Space Coast Golf Magazine Selects Prep Players Of The Year

By  //  January 10, 2013

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2012 Space Coast Junior Golf All-Stars

HOLY TRINITY: The SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com 2012 Space Coast High School Golf Team of the Year includes Coach Ron Benfeild, Matthew Allison, Casey Nierenberg and Ryan Allison, Calvin Seirota and Kerry Sweeney. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Space Coast Golf Magazine bestows its highest honor on 10 young players who not only dedicate their time to their sport, but to helping others and their community.

Selecting Space Coast Golf Magazine’s Space Coast Junior Golfers of the Year is not a simple task. While athletic skills are really the focal point, our selection committee felt “best athlete” goes beyond skill. Surely, as one of Brevard’s most prominent athletes and role models, Tim Wakefield’s (who was inducted into Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame last May) legacy goes way beyond his accomplishments on the field. His involvement and dedication to the community is even a greater story.

So we here at Space Coast Golf feel like criteria should come into play in our selection process. These young athletes we have selected have also reached “outside the fairways” in their involvement in community and scholastic accomplishments.

As a major sponsor and a co-director of the Space Coast Junior Golf Tour (SCJGT), along with Greg Ford, coach of the Viera High School girls golf team, PGA Professional and tournament director of the SCJGT we have spent a lot of time on the links with these kids, their parents, grandparents, friends, coaches, strength trainers and golf professionals – all who work with these kids.

We know these kids and feel their accomplishments over the past year have earned them this recognition.

SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com 2012 Space Coast Girls Golf Team All-Stars

Samantha Brimhall

• Marissa Boccabella – Melbourne Central Catholic High School
• Samantha Brimhall – Edgewood Junior Senior High School
• Samantha Dahl – Viera High School
• Summer Johns – Merritt Island Christian High School
• Allison Kope – Cocoa Beach Junior Senior High School

SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com 2012 Space Coast Boys Golf Team All-Stars

Alec Norris

• Ryan Allison – Holy Trinity Academy High School
• Alex Blue – Cocoa Beach Junior Senior High School
• Chase Cutshall – Melbourne High School
• Alec Norris – Edgewood Junior Senior High School
• Kerry Sweeney – Holy Trinity Academy High School

HOLY TRINITY: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com 2012 Space Coast High School Golf Team of the Year

When it came down to it, being undefeated for the year made absolutely no difference. It was now districts and it was win or go home. The season record made no difference and it was time for the Holy Trinity Boy’s golf team to validate their 2012 undefeated record – and they did.

“When you have five players all turning in scores in the 70’s you have a pretty good chance of moving on to the Regionals,” said Coach Ron Benfield. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

“When you have five players all turning in scores in the 70’s you have a pretty good chance of moving on to the Regionals,” said Coach Ron Benfield.

Sweeney’s 5-under par 67 was the first score posted for the Tigers. It was no secret that these guys were best of friends on and off the course and Sweeney’s score ignited their bond. As the rest of the Tiger’s team scores posted, 73, 73, 67, 70 and 77 it was clearly evident the Holy Trinity Boy’s team had played well together all year and they proved they were best in the Space Coast with what may be the lowest team aggregate score posted in high school golf – ever.

SUMMER JOHNS: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com 2012 Space Coast Girls Junior Golfer of the Year

Currently a senior at Merritt Island Christian High School, Johns has been selected the 2012 Space Coast Girls Junior Golfer of the Year.

Currently a senior at Merritt Island Christian High School, Johns has been selected the 2012 Space Coast Girls Junior Golfer of the Year. (Space Coast Golf image)

Johns is involved in many extra-curricular activities and considers golf her main sport. She also plays on her high school tennis team and beach volleyball.

“Golf is my passion and something that I really enjoy doing,” says Johns. “I have been playing on my school boys’ team since I was a freshman and that really makes it more competitive because I have to play from the men’s tees. That definitely was a challenge – which I loved.”

Johns actually recorded the lowest score in District 1A, shooting a 77, but after being assessed a -4 stroke penalty accepted second place graciously. It seems there were some rule changes her coach was not properly informed about. Johns is currently entertaining scholarship offers from several colleges where she plans on playing golf and continuing her education.

Johns Season Highlights

• 2nd 2012 SCJGT Space Coast Open Suntree Country Club
Girls Age: 16-18
• 1st 2010 Class 1A District Championship
• 1st 2011 Savannah’s Junior Club Championship
• 1st 2011 Citrus Junior Golf Tour
• 2nd 2011 Lady Hawk Invitational
• 2nd 2012 Class 1A District Championship

One of Johns’ favorite pastimes is playing piano, which she has been playing for nearly six years. She is also involved with in concert choir at school where they perform in two concerts throughout the year, and sing at Disney’s Epcot during Christmas.

