Experienced players return to lineup for Gateway boys golf team

Michael Love
| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

The Gateway varsity boys golf team made an offseason transition from Churchill Valley Country Club to its new home at Murrysville Golf Club.

“Hopefully, we can parlay the new course into some type of an advantage,” Gateway head coach Jason Tyska said. “We'll see how that works out for us.”

Things worked out well for the Gators at Murrysville Golf Club on Monday, as they scored a 209-221 victory over Penn Hills in the season and Section 4-AAA opener.

Returning seniors Bobby Guiliani and Stephen Reber paced the Gateway effort in the nine-hole event.

Guiliani shot a 36, while Reber carded a 37.

Both Guiliani and Reber played tournament golf over the summer, and it helped them improve their games, Tyska said.

The duo both made a run in postseason tournament golf last year.

Guiliani tied for first at the Section 4 qualifier at Meadowink Golf Course. He finished with a 77 on the par-72 course.

Reber was one shot off the pace at 78.

Both competed in the WPIAL semifinal tournament at the Links at Spring Church in Apollo. Guiliani shot an 82 that day, good for 15th and only two shots away from a WPIAL-finals qualifying spot.

Reber finished tied for 20th with a score of 88.

Senior Ian Kirkpatrick and sophomore Ryan Skladany also contributed to the win over Penn Hills on Monday, as both shot scores of 43.

“Ian really has improved from last year. He really worked hard at it this summer,” Tyska said.

“Ryan came back dramatically better from his freshman year. He gained a lot of valuable experience. He's bigger and stronger and can hit the ball a little farther.”

A total of 18 golfers hit the Murrysville course for the first day of tryouts on Aug. 12.

“Tryouts went well,” Tyska said. “The scores were the lowest since I've been the coach. That was a good sign.”

This year's team, Tyska said, is laden with seniors, and out of a large group of freshmen, he kept two — Collin McCune and Jonathan Gable.

“I encouraged (the other freshmen) to keep working hard,” Tyska said. “I told them we have a senior-laden team, and with hard work, they will have a good chance to make the team next year.”

McCune was in the starting lineup Monday, and he shot a 50 in his first varsity match.

“Collin is ready to play,” Tyska said.

Tyska said senior Jack Washington will challenge for a starting spot, while senior newcomer Adam Salandro has shown improvement.

“I feel Adam will improve rather quickly,” Tyska said.

“He lowered his score 20 shots from the first day of tryouts to the last day. He's a raw talent.”

Gateway lost several close section matches last season, and Tyska believes the team can turn those around and have a good campaign.

The Gators were slated to play Woodland Hills at Grandview Golf Club on Wednesday, and the section match was to be contested past the deadline for this week's edition.

Gateway hosts Fox Chapel at Murrysville Golf Club on Monday at 2:30 p.m.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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