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Consistency crucial for Southmoreland golf team

| Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, 9:45 p.m.

Southmoreland boys golf coach Gene Spadaro hopes the future is now.

Spadaro's lineup is led by a pair of seniors. But for the Scotties to be successful, a pair of freshmen may have to make immediate contributions.

Senior Zach Stefan is slotted in the first position, the same as last year. Stefan is a three-year letterman.

“Zach is Mr. Consistency,” Spadaro said. “From fairway to green he is consistent. You know he will shoot anywhere from a 42 to 46 every single time.”

Another senior, Phil Lockhart, will follow Stefan in the second position.

“He's put the time in,” Spadaro said. “He comes out early to practice and stays late. Phil's a little longer off the tee than Zach. Like Zach, Phil brings leadership to our lineup.”

Josh Redding is one of Southmoreland's highly touted freshmen, and he is penciled in the third slot. Before long, that could change.

“I'm looking for him within half of the season to really step it up and be pushing for the number one spot,” Spadaro said. “Josh is the best freshman I've ever coached.

“Every part of his game is solid.He just needs to be more consistent. That will come with time. Once he figures that stuff out, he's going to be pretty interesting to watch.”

Junior Corey Schaffer was a top-six golfer a year ago and will start this season at No. 4. Like Redding, Spadaro is looking for Schaffer to play with more consistency.

After the fourth spot, there is a log jam. Senior Brock Grabiak, junior Josh McCue, sophomore Noah Howes and freshman Ryan Lemmon will compete for the final two spots.

According to Spadaro, Lemmon could wind up in one of the top six spots sooner rather than later.

“This is the first year I've coached that I could possibly have two freshmen in the top six,” Spadaro said. “The future is looking promising. All of these guys are battling. And we have a couple more kids on the borderline who are all within two or three shots of each other.”

Southmoreland competes in Section 2-AA along with Derry, Frazier, Geibel, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette and Mt. Pleasant.

The section's top two teams will advance to the playoffs.

“Mt. Pleasant is definitely the team to beat,” Spadaro said. “They're the returning section champs, and I don't think they lost too much.

“Greensburg Central is always a contender, I think they have their top couple players back. Everybody is looking strong. We're figuring to be in the middle of the pack.

“Hopefully, we can pull a couple upsets and contend for a playoff spot. The kids have been working hard.

“They have come to practice and put the time in, and we're hoping it is going to pay off in the end.”

Southmoreland opens section play at home against Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday.

Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer.

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