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Swinging for success


Published:   |   Updated: March 11, 2013 at 09:36 PM

For Sebring's Colin Walkup, his senior year on the golf course was all about taking care of business.

All of the practice Walkup put in paid off in a big way as he averaged a team-best 40 for nine holes to lead the Blue Streaks to a successful season on the links.

"Colin came to play his senior year," said Sebring boys golf coach Vince Liles. "He worked very hard on every aspect of his game and I could count on him shooting a solid round every time he teed it up.

"He was a team leader, all of the boys looked up to him and he has a bright future ahead of him."

For his ability and accomplishments, Walkup has been selected as the 2012 Highlands Today All-Highlands Boys Golfer of the Year.

"It's awesome to win this award," said Walkup. "This is something I've worked for during my high school career and it's an honor that I'm very proud of.

"I practiced a lot because I enjoy hitting good shots."

The team:

Jonah Brown, senior, Lake Placid: Brown was the Green Dragons No. 1 player and had a team-low average of 42 for nine holes. Brown showed steady improvement during the season and displayed excellent course management.

"Jonah was very consistent and had a good demeanor," said Lake Placid boys golf coach Jon Million. "He kept his composure no matter what happened and was a solid player."

Cody Pearlman, junior, Avon Park: Pearlman averaged 42 for nine holes for the Red Devils.

"Cody has great scrambling ability," said Avon Park boys golf coach Marty O'Hora. "His short game was outstanding and it saved him quite a few strokes during each round."

Nic Staffieri, freshman, Sebring: Staffieri had a positive impact in his first year of varsity golf by averaging 41 for nine holes for the Blue Streaks.

"Nic is a solid player with no real weakness in his game," Liles said. "It's not often that a freshman can start on a team with as many good players as we have, but he was all business and I'm glad I've got him for three more years."

Scott Cantwell, senior, Lake Placid: Cantwell showed steady improvement over the course of the season and averaged 45 for nine holes for the Green Dragons.

"Scott is a good player with a solid short game," Million said. "He's very coachable and was always looking to improve."

Jeremy Camino, sophomore, Sebring: Camino built on his outstanding freshman season with a solid campaign this year by averaging 41 for nine holes.

"Jeremy has the best swing on the team," said Liles. "He had a solid year and is great from 100 yards and in.

"He's a hard worker and I can't wait to see how much he improves by next year."

Terrell Williams, junior, Sebring: Williams averaged 43 for nine holes for the Blue Streaks.

"Terrell is very athletic and his hard work and practice paid off with his best year of golf," Liles said. "His short game and putting are solid and he should be a force for us next year."

Branden Fitch, junior, Sebring: Fitch overcame a slow start to average 43 for nine holes for the Blue Streaks.

"Branden worked hard on his game and came through with a team-best 78 at the district tournament," Liles said. "If he continues to work hard on his game he should be quite a player for us next year."

Kade Damboise, sophomore, Sebring: Damboise came on strong as the season progressed and averaged 43 for nine holes.

"No one works harder on their golf game than Kade," Liles said. "He should be one of our top players next season."

Blake Fitch, sophomore, Sebring: Fitch learned to slow his swing down and averaged 43 for nine holes.

"Once Blake adjusted to his new swing he had a solid second half of the season," Liles said.

Easton Davis, junior, Sebring: Davis is the longest hitter on the team and averaged 43 for nine holes for the Blue Streaks.

"Easton has a ton of talent," Liles said. "He is long, one of the best ball-strikers on the team and should be a force next year for us."

Honorable mention:

Lee Hinote, junior, Sebring: Hinote averaged 45 for nine holes while working on being more consistent.

"Lee has a lot of talent and just needs to work hard on his game in the offseason," Liles said.

Paul Cantwell, junior, Lake Placid: Cantwell averaged 47 for nine holes for the Green Dragons.

"Paul hits it long and straight," Million said. "He has a lot of potential and just needs to keep working on his game to be a complete player."

Austin Massey, senior, Avon Park: Massey averaged 49 for nine holes for the Red Devils.

"Austin had a solid game and was an excellent putter," O'Hora said. "He saved a lot of strokes with his touch on the greens."

Rhett Tyler, senior, Avon Park: Tyler was a solid performer and averaged 49 for nine holes for the Red Devils.

"Rhett hits the ball a long way," O'Hora said. "He had good course management and did a good job of keeping the ball in play."

Coach of the Year:

For guiding the Blue Streaks to a successful season and developing his players to help them reach their full potential, Sebring's Vince Liles is the Highlands Today All-Highlands Boys Golf Coach of the Year.


mpinson@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5837
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