Gateway concludes season in winning fashion, defeats Plum
The Gateway boys golfers capped their 2012 season with a victory over Plum on Sept. 28 on the Churchill Valley Country Club course, and they did it in style.
The Gators shot their best team score of the season and downed the Mustangs, 204-216.
“I was very pleased with their performance,” Gators head coach Jason Tyska said.
“That was their lowest score of the year. It was nice to get a total team effort. Some of the guys came through with their lowest scores of the year that day. They kind of wondered why they weren't able to do that in matches earlier in the year.”
Gateway started the season 2-1 in Section 4-AAA and was 3-1 overall.
However, a six-match losing streak hurt its chances for a winning record in the section.
The Gators beat Penn Hills, 214-236, on Sept. 11 but then suffered three frustrating losses to Woodland Hills, Kiski Area and Franklin Regional by a combined eight strokes.
But they shook off those close losses and beat Plum to finish 4-8 in the section.
Gateway's two seniors — Anthony Bauccio and Ryan O'Donnell — golfed against the Mustangs in their final varsity matches, and, Tyska said, both fared well.
Bauccio carded a 41, while O'Donnell shot a 47.
“They all wanted to send Anthony and Ryan off with a victory,” Tyska said.
“Ryan's score didn't count (toward the team score), but he played well. Anthony shot his lowest score as a member of the golf team in his last match.”
Junior Stephen Reber led the team with a 40, while fellow juniors Bobby Guiliani and Corey Dunlap and sophomore Chris Kranick tallied rounds of 41.
“It's not unusual to see improvement from everybody by the end of the year because they are playing so many matches, practicing so frequently and getting that constant contact,” Tyska said.
“They don't get that as much in the spring and summer.”
Tyska said he hopes the returning golfers will get together and play more in the offseason so they will be more prepared once the season arrives.
“Sometimes, players show up for tryouts, and they played only twice all summer,” he said. “It's almost like starting from scratch. By the time they are in top form, the season's over.”
Tyska said with the season so compacted, it's hard to get instructional work in during the season.
He said the possibility of more tri-matches would open more practice days to work with the players.
The immediate future of the section, Tyska said, is bright with all of Gateway's talent returning, as well as younger players coming back from teams such as Plum, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional and Kiski Area.
“We should have a pretty competitive section next year,” Tyska said.
All but one of the eight players who qualified for the WPIAL semifinals at the Section 4 qualifier Sept. 19 at Meadowink Golf Course in Murrysville were underclassmen.
That includes Guiliani and Reber.
Fox Chapel had three juniors — Charlie Friend, Jorden Alfery and Patrick Sheerer — advance from the section qualifier.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.