickles sophomore last year with 8-under 64 at the Class 2A, Region 4 tournament at Heritage Isles:
What was working for you at the region tournament last season?
"You know, it was just one of those days where I hit shots really solidly. I had a lot of short birdie putts and I was able to make all my birdie putts inside 10 feet."
What was your best shot that day?
"It was (the short par-4) No. 6, the drive where I decided to drive the green. It was kind of the turning point of my round. It was real narrow. I ended up right on the fringe right there and made birdie. That started a string of birdies (four in a row)."
How do you top a 64?
"You know, I don't think topping 64 is a goal or should be a goal. … It's a different (home) course for me now, a different setup of the course, I'm sure. I'm just gonna try to go out and hit fairways and greens and make some putts. I want to go to state and finish in the top five."
Many golfers are superstitious by nature. Are you?
"I always play with a quarter that's like, from 1960 or '69, '68 or '65, something like that. … It's what we use to mark our golf balls. It's on the green on every hole. It's just, I guess, my quirk."
You're originally from Cleveland. Are you a Cleveland sports fan?
"I like the Cavs, but I've never been a huge professional football fan. I definitely cheer for the Ohio State Buckeyes though."
Teams to watch
Durant: Clearly the local team to beat. Four of coach Dick Sheffield's top five players return, including sophomore Madison Opfer, who placed eighth at the Class 2A state meet in 2008.
Plant: Standout Genevieve King graduated, but the other four top scorers from last season's 2A, District 10 championship team are back.
Wharton: Wildcats star Shena Yang graduated, but the 'Cats still have multiple players capable of breaking 80 over 18 holes.
Steinbrenner: With Milan, fellow Sickles transfer Sara Bair and no fewer than two underclassmen capable of nine-hole scores in the low 40s, the Warriors could make an immediate splash.
Plant City: Four of the top five players on last season's team, which placed third at districts, were underclassmen.
Five players to watch
• Brittany Bradshaw, So., Wharton: Should vie with freshman Nina Hwang for Wildcats' No. 1 spot
• Kelsey Gibson, Sr., King: Fifth at recent Florida Women's State Golf Association amateur stroke play championship
• Alex Milan, Jr., Steinbrenner: Capable of consistently driving the ball 250 yards
• Madison Opfer, So., Durant: Has followed up brilliant freshman year with solid play on AJGA summer circuit
• Erika Wardzinski, Jr., Durant: Shot back-to-back 73s at last season's district and region tournaments