As the third week of high school golf dawns upon us, the sun is shining bright on many young, local golfers.
Brevard County has produced some talented female prep golfers in recent years, and this season has a similar inclination.
“Overall, from top to bottom, we have some very good players in the county this year,” Duran Golf Club teaching professional and Viera girls coach Greg Ford said.
From Vicky Hurst’s LPGA Tour status following graduation to last year’s All-Space Coast Golfer of the Year Summer Johns competing against boys during her tenure, West Shore’s Taylor Belinchak and Melbourne Central Catholic’s Marisa Boccabella hope to add their names to that list.
“Taylor is arguably the best player around. She’s a lefty, and she can play,” Ford said.
Boccabella won a district championship last season and has picked up right where she left off. The junior shot 37 through nine holes against Melbourne to open the season.
“Marisa is returning as a strong player and to defend that (district) title,” MCC girls coach Jim Kelly said. “She’s gotten a lot better.”
That is a scary proposition for opposing high school golfers.
Once again, Viera and Cocoa Beach figure to rank as the top girls teams in the county. The Hawks made the jump to Class 3A, joining Melbourne as the only Brevard County teams in the state’s highest level.
Freshman Samantha Brimhall joins senior Michelle Hawkins and Taylor Rageski for Viera, and Cocoa Beach’s Allison Kope will anchor a squad with Jackie Turner and freshman Delia Timpy.
“We always set our goals very high and, of course, this year is no different. I think we have a very good shot at making the state finals. We have a deep team,” Ford said.
Also, Edgewood eighth-grader Dayna Owens will challenge many of her older opponents on the course. A little more experience and she might etch her name in the record books.
Meanwhile, Titusville coach Lori Sprayberry has experience on her side with four upperclassmen returning.
Junior Sarah Schermer will be the Terrier pushing for a top spot in the Cape Coast Conference. Her accolades include All-Space Coast honorable mention and All-Cape Coast Conference.
“(Sarah) is very dedicated and puts her heart and soul into playing. She is a well-rounded player and has been working on her short game,” Sprayberry said.
After taking a year off, Grace Willoughby returns to the Terriers as the lone senior on the team. Her leadership will be crucial.
“(Grace) still can hit the heck out of the ball. Grace always comes ready to improve and always is cheerful and a pleasure to be around and is a great leader,” Sprayberry added.
This weekend will close the first chapter of the season, as Viera High hosts the Lady Hawk Invitational today at Duran Golf Course featuring local teams Cocoa Beach, MCC and Titusville, along with West Shore’s Taylor Belinchak and Merritt Island’s Gracie Dunn.