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Norwin boys golf counts season as success

| Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Members of the Norwin boys golf team pose before the 2013 season. On the team were, in front, from left: Walter Riddell, Matthew Bushik, Nick Nguyen, Luke Whalen, David Spehar and Jake Mrvos; and in back, from left: Kory Sandleitner, Noah Stampo, Kevin Zabelsky, Dan Conwell, Seth Repicky, Jake Pozzuto and coach Neil Rushnock.
Members of the Norwin boys golf team pose after winning the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament on Sept. 13, 2013. On the team were, in front, from left: Coach Neil Rushnock, Seth Repicky and Jake Pozzuto; and in back, from left: Dan Conwell, Kevin Zabelsky and Nick Nguyen.

The Norwin boys golf team's 2013 season ended without a playoff appearance, but it wasn't without its successes as well.

The Knights won the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament in September for the second time in three years. Senior Kevin Zabelsky and juniors Seth Repicky and Kory Sandleitner also had strong performances at the WPIAL Section 1-AAA qualifier, advancing to the WPIAL individual semifinals.

“(The players) were solid the whole year through, but they gave it everything they had,” coach Neil Rushnock said. “The WCCA tournament was not totally unexpected, but we didn't play well the Tuesday before. The tournament was on a Friday, and they ended up winning the thing. So they improved this year.”

Playing for their third coach in three seasons, the Knights finished with a 6-6 section record, losing to playoff qualifiers Indiana and Latrobe twice apiece and to Hempfield and Derry once each.

“Every match we were in, we were close,” Rushnock said. “We lost to Latrobe at their place by eight. It was a close match at our place. We lost to Indiana by 11 at their course. So I thought we were in every match. The boys were competitive. To me, it could have gone either way. But I know we had a good season.”

Norwin played much of the season with a starting lineup of seniors Dan Conwell, Nick Nguyen, Jake Pozzuto and Zabelsky and juniors Repicky and Sandleitner.

Rushnock said the team's success was a combined effort, as each of the players had solid performances throughout the season.

Some of the losses, he said, came down to one player having an inconsistent round.

“You get to throw out one (score) out of the six, and usually one of the (scores) we kept was a 46 or 47, which really killed us,” he said. “If the last one we kept would have been a 42, we'd have been in there a lot better in every match. But we always seemed to get to the place where two of the guys shot 46 (or) 47, and we had to keep a high score. And that wasn't anybody in particular. That kind of rotated through everybody.”

Two consistent starters will return for next season in Repicky and Sandleitner, as they look to build off their strong performances at the WPIAL qualifiers.

“That's kind of encouraging,” he said. “And then we have some freshmen coming up that play rather well, so we'll see what happens. We've got a booster program that's established for next year, and I'd like to maybe get a summer league established for the kids and have them play together over the summer. We'll see what happens.”

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

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