Lake Mary Prep’s boys golf team has been overshadowed by the school’s defending state champion girls team in recent years.
Not on Tuesday.
The Griffins compiled an opening round 299 team total to seize the lead in the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 1A state tournament at Mission Inn. And that score might have been even better without a couple of mishaps.
LMP is eight shots ahead of second place Jacksonville Wolfson (307) with 18 holes to go on Wednesday at the tough El Campeon course. The First Academy is third at 310, Windermere Prep fifth at 313.
“Hopefully, we sleep well tonight and go out and take care of business tomorrow,” said Griffins coach Bobby Hayes. “We played good golf today. We didn’t play outstanding golf. I think we’re poised to have a very good round.”
The Lake Mary Prep girls also lead with a 291 opening round performance on the Las Colinas track. But they are just one shot ahead of No. 1 ranked The First Academy, which got a 5-under-par 67 performance from 2019 state champion Jieming “Cissy” Yang.
Francisco “Kiko” Coelho, a senior, led Lake Mary Prep’s boys with an even par 72 that put him in a tie for second on the individual leader board. Senior teammate James Zhan shot 73.
Lake Mary Prep’s boys program won state championships in 2013 and 2015 and posted runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2017. But its regular season schedule this year was limited with the school taking part in a private school sports bubble designed to reduce possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus. That reduced the competition the Griffins faced.
“We really had just one competitive match during the regular season,” Hayes said. “I played a different lineup almost every week. But I knew the talent we had on our team. Our kids are mature kids and good, talented golfers.”
Adam Vermut of Wolfson leads a tight boys individual leader board with a 71. He is just one shot ahead of a threesome that includes Coelho and Montverde Academy senior BK Kim.
TFA, which won the boys championship a year ago, stands third with a 310 led by junior Mohit Balaji, who is tied for fifth individually after shooting 73. Windermere Prep’s Camden Smith is tied for eighth at 74 and the Lakers are fifth in the team race at 313.
The Lake Mary Prep girls team, seeking the program’s fifth state championship since 2014, was led by junior McKenzie Mages, who shot 69. That put her in a tie for third behind Yang and frontrunner Angelica Holman of Lincoln Park Academy, a Fort Pierce magnet school.
Holman, a junior, carded four birdies and added an eagle on the 18th hole to post a 6-under-par 66.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Varsity Content Editor Buddy Collings can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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