Penn-Trafford girls golf claims second straight WPIAL championship
One WPIAL championship was nice for the Penn-Trafford girls golf team.
Two is even better.
The Warriors captured their second straight WPIAL Class AAA title last week at Cedarbrook Golf Club, with their cumulative score of 344 beating second-place North Allegheny by four strokes.
“It's a really good feeling, especially for the seniors, that we were able to do it again,” senior Rachael Huber said. “It's such a big accomplishment, and we're just really proud of each other and how we worked well together to do it again.”
While this marks Penn-Trafford's second straight title, this year's team is very different than the one that won the championship last season. Three starters graduated from that team, and Huber, junior Elisabeth Papa and freshman Amanda Conner stepped into the lineup in their place.
“It was our second one in a row, but for this team, it was our first,” coach Ed Herbst said. “It was just as special as last year.”
Unlike last year's WPIAL championship, which Penn-Trafford won by 18 strokes over North Allegheny, this one came down to the wire. Herbst said he was confident in his team's chances of winning it.
“We honestly had no idea how close it was until we all came in and were watching them write down the scores,” Huber said. “It was just an unforgettable moment being with the team and knowing we actually did it.”
While three of the starters on this team were new, seniors Royse Bachtel and Casey Doran won their second straight WPIAL championship as starters. Bachtel and Doran started all four seasons for Penn-Trafford and didn't drop a section match during that span.
“Especially for Casey and Royse, two-time WPIAL champions, that doesn't happen very often,” Herbst said. “In the history of Penn-Trafford, we're the first to do that. Those two have a place in history at Penn-Trafford.”
Herbst praised the hard work of Huber, Papa and Conner for stepping into the lineup and helping lead the Warriors to their fifth straight section title and the fourth in a row with an undefeated record. Conner led Penn-Trafford at the WPIAL Championships, shooting a team-low 79.
“I feel like a lot of people never really thought that we could do it again,” Huber said. “(It's nice) knowing that through our hard work all season and working together with one another, we pulled it off and we're still successful.”
Penn-Trafford will now turn its attention to the PIAA Class AAA Championships, scheduled for next week at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
The Warriors placed second at the PIAA tournament last year, and Herbst said the time until the championships begin will be spent on preparation.
“This is icing on the cake,” Herbst said of the PIAA tournament. “This is a reward for all their hard work, from August until now. They had the opportunity to be the champions last year. Once the season started, we knew we were the defending champions.
“These kids just refused to lose. They didn't want to give it up, and you've got to love them for that.”