Upper St. Clair boys, Central Valley girls win PIAA golf titles
YORK — When the Upper St. Clair boys golf team failed to make the WPIAL championship last year after winning in 2011, coach Todd Flynn called the team together and talked about what it would take to get back on top in 2013.
The Panthers capped off the 2013 season by not only winning the WPIAL title, but also running away with their first PIAA Class AAA team title Wednesday at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.
Upper St. Clair, which had four golfers post scores in the 70s, finished with a 302. Methacton was second with a 320.
Senior Thomas Steve, who finished 10th in the individual tournament Tuesday, shot an even-par 71 to lead the Panthers. PIAA champion Grant Engel shot 75, Corey Wilding a 77 and Patrick McDonnell a 79.
“This was a four-step process,” Flynn said. “We wanted to win sections, the WPIAL, regional and PIAA. Grant winning was Step 3 1⁄2. They had the will to win, the dedication and determination.”
Steve said the team knew what it took to win after finishing second by two shots in 2011.
“We knew we had the capabilities if everyone played well,” Steve said. “We played safe, and I don't think anyone had any big numbers. That's what we stressed all week.
“I hit the ball well, probably should have been 2- or 3-under. I missed a hole-in-one by an inch on No. 8. I made a lot of putts.”
Central Valley senior Macky Fouse succeeded in her goal, returning home with two PIAA girls championships.
Fouse, the Class AA individual champion, and Maddy McDanel, who placed third in the state individual tournament, each shot a 79 to lead Central Valley to its second consecutive PIAA team title. Central Valley finished at 344, 43 shots better than Villa Maria from Erie.
Senior Marissa Sudar (90) and freshman Alex Bozich (96) were the other Warriors to score.
“This was nice, but the first title was better,” Fouse said. “The school surprised us with a parade when we returned.”
Sudar agreed last year's title was better because it was brand new to them.
“We're so close, and we work so hard,” Sudar said. “We get along, and we did it together.”
Central Valley coach Larry Milosh said he told the team to enjoy the moment because you never know what will happen next year.
“We have five of our top seven returning, so we could be back next year,” Milosh said. “Not too many teams can say they've won back-to-back championships.”
Penn-Trafford coach Ed Herbst said he knew his team had a shot at making it back to the PIAA championship, and the Warriors returned home with a second consecutive second-place trophy.
Mount St. Joseph won the Class AAA girls title with a 326 score. Penn-Trafford followed at 370, edging Central Dauphin by a shot.
Royce Bachtel led the Penn-Trafford with an 88. Amanda Conner followed with a 92, Casey Doran a 93 and Rachael Huber a 97.
“This meant a lot,” Bachtel said. “We proved to ourselves we could do it. We were confident we could do it.”
Sewickley Academy ended up in third place in the Class AA boys tournament, with a 333 total behind Holy Redeemer and Wyomissing, each finishing with a 327. Holy Redeemer won in a playoff.
“This was a good experience for the players,” Sewickley Academy coach Win Palmer said. “Class AA was highly competitive.”