Frazier golf team seeks to improve in tough section
Judging by the results of 2013, the Frazier golf team easily could go from outside of the playoffs to the Section 2-AA title.
“(Last year) we missed the playoffs by one stroke and the section championship by five strokes,” Frazier coach Larry Mikesell said. “The section is very balanced. Anyone can win at home. This should be a fun year with competitive spirit.”
In addition to Frazier, Section 2-AA will consist of Derry, Geibel, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Mt. Pleasant and Southmoreland.
With the section being so tight, the team that can make even minor improvements could benefit the most.
For the Commodores, much of their success will hinge on the play of six returning lettermen.
Seniors Gregg Masneri and Josh Miller as well as juniors Annika Erdely, Emily Marshall, Blair Elliott and Mark Dillon are steady golfers who generally put up good scores.
Masneri (sixth), Miller (eighth) and Erdely (10th) started strong as each earned all-county honors by finishing in the top 10 at the Fayette County Coaches Association Tournament at Duck Hollow Golf Club on Friday.
Mikesell plans to slot his six lettermen into the top six spots in the lineup. They have experience and are determined to lead the team.
“These kids want to be here,” Mikesell said. “They are responsible, and they know what competition is all about.”
Junior Zach Rebottini and sophomores Chad Koltiska and Austin Miller round out the roster and provide some added depth.
One of the things that Mikesell is most proud of when it comes to this team is that they are students first and athletes second.
“It's nice to have a group like this,” Mikesell said. “Frazier is an educational institution that happens to have a golf team, and I think they are all high-honor students.”
As for the season ahead, Mikesell, who is in his 29th season as the team's coach, anticipates a lot of tight matches.
“I expect us to be very competitive,” Mikesell said. “The section can go any direction, which is what makes it fun.”
Josh Miller believes putting might be what gives Frazier a big edge this season.
“Mr. Mikesell stresses the short game, and that's what could make or break us,” he said. “I think that is our strong suit.”
Mikesell said the program has been able to develop through the years thanks to summer programs held by Jeff Miller at Linden Hall, the team's home course. Mikesell also lauded the support the program receives from Linden Hall.
“Linden Hall is in the best shape it's ever been in,” Mikesell said. “It's in tremendous condition, and they treat us like gold.”
Frazier's next match will be Thursday at Greensburg Central Catholic.
Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.