But Lakeland has also been a powerhouse in boys' golf over the past six seasons under Coach Bill Joyner
The Dreadnaughts' golf team returns to the state tournament for the second straight year today at Fort Pierce after winning the district and finishing second to Tampa Wharton in the regional.
The 36-hole Class 2A state tournament, today and Wednes day, is at Fairwinds Golf Course
said the students' perception of golfers at LHS
has changed with the team's success.
"Before, it wasn't cool to be a golfer," Joyner
said."But when we started winning, and some of the football coaches started playing golf and paying attention, it got to be a good thing.
The golf team was recognized at halftime of the Dreadnaughts' 47-7 football win over Kathleen Friday night, and scores of the Dreadnaughts' matches were broadcast on the school's in-house television this season.
The news was almost always good, as Lakeland was 21-3 in dual nine-hole matches before winning the district at Willowbrook.
has a strong supporting cast that includes Scott Hertel, Matt Jones, Shane Kelley, Matt Lyons and Brian Richey.
"We have been blessed at our school to come up with some good golfers for five or six years in a row," Joyner
said."And before I was here, there were some good golfers." Joyner
, a former head baseball and junior varsity football coach at LHS
, said there are several reasons for the Dreadnaughts' recent success in golf.
First, of course, are the golfers.
"Brad Stainsby was a really good player," Joyner
also has a stable of players who consistently break 40 and occasionally fire a 35 or 36.
, 56, said he
doesn't recruit players, but he
lets them know he's
interested during the offseason.
"The way I approach it is I can't do anything about getting kids, but if they're coming to my school, if they are in a junior program during the summer, I try to get out and see them," Joyner
said."You get out and get seen a little bit.You don't have to say anything to them, but they know who you are."
Lakeland also benefits by having Cleveland Heights as its home course.The Dreadnaughts play together in the summers at the Junior Citrus program.
"Even though some of the parents belong to other clubs like Grasslands and Eaglebrooke, the kids get a summer membership at Cleveland Heights so they can play together," Joyner
coaches course management and the mental approach, but doesn't tinker with mechanics.
"Basically what we do is try to teach them the right way to do things," Joyner
said."Most of them have taken lessons on their own.I might work with them on alignment or timing, or something of that nature.But I'm not going to fool myself into trying to think I'm going to change their swing.
"I try to instill in them how important it is to be honest and to have the proper etiquette."
also thinks it is important to play as many 18-hole matches as possible during the course of the season.
"You have to put in some of your time on the weekends with 18-hole matches," Joyner
said."The programs that are going to win are the ones that are willing to spend the weekends at 18-hole matches.That's the way it's going to be in the district, and the regional and the state.
"We try to play in at least five 18-hole matches during the year." He
also makes sure his
underclassmen are progressing.
"The next Blondell might be another Blondell," Joyner