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Penn-Trafford boys golf team uses season as learning experience

| Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The 2013 regular season turned into a learning experience for the Penn-Trafford boys golf team, and for its first-year coach.

Penn-Trafford finished the season earlier this month with a 6-8 overall record, including 4-8 in section play.

“Overall, things went well,” Penn-Trafford coach Andy Rizzardi said. “I learned a lot. The kids taught me a lot. We did our best. ... Of course you're hoping for something a little more than that, but the kids did well. They gave their best effort.”

Rizzardi said he made some lineup changes throughout the year to give some members of the squad playing time.

“The competition between the kids themselves was very close,” he said. “Other than a couple kids who had an average that was a little better, I had maybe four or five kids around the same average.”

Penn-Trafford's roster included a mix of experience and inexperience, as the team had four seniors, one junior, four sophomores and three freshmen on the roster.

Rizzardi said he penciled three sophomores into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season, but that changed as the year went on.

“I'm hoping with a year of experience, the younger kids will be even better next year,” Rizzardi said.

The Warriors improved as the year went on, Rizzardi said, with more consistent play and lower scores later in the year.

“The kids seemed to come together,” Rizzardi said. “You could see as the year went on, they got more comfortable with each other (and) helped each other out. ... We all got better as the year went on.”

Sophomore Justin Guzik became Penn-Trafford's most consistent player as the year went on. He earned a spot in the WPIAL individual semifinals after shooting 1 under par at the sectional qualifier last month.

With the team now in the offseason, Rizzardi said he expected some of the younger players to improve by practicing during their off months.

“I like our chances as things go on,” he said.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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