By ARMANDO GARZA
Special to the PRESS
District championships and regional qualifiers have been the norm over the past several years.
But even a solid program like Tarpon Golf continues to add firsts to its history.
The 2012-13 year will go down as a great one thanks to the results of the 32-3A district tournament earlier this week. A record seven Tarpon golfers qualified for the regional golf tournament next week after high finishes at district.
The boys team finished second in the team standings and punched their tickets to Corpus Christi. Meanwhile, two girls advanced as individual medalists. The 32-3A tourney was played under tough conditions at Treasure Hills Golf Club in Harlingen.
“This is the largest contingent of golfers we’ve sent to regionals, so I’m absolutely happy about that,” Tarpon golf coach Craig Smith said of his latest batch of qualifiers. “I was disappointed that we didn’t play like we’d been playing all year, but I’m happy that they qualified and now have a chance to redeem themselves (at regionals).”
After winning district last year, the PI boys team settled for second, just three strokes behind champion La Feria. The top two teams at district advance to the regional tournament.
Senior Pedro Lopez finished second overall with a 94 at district. Freshman Aaron Gonzalez was sixth overall, while junior Jules Perez was seventh. Fellow junior Little Joe Garza and senior Keiler Gentry round out this year’s Tarpon boys team. The boys will play on Monday at Tuesday at Gabe Lozano Golf Center in Corpus Christi.
The PI girls team finished third, just a few strokes out of a second-place team finish. However, two individualists that are not members of the top two teams can make the trip to regionals and both were Lady Tarpons.
Senior Christina Cantu and junior Megan Francis will make the trip to Oso Beach Municipal Golf Course in Corpus Christi. This is the third consecutive trip to regionals for Francis, while Cantu makes her regional debut.
“I’m really happy for our two girls,” Smith said. “Especially Christina. She’s been in our program for four years and it’s a great thing for her to go to regionals as a senior. She really improved steadily this year.”
Should any of the Tarpons finish in the top tier at regionals, the state tournament is set for May 2-3 at Jimmy Clay Golf Course in Austin.