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Latrobe boys golfers ready for next step in WPIAL postseason

| Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 11:49 p.m.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Greater Latrobe's Chad Kissell watches his tee shot on the 13th hole during the WCCA boys golf tournament Friday, September 13, 2013, at Latrobe Elks Golf Club.

After two crucial WPIAL Section 1-AAA wins last week, the Latrobe boys golf team knows it is now guaranteed a berth in the postseason.

With wins coming over section foes Norwin and Hempfield, the Wildcats entered the week tied atop the section standings with Indiana — a team they still have left on their schedule — at 9-1.

“It's nice knowing that no matter what we do we'll be in the playoffs when we go up there (Indiana) because it will be tough to win up there,” Latrobe coach Scott Reaugh said. “They're good and they're good on their course especially.”

The Wildcats relied on two upperclassmen in those recent wins as senior Adam Martin and junior Chad Kissell put together solid performances in two crucial matches.

In the win over Norwin, Martin shot a 2-under par 34 while Kissell fired a 1-under 34 in the match against Hempfield on Friday.

“The last two matches we both shot pretty low nine-hole scores, which is good,” Kissell said. “(Martin) went under par the day before and then yesterday (Friday) I went under par. We needed it.”

Martin and Kissell, along with junior Anna Wears and sophomore Tommy Kisick, compose Latrobe's top four. While the Wildcats boast a strong quartet of golfers, Reaugh is still looking for consistency out of the team's fifth and sixth spots as Jake Biss, Ryan Shaw and Bryce McNeally vie for those positions.

“That's been our problem is consistency in that five, six spot,” Reaugh said. “(Bryce) and Ryan have kind of played in that spot probably the most, but Jake Biss has been playing well lately, so he's been in a few matches.”

“Every single golfer we have is capable of shooting a low score, which is good,” Kissell added. “We only have one senior and that's huge in that even though we're young we can still shoot good scores.”

Individually, all of Latrobe's top four advanced out of the Section 1-AAA qualifying tournament last week. Martin, Kissell and Kisick move on to the WPIAL boys semifinals at Hannastown Golf Club, where the top 12 finishers then move on to the WPIAL finals.

Wears advanced to the girls finals with her performance at the section qualifier, as well.

Wears has more than held her own against some of the top boys talent throughout the WPIAL this season and has been a major factor in Latrobe's success.

“Her game is very solid,” Reaugh said. “She hits it dead straight down the middle just about every time and doesn't make big mistakes.”

“She doesn't miss the fairway,” Kissell added. “I wish I had her driver; she hits every single driver straight.”

Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.

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