The district golf tournaments start this week for various area programs. Lakewood Ranch's boys team is vying for an unprecedented fourth consecutive state championship, while local girls teams haven't claimed a team title since 2006 when the now-defunct Bradenton Prep accomplished the feat.
So here's a primer on the district tourneys:
Class 3A-District 14
Where: Misty Creek Country Club, Sarasota (boys), Mission Valley Country Club, Nokomis (girls)
When: Monday starting at 8 a.m. (boys), Tuesday starting at 12:02 p.m. (girls)
Noteworthy: The Lakewood Ranch boys team, fresh off its record fourth straight Donald Ross Memorial Invitational and seventh consecutive Manatee County titles last week are the class of this district. On the girls side, Manatee features sisters Gianna and Gabrielle Tomeo that led the Hurricanes to a third place Ross showing. Venice, which won the Ross, is favored to take home district hardware as hosts in Nokomis. Braden River is the other area program competing.
Class 2A-District 19
Where: Golf Hammock Country Club, Sebring (boys and girls)
When: Tuesday starting at 9:27 a.m.
Noteworthy: The good news for area programs such as Palmetto and Southeast is that this is the perceived weakest district among the three featuring area programs. Bayshore, who has struggled to field enough players to report a team score this fall, is also scheduled to compete. Sarasota Military Academy’s boys team is favored to top the district. Other teams competing at the Sebring course include Wauchula Hardee, Arcadia DeSoto and Sarasota Booker.
Class 1A-District 17
Where: Bent Tree Country Club, Sarasota (boys), Tatum Ridge Golf Links, Sarasota (girls)
When: Monday starting at 10 a.m. (boys), Monday starting at 11:05 a.m. (girls)
Noteworthy: Saint Stephen’s finished fourth in the Ross and second in last week’s county tournament. To boot, Saint Stephen’s Jack Cen (runner-up at Ross, county individual champ) is peaking at the right time. Bradenton Christian’s Philip Knowles should compete for an individual spot if the Panthers don’t qualify as a team. Sarasota Christian, runners up in the Ross, is a district title contending team. Saint Stephen’s girls team, featuring sisters Michelle and Vanessa Yan, came close to repeating as Ross champs – falling nine shots shy of Class 3A Venice – and are favored to win. Michelle Yan captured the individual title. Cardinal Mooney and Out-of-Door Academy round out area programs in the field.