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Sarasota Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 2 months ago

Prose and Kohn: Fall playoffs enter final stretch

As high school winter sports begin, the fall sports have unfinished business.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Editor

It's not long now until the winter sports will take over the high school calendar. Soccer teams are holding their preseason games this week, with the regular season opening as early as Monday. Basketball isn't far behind, with preseason games beginning Nov. 15. 

But we still have some unfinished business with fall sports, where things continue to go well for our area athletes. I simultaneously love and hate this time of year. Love, because seeing local competitors take home hardware brings a smile to the community's collective face; hate, because there's no way I can give everyone the amount of coverage they deserve. So it'll have to continue going in this column for now. 

The Riverview High boys golf team is headed to the state tournament after a solid performance at regionals, held Monday at Lakewood National Golf Club. The Rams finished second, shooting 316. Even though the Rams never threatened to win the whole thing — they finished 14 strokes behind winner Gulf Coast High — a few individual performances were standouts, particularly sophomore Justin Zullin, who shot 73 to finish second overall. Rams senior Connor DeMichele tied for 10th overall with a 77. The state tournament will be held Nov. 16 in Howey-in-the-Hills at Mission Inn Resort and Spa. 

The Cardinal Mooney boys golf team qualified for the 1A state tournament after finishing third Monday at Stoneybrook Golf Club in Fort Myers.

Last week,  I wondered whether the Sarasota High boys swimming team could repeat as state champions while being bumped up to Class 4A from Class 3A. So far, so good. The Sailors won their district meet on Oct. 30 at Selby Aquatic Center, besting Venice High by five team points, 309 to 304. The Sailors had many strong performances, but among them, senior Cole Firlie took the 200 freestyle (1:45.17), junior Liam Heary took the 50 free (22.26) and the 100 breaststroke (58.73) and the Sailors won the 200 free relay (1:29.94). The Sailors are in one of the toughest districts in the state. There are no guarantees in swimming, but doing well here is a great sign of things to come. 

On the girls side of the meet, Riverview dominated, beating Venice 565-399. Junior Lily Lazar won the 100 free (54.68), senior Sarah Sensenbrenner won the 100 backstroke (58.75) and sophomore Gracie Weyant won the 200 individual medley (2:07.20) and the 100 breaststroke (1:04.49). The Rams also took all three relays: the 200 individual medley relay (1:52.73), the 200 free relay (1:40.51) and the 400 free relay (3:37.52). Like the Sailors on the boys side, this performance bodes well for states. 

The Sarasota and Riverview boys and girls will have their regional meet at 10 a.m. Friday at the Selby Aquatic Center. 

Meanwhile, Cardinal Mooney High girls swimmer Michaela Mattes will swim at the Cougars' 1A state championship on Saturday in Stuart. Mattes is seeded second in the 500 freestyle (4:55.41) but has more work to do in the 200 individual medley, where she's seeded eighth (2:06.30). Never count out a swimmers' adrenaline giving them a boost for big races however. I won't be surprised if Mattes returns with two more medals.

Booker High boys swimmer Toby Schwenk will also compete in the 2A state championships on Saturday in the 200 and 500 freestyle. 

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I’m the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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