Boys golf team off to impressive start of the season

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The Boys Golf Team enters the final week of the regular season on quite a roll, having won six of its first seven matches. Better yet, two of the victories included matches with two other schools at each event.

“We’ve consistently been getting better and better as the season has transpired,” said head coach Destry Fudge, who also teaches art in the Upper School. “They’ve really started to gain confidence over the past two weeks.”

Their only loss of the season occurred on September 21 against St. Petersburg Catholic in which the BlueJackets lost by one stroke. The defeat came a little less than a week after the BlueJackets finished seventh with an overall score of 339 at the always difficult Mustang Invitational, which featured 24 schools this year in the 18-hole tournament held at Seminole Lake Country Club.

According to BlueJackets head coach Destry Fudge, it is the highest finish ever at the Mustang Invitational, which is one of the longest running golf tournaments in the Tampa Bay area. Robbie Vinson ‘18 and Max Lewis ‘17 led the way, respectively, finishing with scores of 82 and 84.  Clearwater Central Catholic, which competes against Farragut in the Class 1A-14 district, finished first with a score of 304.

“The match against St. Petersburg Catholic was a tough loss but they learned a lot about themselves and the adversity will help them moving forward,” Fudge said. “The most important part is how their confidence grew from the Mustang Invitational to the most recent matches.”

The team this year features six newcomers, including Robbie Vinson, Stephen Xie ‘21, Morgan Biblioni ‘21. Thomas Ratliff ‘17, Jordan Ratliff ‘20, and Jared Ariza ‘20, although just six students compete at each tournament. Typically, the team takes three alternates in case someone is unable to begin a match for whatever reason.

The top six ranked players for Farragut this season include Robbie, Max, Stephen, Kyle Smith ‘19, Thomas, and Morgan, respectively in that order, although Coach Fudge often has Robbie and Max alternate between the No. 1 and 2 players.

“We’ve had an incredible amount of quality golfers this season and the players have responded with good scores,” Fudge said. “They’ve all respected the fact that their individual play will affect the team score and they’ve done a great job of competing at each tournament.”

Besides the Mustang Invitational, Coach Fudge was most impressed in the way they responded after losing to SPC, beating Canterbury a day later.

“Canterbury has one of the best golfers in the state playing for them so not only was it a challenge coming off the disappointing loss to (SPC), it was against a team that normally has top notch players,” Fudge said.

The BlueJackets, who beat Indian Rocks Christian head-to-head and Canterbury and Shorecrest in a tri-match this past week, will finish the regular season with another tri-match with Canterbury and Shorecrest on October 6 at Isla Del Sol Country Club in St. Petersburg. The Class 1A-14 District tournament will be played on October 10 at The Bayou Club in Largo. Go BlueJackets!