Ringgold golf program saved again
For the second time in two years, the Ringgold golf team has been saved.
Board President Mariann Bulko said the Ringgold School Board is expected to vote to reinstate the golf team for the upcoming school year.
“This year, though, the team will be co-ed,” Bulko said. “We do have a few girls that have shown interest in playing on the team. Hopefully, the girls will remain interested and in 2014 we'll be able to offer a girls' team and a boys' team.”
Bulko cited financial constraints as the reason the team was up for elimination last year.
According to Ringgold Athletic Director Ron McMichael, the district spent approximately $12,000 on golf last year and had a roster of nine boys. Cedarbrook Golf Course in Rostraver Township, the team's home course, waived charges for greens fees in an effort to offset costs for the team.
Bulko said she doesn't expect that to be the case this year.
“I believe the budget called for $12,500 for golf next year,” Bulko said. “That's a lot of money to be spending on nine players. We were able to make some moves within the athletic department budget to field the team.”
McMichael is hopeful that in 2014 the district will be able to field both a boys' team and a girls' team.
“The minimum we need is five that golf with the top four scores counting,” McMichael said. “Truthfully, we'd like to have a roster for both teams of eight to 10 golfers ... as many as possible.”
This upcoming season, one of the girls on the co-ed team's roster will automatically qualify for the WPIAL qualifying tournament.
“When it comes to having a full girls' team, we wouldn't be placed in a section right away,” McMichael said of the WPIAL's process for adding new teams. “We'll play WPIAL teams, but we won't be placed in a section for a year so they can see that we are able to maintain our team and interest.”
Bulko said she's put out a call for local golfers to assist the program in offsetting costs.
“I know there are a lot of golfers around the Valley with old golf equipment laying around,” Bulko said. “If they would like to donate it to Ringgold, that would be great ... even if it's a bucket of golf balls. What do you do about the kids that want to play but can't afford the equipment? That's why I'm asking to have older items donated, something that underprivileged kids that would like to play the sport could use.”
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.