Jeannette grad Paulone takes to the links at Waynesburg
Most sports fans in the Jeannette area know Thomas Paulone, the football player. Many also remember his days playing basketball and baseball for Jeannette High School.
But not many area fans are familiar with Thomas Paulone, the golfer.
These days, Paulone — a junior at Waynesburg University — makes headlines for the Yellow Jackets' football team in the fall, but he's also a member of the school's golf team during the spring.
“I'm definitely ‘married to football.' That's my primary sport. It's the sport I'm thinking about constantly, and the one I love more, but golf is a good secondary sport,” said Paulone. “I enjoy golf a lot, and I think the game also helps me with football, the mental aspect of it.”
As for the correlation between golf and football, Paulone explained that “in football, we always say, play for the next snap. Even if you make a good play, or a bad play like you throw an interception or fumble, you've got to play that next snap. The same in golf. If you par a hole, you still have 17 more holes to go.”
Paulone began playing golf at the age of 7, then really started taking to the sport when he began working as a caddy at West Lawn Country Club as a teenager, a job he still holds today. He played the sport recreationally during his freshman year at Waynesburg then went out for the university team for the first time as a sophomore last year.
Paulone and Waynesburg just wrapped up the season by competing in the McBride-Behringer–Allen Tournament at Grove City Country Club on April 29.
Paulone finished 27th at the event with score of 94. A week earlier, he and the Yellow Jackets competed in the Division III Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) championship tournament at Cedarbrook Golf Club in Belle Vernon where Paulone tied with teammate Chase Foglia for 35th, shooting a 190 over the two-day event.
His best match of the season game against Thiel on April 20 when he shot a 90. While a solid round, it didn't measure up to the 84 and 85 rounds he shot last summer. Always the competitor, Paulone wanted more this season.
“From a golf standpoint, the season went OK. It was an average year,” said Paulone. “I definitely would have liked to be more productive on the course.”
In fact, Paulone is confident he can break 80. And now that school is wrapped up for the year, Paulone will have time to work on that. He plans to return to his caddying job and, of course, hitting the links himself some as well . . . at least until football camp starts.
“I'd like to get out twice per week,” he said.
Cortazzo wraps up season at Gannon
The up-and-down season for the Gannon University softball team — led by Jeannette High School graduate Kirstie Cortazzo — came down to the double-elimination Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament last weekend in Quakertown, Pa.
The Lady Knights stumbled in game one, falling to Bloomsburg 7-1 on May 1, putting them in a “must win” position to keep their season alive. They immediately responded by beating Lock Haven 7-3 later that day. Cortazzo, a junior second baseman, was the key player in that win, clubbing a two-run home run.
On May 2, Gannon exploded in downing Mercyhurst 14-2. Cortazzo had an RBI single in that win. Later that day, the Lady Knights continued their battle before giving up three runs in the final inning to fall to California 4-1, ending the Gannon season.
Overall, Gannon went 24-13 overall and 7-9 in PSAC play in 2013. Cortazzo was an offensive force for the team, finishing fourth in batting average (.342), slugging percentage (.509) and on-base percentage (.400). She also had four home runs and 29 RBIs.
Brian Knavish is a freelance writer.