Expectations are always high for Viera girls golf team
Viera senior Briana Gabe said she likes playing in the postseason. Well, that time is now. The Hawks will first try to extend their streak of consecutive district championships to 12 this month before trying to qualify for the state tournament.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
There is nothing Viera High senior golfer Briana Gabe likes more about golf season than what the Hawks are about to enter right now:
“I think it’s fun because we get to play 18 holes rather than nine,” Gabe said. “We usually get to travel more and we’re not just playing one team. We’re playing (with) three or four teams, and they’re usually better players, so we get to challenge ourselves a little bit more.”
The stakes are higher, too.
Viera has won 11 straight district championships and has been a regular qualifier for the state tournament during that time.
This year’s Viera team has only two seniors – Gabe and Morgan Bentley – and no juniors, which means the Hawks will have to rely on a number of younger players if they’re going to keep their streak going.
Making that road even tougher is the fact that the FHSAA has condensed the district and regional lineups. Viera will have to beat a very good Lake Nona team to win another district title. This year’s state tournament is once again at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills Oct. 29-30.
“We’re definitely a younger team,” Gabe said. “This year, it’s not going to be as easy as it was in the past, but we definitely have a shot.
“I know we can do it. We did it last year and we didn’t expect it. We have a lot of those returning players.”
Gabe is the clear No. 1 player for the Hawks. She is followed by freshman Rebecca Luchs, freshman Brittany Odic, sophomore Ana Maria Tea and sophomore Heart Gerosano at the top of the Viera lineup.
Other key Hawks include Katie Latham, Bentley, Pilar DeJesus and Amada Cosgriff.
“Each match is a new experience for a lot of these girls,” Viera coach Greg Ford said. “We just have to build on that so they’ll be ready by the end of the season. The new alignment of the districts and regions this year is going to be tougher for us, but I think we can achieve our goals. We just have to work at it.
“We have some pretty good young players that have come in and we’ve got some that were freshmen last year and contributed that are back this year.”
Like Gabe, Tea and Gerosano were on last year’s Viera team that went to the state tournament. And Gabe thinks that experience will only help the two younger players going into this postseason because they know what to expect.
“There are definitely high expectations here, and I think we can meet them, as we have in the past,” Gabe said. “We haven’t always had a good team, per say, by the scores, but we always fight through it and we’re able to come out and make it to state.”