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Mt. Pleasant golfers making major strides

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant's boys golf team has started strong in Section 2-AA.

The Vikings have wins over Jeannette, Geibel and Frazier and have taken Greensburg Central Catholic to a playoff before eventually losing.

First-year coach Lee Smith thinks his team can be better.

“The team's golfing pretty well, but I still don't think we're golfing up to our potential,” Smith said. “We still have room for improvement.”

Senior Alex Kraisinger leads Mt. Pleasant's lineup, followed by sophomore Nathan Irgang..

Smith said the pair works very well together.

“They bond well and are a good fit on the golf course together,” Smith said. “They work good as a team. They help each other on the putting greens, and they give each other advice. Alex is a kid who strives for excellence. He spends a lot of time at the practice range, and he will do anything to improve his game. Nathan has a good enough average where he could be the number one golfer. He has everything in his game.”

Sophomore Ray Hynek is slotted third. According to Smith, Hynek has stepped up his play.

“He's made great strides since last year,” Smith said. “He's matured a little bit. Ray's putting some good swings on the ball and putting in some good scores. He's been kind of a surprise.”

Smith said he is still trying to find a consistent group to fill the bottom of the lineup.

Juniors Steven Thompson and Joe Sherbondy have been golfing at the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

After that, a number of golfers are in competition for the sixth spot.

“Thompson's pretty much straight forward,” Smith said. “He doesn't hit it real far, but he hits a lot of fairways and greens. He's pretty solid in the number four spot. Sherbondy kind of struggled the first week, but he's starting to figure it out, and he's putting in some good scores.”

Juniors Jake Hostetler, Andy Bloom, Greg Holzer and senior Conner Tucholski are all in contention for the sixth spot.

“Really, our number four through number six spots are always wide open,” Smith said. “We see how the week is going and who the opponent is. The order can change on any given day.”

Along with Mt. Pleasant, Frazier, Geibel, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Southmoreland and Yough compete in Section 2-AA.

Smith thinks the race for the two WPIAL playoff berths could be a dogfight.

“If we play to the level I think we can play at, I think we can be section contenders,” Smith said. “For us, I think it's about finding consistency. The kids have to go out and minimize mistakes.”

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