Johns likes to visit the elderly in homes. She says that she feels that elderly in nursing homes do not get enough attention so she likes to go in and sit and talk with them. “I tell them they look beautiful – you know, little things like that brings a smile to their face and brings joy to my heart.”

“We really emphasize on how we shouldn’t just sit and listen to our pastor but we should go into the world with what we have learned and share Christ’s love all day, every day,” she said.

Johns also likes to attend her church’s youth group, Firehouse, where, as a young adult, she participates in fellowship and learns more about the gospel.

“We really emphasize on how we shouldn’t just sit and listen to our pastor but we should go into the world with what we have learned and share Christ’s love all day, every day,” she said.

“Through Firehouse Summer was afforded the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Guatemala. I really felt a calling to go on this trip and be of service to others in need. Seeing the people down there you just automatically feel love and compassion towards them and want to help them in any way you can. On this trip I learned so many things one being to be grateful for what I have, seeing that they have little to nothing. I loved it down there so much that I have decided to go again this spring break.”

ALLISON KOPE: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com Honorable Mention

Kope is currently a junior at Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School and has played on the varsity girls’ golf team since 7th grade. Her hopes are to continue playing at the college level.

Allison Kope

Kope plans to major in international finance/investment banking and says she would like to work and live in a big city like Boston or New York. She carries a 3.7 GPA and has been an honor roll student since seventh grade.

Kope Season Highlights

• 1st Space Coast Junior Open Cocoa Beach Country Club Girls Age: 16-18

• 3rd 2012 SCJGT Space Coast Open Suntree Country Club Girls Age: 16-18
• 2011 Cape Coast All-Conference Team
• 2012 Cape Coast All-Conference Team

School Related Activities

• Member of Cocoa Beach High School Student Government
• Current Junior Class President
• Spanish Club
• MYP Diploma
• Future Business Leaders of America
• 2011-2012 Excellence in Foreign Language IB Spanish award
• Member of the yearbook staff
• Community Service/Volunteer Activities:
• Volunteer work at Cocoa Beach Country Club
• Volunteer work for City of Cocoa Beach
• Volunteer at Relay for Life (5 years)

MARISSA BOCCABELLA: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com Honorable Mention

Boccabella is a sophomore at Melbourne Central Catholic High School and currently maintains a Magnum Cum Laude GPA of 3.93.

Marissa Boccabella

After graduating from high school, Boccabella would like to attend a Division I University to study psychology and play on the girl’s golf team. Her career goal is to become a psychiatrist. In addition, Boccabella would like to continue playing golf on a competitive level and if possible, pursue the opportunity of playing on the LPGA tour.

Boccabella Season Highlights

• 1st 2012 SCJGT Championship
Cocoa Beach Country Club
Girls Age 13-15
• 1st 2012 SCJGT Space Coast Open
Suntree Country Club
Girls Age: 13-15
• 2nd 2011 FHSAA Class 1A District Tournament
• 1st 2012 FHSAA Class 1A District Tournament
• Qualified as an individual for the Regional High School Golf Tournament in 2011 and 2012
• Selected as a member the Florida Today All Space Coast 2nd Team 2011
• 1st 2012 City of Melbourne Girls Junior Golf Tournament Champion

School Related Activities

• MCC Student Council Representative and Member of Student Council
• Member of MCC Drama Club
• MCC Champions Club Member
• Member of Christian Athletes Club
• Member of St Francis Society
• Community Service/Volunteer Activities:
• Worked as a counselor at St. Joseph’s Vacation Bible School during summer of 2010 and 2011
• Volunteers at Relay for Life event 2011 and 2012

CHASE CUTSHALL: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com 2012 Space Coast Boy’s Junior Golfer of the Year

Currently a freshman at Melbourne High School, Cutshall’s coach, Darrel Buchanan is very proud of the season that Cutshall had, but what he was most impressed with was the way he conducted himself as a teammate.

CHASE CUTSHALL: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com 2012 Space Coast Boy’s Junior Golfer of the Year. (Space Coast Golf image)

“Chase is always willing to help and support all of his teammates,” said Buchanan.

“Many times during practice, Chase could be seen working on a swing tip with a team mate on the driving range or running a practice drill on the putting green. Because of that leadership, Chase was able to help bring out the best golf in the other players. These are not qualities that I have seen in the past with a freshman.”

When Cutshall was told that he was selected as the Space Coast Boys Junior Player of the Year, he said that he was very excited and honored to be chosen from such a strong group of players.

