Windermere boys golf team shows 'no quit' in earning trip to state in inaugural season -- Observer Preps

Rough patches early in the season didn’t stop the Windermere High boys golf team from making history twice already this fall.

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  • | 6:45 p.m. November 2, 2017
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The Windermere High boys golf team is the first team at the new school in Horizon West to win a district title, beating the Wolverines girls golf team to the punch by one day, and the first team to make it to state — a distinction that came with a little bit of excitement and some anxiety.

To advance out of the the FHSAA Class 3A, Region 3 Tournament as a team to state, Windermere had to finish as one of the top two teams at Orange Tree Golf Club Oct. 23. It did, but only by one stroke.

It was almost a bit of bad déjà vu for Wolverines coach Eric Bacon, whose teams at his prior coaching position had missed making state by one stroke on three separate occasions, but the veteran coach insists he enjoyed watching his team rise to the occasion down the stretch.

“It was fun watching those guys, understanding that team golf took all of us (to advance to state),” Bacon said.

Now, for the moment, the boys golf team members may be the big men on campus at Windermere High, thanks to the accomplishments they achieved.

“It’s awesome being recognized as the first district champions and making it to states,” said Shuhey Wada, a junior for the Wolverines. “A lot of friends recognize and congratulate us throughout the school day.”

What is particularly impressive is that, for a significant stretch of the season, the reality of Windermere’s boys golf team making it this far as a first year program was anything but an eventuality.

“We started off the year not getting the scores we wanted,” Bacon said.

Indeed, the Wolverines lost some early matches, including a tournament they hosted and a new rivalry event known as “The Quad” — a four-way meet between local rivals Dr. Phillips, Olympia, West Orange and Windermere.

“We got beat by everybody (at ‘The Quad’),” Bacon said. “But I think that was also a kick in the tail to these guys.”

For a group of individual golfers who all have been relatively successful on the respective junior tours they play on, being humbled a bit as a team must have done the trick. The Wolverines placed second at the Metro Conference — West tournament, and later, they put it together in winning the district tournament.

“All of a sudden we said, ‘Wait a minute — we can play,’” Bacon said. “It all just sort of came together right there at the end.”

At the regional tournament, the lineup of freshman Louis Giovacchini (round of 81), junior Grant Drogosch (76), Wada (77), junior Hunter Heath (91) and sophomore Brandon Kohl (91) got the job done.

Now, they will see if they can add any more superlatives to their historic season at the Florida High School Golf State Championships at Mission Inn in Howey-in-the-Hills this weekend. 

The Class 3A Championships begin Nov. 3 and end Nov. 4.

“Mission Inn is a very challenging course,” Bacon said. “It is one of those courses that players quit on — and I’ve seen no quit in this team. I think we’re suited well for it.”


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