Brimhall, young talent have Hawks thinking big in 2016


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As the only member of the Viera girls golf team who has won a state championship, senior Samantha Brimhall has the experience and the knowledge to help the Hawks get back there.

photo by Carl Kotala

As the only player on the roster who knows what it’s like to play in a state tournament – and win it – Viera High senior Samantha Brimhall is the perfect person to give her younger teammates some sage advice about what it will take to do it again.

“We’ve talked about it a little bit,” Brimhall said. “They definitely know it’s going to take a lot of work, and they definitely know (it’s going to take) a lot of commitment. You have to be focused.

“We have a few months to do some really great things, so if we just focus there’s great reward with that. They know that.”

Brimhall, who won a state title in 2014, is the only senior on a Viera team loaded with the kind of young talent that has the Hawks thinking about adding another bit of glory to their trophy case.

“One person I’m super excited about this year, outside of Sam, is Mary Kate Smith,” Viera coach Greg Ford said. “She’s a sophomore. She came in from Charlotte last January and she’s been working really hard. She’s improved tremendously on her short game.”

Ford is also thrilled about the additions of sophomore Manon Donche-Gay from France, and freshman Briana Gabe. Other key players include returning junior Trinity Falzone – who has taken on a leadership role with Brimhall -- and junior Madison Whitlock, freshman Dianna Johnson and sophomore Melissa Luciani.

“I’m excited. I think we can achieve great things,” Ford said. “Our goals haven’t changed. It’s still to get to the state tournament. It’s always been my belief that you can’t win it unless you’re there.

“We’ve won eight district (titles) in a row. We’d like to continue that streak and then get through the regionals and get back to the state tournament and see what can happen.”