Stefanski makes switch to golf

| Thursday, June 16, 2005

Two days ago, Ryan Stefanski served as Justin Schaum's caddy for the final 18 holes of the USGA Amateur Public Links Sectional at Cedarbrook.

Come Monday the former California University basketball standout will be playing in the golf sectional at Sleepy Hollow Golf Course in Brecksville, Ohio, near Cleveland.

Why didn't he play at the area course?

"Sleepy Hollow is my home course," said Stefanski, a Brecksville High graduate who at one time lived only 10 minutes away. "After high school I played and worked there for a year and half and my father, Tony, is a starter there."

One of the top three-point shooters in Vulcans' history, Stefanski isn't a slouch on the golf course either.

Stefanski owns the amateur record on the 6,670-yard course with a four-under-par 67 which he's done several times and has had a five-under 30 on the front nine.

Stefanski is optimistic.

"I think I have a real good chance," he said. "I didn't enter last year but played the course the same day and would have finished tied for first.

Stefanski prefers the setup at Brecksville where the 36-hole tourney will be played over two days instead of one like at Cedarbrook.

"The top 30 per cent and ties advance to the second round," he claimed.

Although his basketball playing days are over at Cal, his collegiate athletic career may not.

"I have two semesters left and will try out for the golf team," he said. "I think I'm a better golfer than basketball player."

n Thomas Boltnar, Cal U's all-time leading soccer scorer with 62 goals and 56 assists, doubles as assistant coach and player for the Des Moines Menace, which outlasted the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4-2, on penalty kicks in double overtime in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday in Iowa.

The Menace and Riverhounds traded goals in the first overtime before the Riverhounds missed on their first two of four penalty kicks with the Menace not missing any.

The Menace will host the Charleston Battery June 29 in a second round Cup contest.

n Brandon Burns, the son of 1976 Charleroi High graduate and athlete Bob Burns, had another banner season as a runner at North Kingstown (R.I.) High.

As a sophomore the past season, he was a three-time all-stater in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track. He was also the Rhode Island outdoor 3000-meter state champ. He ran personal best times in the 150 meters (4:07), 3000 meter (9:03) and three mile run (15:28).

Burns also finished fifth in the prestigious Ras nah Eireann in Northern Ireland which had runners from 13 countries including junior champions from South Africa, Portugal, Ireland and Wales.

n And thanks to Mike Andresky of Charleroi who says if your train of thought isn't getting you anywhere, you're probably on the wrong track!

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