1. Archive

Saddlebrook boys keep grip on 4A-9

Last year's state medalist and two-time district medalist Young A. Yang no longer golfs for Saddlebrook's girls team. The senior, bound for the University of Tennessee in the fall, is only playing in amateur tournaments this spring.

It appears Saddlebrook has found adequate replacements for Yang and her former teammates, who led the Wesley Chapel school to back-to-back district titles in its first two seasons.

Two freshmen and two sophomores led the Spartans to the Class 4A, District 9 championship Tuesday at Scotland Yards. Saddlebrook's 341 strokes topped runner-up Zephyrhills (402) and third-place Academy of the Holy Names.

Pasco's first-year team came in fourth at 426.

Sophomore Jameica Duncombe became Saddlebrook's second district medalist with a round of 73, 2-over par.

Sophomore Mai Sugiyama shot 86, freshman and former tennis player Natalie Stenmark 90 and freshman Sara Mohuiddin 92. That gave Saddlebrook four of the match's top eight scores.

"We're a lot younger and a lot less experienced," Saddlebrook coach Rolph Deming said, drawing comparisons to last year's team that listed a senior and three juniors.

Deming added age and a lack of experience may have helped his team fend off the competition: "I don't think they knew enough to be scared."

Zephyrhills' Tracy Negoshian, who shot 80 on her school's home course, was runner-up for district medalist.

Saddlebrook, which finished fourth in last year's state finals and second in 1996, advances to the state tournament, May 6-8 at Heritage Oaks Country Club.

Saddlebrook was the runner-up in Tuesday's boys match, finishing 12 strokes off the pace of three-time district champion Jesuit.

At 297, Jesuit, led by district medalist Sean Zaharakes (69), was the only school to break 300.

Two Saddlebrook golfers got to play an extra hole. Christian Montmarquette (73) and John Lee (74) each won one-hole playoffs over Berkeley Prep's Ty Harris and Jesuit's Brian Swope, respectively.

Chris Black (75) of Zephyrhills came up short on his playoff hole against Wharton's Evan Van Dursten.