Sophomore Chris Biuso seems to have picked his sport wisely.
By TERRY JONES, Times Correspondent
Published October 9, 2005
TEMPLE TERRACE - Just three years ago, Chris Biuso went to a YMCA facility near his home to take his first golf lessons. He was 12 and split his sports time between golf and hockey.
Now at 15, hockey is simply part of his personal history and he plays golf almost every day.
The sophomore is King's No. 1 player and hopes to help his team qualify for region play. The district tournament starts Tuesday at 8 a.m. at Summerfield Golf and Country Club in Riverview.
Though the Lions have a good team, so do several other schools in its district.
Bloomingdale and Plant City have two of the top big-school teams in Hillsborough County, Freedom is on the bubble, Riverview is competitive and all four are in the same district with King.
Biuso leads the Lions with a 37.4 average in nine-hole competition. Tuesday, the matches go 18 holes.
On Sept. 25, he won a Greater Tampa Junior Golf Association Tournament on the Falcon's Watch Golf and Country Club in Sun City Center. He tries to compete once or twice a month year-round.
Even in his youth, King coach Barrett Zebos says Biuso is a natural leader respected by his older teammates, mostly for his dedication to and success in the sport.
"The other players seem to like Chris and work hard to help develop the best for the team," Zebos said. "He is very solid and plays consistently in all aspects of the game. He also helps the others when they ask him."
When he changed to golf from hockey, he said getting clobbered did have a minor influence in the change.
But he says his hardest hit came while playing golf.
"I hit myself with my own ball," he said. "My ball was in the rough behind a tree and I was trying to make a fade shot around it. Instead, the ball hit the tree solid and came back to hit me before I could duck. But that was once and very rare."
Last year as a freshman, the Lions missed the region tournament by one stroke.
"The taste is bitter in the mouths of the most of the guys and they really want to make it through this season," he said. "We feel we have a chance to make the top three cut, but our district is tough. We can only play our best and hope we make it through."
Also important in postseason play will be the results of the two senior captains, Marc Hensel and Rean Knopke. Hensel averages 38 and Knopke 41.
"We need the best scores from all our guys to win," Biuso said. "We all want to win, but we all still have fun playing golf."