LAKEWOOD RANCH — Louie DelFabro and Max Coutsolioutsos are no strangers to competition.
The Lakewood Ranch High freshman and The Out-of-Door Academy eighth-grader, respectively, both began playing golf competitively when they were 7 years old; since then, the two underclassmen have spent countless hours out on the course perfecting their individual games.
Driven by their competitive spirit and intense work ethic, DelFabro and Coutsolioutsos garnered the appreciation of their teammates while providing a glimpse into the future of high school golf in the area.
After hanging around the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club watching the Mustangs practice, DelFabro found himself competing alongside some of the same players he grew up trying to emulate.
“He’s really thrived in the program,” Lakewood coach Dave Frantz says. “He’s a student of the game. He’s a coach’s dream, as far as his work ethic. He’s just happy to be on the team and to have played as much as he did.”
DelFabro played in seven of the Mustangs’ 14 tournaments this season, shooting an even par 72 on the first day of competition Oct. 4, at the 2013 Qdoba Tournament of Champions.
“At tryouts, I wasn’t really expecting to play in a single match,” DelFabro says. “There’s just so much talent on this team. I enjoy the challenge and the fact that it took a lot of work to get better.”
After qualifying for the regional tournament last year, Coutsolioutsos was the Thunder’s No. 1 player this season and helped lead ODA to six match play wins.
Coutsolioutsos, who wants to play golf for the University of Florida, shot a personal best 33 Oct. 3, against Southeast High.
“I was very surprised,” Coutsolioutsos says of the feat. “I was extremely excited. I was more shocked at how well I played that day.”
Coutsolioutsos followed up his performance with a team best 78 to lead the Thunder to a third-place finish at the Class 1A-District 17 tournament Oct. 14 and a berth in the Class 1A-Region 6 tournament Oct. 21.
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].