Southmoreland girls golf hoping to move up Section 1-AA
Southmoreland second-year girls golf coach Gene Spadaro is hoping his squad's depth will lead to a WPIAL playoff berth out of Section 1-AA.
“We have a lot of players I can throw into the starting lineup,” Spadaro said. “I have 14 girls on the roster. Overall our numbers are up for both the boys and girls. Last year, we had a total of roughly 18-20 kids out, but this year we have a total between the boys and girls of 34. The numbers just keep climbing.”
Senior Kelsey Shirer will be slotted at No. 1.
“She's probably the best golfer I've had since I've been here,” Spadaro said. “She's very consistent. She will help out all the younger girls. I have a lot of 10th-graders, and they look up to her. She really explains the game to them.”
Sophomore Lindsey Pritts will play at No. 2. According to Spadaro, hard work has paid off for Pritts.
“Last season, she was probably No. 7 or 8 and out of the starting lineup,” Spadaro said. “But she practiced the entire summer and probably shaved 30 shots off her score from last season.”
Spadaro said Pritts is a perfect example of his team's strong work ethic.
“This group might not be the best scoring-wise, but they practice, practice, practice,” Spadaro said.
A pair of sophomores will fill in the next two spots. Nadine Matthews and Valerie Crise were newcomers to golf as freshmen, but, according to Spadaro, hard work has allowed them to crack the starting lineup.
Junior Taylor Conn is Southmoreland's No. 5 player. Conn also plays basketball and has been splitting her summer between the two sports.
“She's inconsistent now on the course because she's going between the two sports,” Spadaro said. “She could easily move up to No. 2 if she put more time into golf.”
Juniors Cassie Bushell and Addie Loucks and sophomore Madelyn Snyder are battling for the six, seven and eight spots.
Joining Southmoreland in Section 1-AA are Derry, Ford City, Kittanning, Mt. Pleasant and St. Joseph.
“Derry is the team to beat,” Spadaro said. “Mt. Pleasant is strong again, and we're going to be in the mix. Kittanning's not too far behind. We have to win all our home meets. We finished in third place last season, and we're hoping to make the jump up into the top two spots.”
Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer .