First Academy golf standout can’t repeat as individual champ, but can help Royals win state tournament team title

Buddy Collings, Orlando Sentinel

The First Academy did not win its appeal to the FHSAA to have standout senior Cissy Yang reinstated as an individual championship contender for this week’s girls golf state tournament. She was the 2019 state champion.

But that ruling by the Florida High School Athletic Association won’t prevent Yang from participating over the next two days at Mission Inn. Nor will it prohibit her from helping the undefeated Royals chase the Class 1A team championship.

Yang, who shot a seven-under-par 65 to dominate the Region 2 tournament, can still be counted in TFA’s team score in the 36-hole event.

She was deemed ineligible for individual honors after withdrawing from her team’s district tournament due to what she and TFA coach Chris Bateman described as nagging back soreness.

The FHSAA stated that players must complete rounds at both the district and region level to be eligible for individual state medals.

“I can understand if you didn’t show up and attempt to play,” Bateman said Monday. "But Cissy went to three doctors and traveled 70 miles (to Cocoa Beach) to play. We did everything we could to get her ready to play. She just couldn’t go that day. She was hurting and I just didn’t think it was worth the risk.

“I made the decision to withdraw her. She cried her eyes out.”

Yang said she was able to rest before the region tournament was played two weeks ago and is feeling fine.

“She’s good as new right now,” Bateman said.

Area teams will look to continue a decade of dominance in 1A golf.

Central Florida schools have won the 1A girls team title 10 years in a row. Lake Mary Prep owns four of those championships, including last year when the Griffins beat previously-unbeaten TFA for the title. The Royals were champs in 2017 and 2018. Windermere Prep won 1A in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and Circle Christian prevailed in 2013.

TFA won the 2019 boys championship to continue a streak that has seen the Royals combine with Windermere Prep, Circle Christian and Lake Mary Prep to claim the past seven boys 1A crowns.

The best boys region tournament performances across the state, according to the iWanamaker golf scoring app, were turned in by The First Academy, Lake Mary Prep, Circle Christian and Windermere Prep in that order.

TFA and Lake Mary Prep were 1-2 on that girls qualifying list, with Circle Christian No. 6.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Varsity Content Editor Buddy Collings can be reached by email at bcollings@orlandosentinel.com.

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