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Central High School


Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:44 PM

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Across four separate regional tournaments Monday and Tuesday, Hernando County competitors did not manage to advance anyone to states.

Nature Coast's Jake Arnett came the closest to moving on, dropping a playoff hole for the final qualifying spot in Tuesday's Class 1A, Region III Tournament at Saddlebrook Resort.

The sophomore, fresh off a district championship last week, carded a 77 across 18 holes, tying with Fivay's Nick Piro for the last state berth.

That duo returned to the first hole, with Piro bogeying. However, Arnett double bogeyed to end matters.

"He played great," Nature Coast head coach Tom Brown said. "But breaks here and there, a few execution problems; there was a lot of pressure at the end. But I thought he did very well."

The Sharks shot 363 as a team to finish sixth overall. Only the two top teams and top two individuals not on those teams moved on.

Michael DeMaria added a 92, Joe Powanda a 94, Erik Carlson a 100 and Dan Wempe shot a 112 that didn't count toward the team tally.

Brown expressed satisfaction that his squad improved upon a 378 shot on this same course in an Oct. 6 18-hole match against Crystal River and Saddlebrook.

"We still left some strokes out there, but we played a lot better," Brown said. "We accomplished a goal of ours, which was to get the team through to regionals. We represented ourselves pretty well, so I'm happy with the way things turned out."

Also at that tournament, Hernando junior Cody Montgomery posted an 88 and Weeki Wachee sophomore Michael Rampino a 99.

"He hit the fairways just fine, but he could not hit a green," Hernando head coach Kevin Magilligan said of Montgomery. "He was either short or to the left."

The Nature Coast girls had a close call of their own in Monday's 1A-III Tournament at Black Bear Golf Club in Eustis.

When the dust settled, the district champion Lady Sharks were in third with a collective score of 440, 14 strokes behind second-place Fivay (426).

"The girls were greatly disappointed," Nature Coast head coach Cheryl Paradis said. "But you play the way you play that day. That's how we played that day and where we ended up."

Senior Kae Elliott paced the team with a 91, followed by Kaitlyn Glynn (105), Maddy Pickersgill (120), Taylor Zack (124) and Cassidy Verdi (167).

Elliott finished in a tie for fourth among individuals, seven strokes off earning her own trip to states.

"Kae was in the hunt to go to states also and came up a little short. We were disappointed in that, too," Paradis said. "The seniors didn't want the season to end.

"Going to regionals and placing third in regionals, that's pretty good. I'm very proud of that. They made a lot of improvements. They can hold their heads up high."

Hernando came in fifth in the same event with a 473. Eugenia Urso recorded a 97, Alexis Owensby a 116, Lauren Moore a 126, Taylor Milligan a 134 and Ainsley Halliday a 151.

"I'm just extremely proud of the girls, first of all to make it that far," Hernando head coach Casey Ellis said. "They all did extremely well. I couldn't ask for anything more.

"I'm very happy with the overall season. Nobody expected us to come this far. To make it to regionals was very exciting."

The lone remaining member of the county champion Springstead boys squad was senior Ryan Nicoll.

On Monday at the 2A-II Tournament at the Ocala Golf Club, Nicoll's score of 77 could not advance him out.

"I was disappointed because I know he can play a lot better," Springstead head coach Greg Odachowski said. "He's got the skills to win. I just wish it had fallen in place.

"His dad said he's been having problems with his swing. He lost it last week some time and hasn't gotten it back."

Tuesday at the same venue was the girls' version of this tournament.

The Lady Eagles shot a 363, paced by senior Megan Berube's 75 that was three shots off qualifying her for states. She made it as a sophomore.

Teammate Emma Betters chipped in with a 94 and Kiki Schau a 96, followed by Kylie Van Meter's 98 and Kearstin Yarbrough's 123.

Central was represented at the tournament by Stephanie Rodney, totaling 87 after tying for a district crown with a 73 a week earlier. (352) 544-5288

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