“Brevard County has so many great junior golfers that this is a true honor to be selected.”

Cutshall said that the 2012 season was a tremendous learning year for him and recognizes that he has had a lot of help developing his game along way. He thanked Coach Buchanan and his Bulldog teammates. He also gives a great deal of credit to his swing coach Kevin Smeltz, strength and conditioning coach Zach Lush and the whole group of PGA professionals at Suntree Country Club.

Cutshall Season Highlights

• 1st 2012 SCJGT Space Coast Open
Suntree Country Club
Boys Age 16-18
• 3rd 2012 Hurricane Junior Tour Championship
• 15th 2012 2A State Finals
• 2012 Region 6 2A Medalist
• 2012 Cape Coast Conference Champion
• 2012 All Cape Coast Conference Boys Golf Team

When Cutshall isn’t working on his game or studying, he enjoys playing basketball and video games with his friends. He holds a 4.0 GPA and belongs to the National Junior Honor Society. He enjoys helping his mother, Laurie, with her first graders. Cutshall works with students that need extra help with their reading and math skills, and plans on volunteering this summer at Suntree Country Club with their youth program.

KERRY SWEENEY: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com Honorable Mention

Sweeney’s 5-under par led his Holy Trinity boys golf team to a first place finish in districts, and as district medalist earned a place in the state regional.

Kerry Sweeney

“These boys are all very tight friends on and off the course, and after Kerry posted his 67, the rest of the boys may have played their best golf that day as swept districts with a 25 stroke margin,” said Coach Ron Benfeild.

With a 2 under 70 at regional, claiming individual medalist, Sweeney’ went on to the state finals where he placed 24th in the FHSAA Boys Class 1A finals.

“Kerry had a stellar 2012 season leading our team to a first place finish in districts and on to regional competition,” said Coach Benfeild.

“To earn medalist in both districts and regional comes of no surprise,” said golf professional Steve Ford of Suntree Country Club, where Sweeney can be found most of his spare time working on his skills.

“Kerry is shaping into a fine player who is always working on improving himself on and off the course. He hits the ball solid, loves to work and compete. I am very impressed with Kerry’s work ethic.”

Medalist in districts and regional has given Sweeney confidence to want more and push himself even harder to improve. He still has a year and a half of high school left to improve and play tournaments throughout the state against some really strong competitors.

Playing on a bigger stage will help him get the attention of college coaches,” said Ford. “Keep your eye on this young man – surely college recruiters have Kerry in their vision this coming season.”

Sweeney Season Highlights

• 1st 2012 FHSAA Class 1A District Tournament
• 2012 Region 6 1A Medalist
• 24th 2012 1A State Finals

ALEX BLUE: SCGM–SpaceCoastDaily.com Honorable Mention

Blue is in his junior year at Cocoa Beach Junior Senior High School and maintains a 3.6 grade point average which include honors classes in English, Algebra, Physics, and American Government/Economics. Throughout high school his core classes have been attempted for honors credits.

Alex Blue

In 2012 Blue maintained a scoring average of 37.0 and finished second in the Cape Coast Conference Tournament shooting 2-under par, 70. In the district meet he again carded a 2-under, 70 and tied for 2nd.

Blue was captain of the Cocoa Beach High School Boy’s golf team who placed fourth in the Cape Coast Conference and second in districts. He claims his coach, Matthew Kellam, is responsible for his team’s performance and sportsmanship.

“Coach pushed the team and me in ways we never thought possible,” said Blue. “He kept us optimistic in our losses and excited with our victories.”

Blue won nine Space Coast Junior Golf Tour events in 2012 and finished second in points along with winning the year’s “Best Sportsmanship” Award.

Outside of school Blue volunteers at Cocoa Beach Country Club, and also has more than 100 hours of community service hours. He has a motto about volunteering and helping others which he plans on carrying on for the rest of his life.

“If our dream doesn’t involve more than one person, then you need a new dream,” said Blue.

Blue Season Highlights

• 1st 2012 SCJT Championship
Cocoa Beach Country Club
Boys Age 16-18
• 2nd 2012 SCJGT Space Coast Open
• Suntree Country Club
• Boys Age 16-18
• 2nd 2012 Cape Coast Conference Tournament
• 2nd 2012 District
• 2012 All Cape Coast Conference Boys Golf Team


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One Comment on "Space Coast Golf Magazine Selects Prep Players Of The Year"

  1. Marion Bistarkey January 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm · Reply

    Congratulations Chase! I am so proud of you. I sure enjoyed watching you play the last 10 years. Papa would be proud of you too. Love you, Grammie

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