Young Gateway boys golf team focusing on individual growth
With just two returning players from last season's squad, the Gateway boys golf team will be working more towards individual improvement as opposed to winning matches in 2014.
“I don't have any goals win loss-wise or section-wise,” coach Jason Tyska said. “I just want my boys to learn the game and improve as the year goes on.
“I'll look at the improvement of each player and look at their baseline scores from the start of the year…hopefully as the year goes on they may have cut an average of between five and 10 shots off of their score,” he added, regarding the team's goals for this season.
After losing key seniors like Bobby Guiliani, Stephen Reber and Ian Kirkpatrick after last season, sophomore Collin McCune and junior Ryan Skladany are the lone holdovers from the 2013 varsity roster.
“We are a very young team with many first time members to the team,” Tyska said. “It's going to be a growing process throughout the year.”
Juniors Andrew Shorr and Ian Olson will be counted upon to fill some of the void left after last season, but the team will ultimately be counting on McCune and Skladany for success this year as the Gators navigate through WPIAL Section 4-AAA.
“Collin's gotten a lot bigger…he's hitting the ball a lot further,” Tyska said of the returning starter. “He's very dedicated and he's worked really hard on his game so I'm expecting big things from him.”
Skladany will miss the season's first couple of weeks while recovering from a broken ankle, but Tyska had high praise for one of the veteran members on his young team.
“He can hit the ball a long way, if he improves his short game a little bit he should be able to score a little bit better,” Tyska said.
While the young team continues to grow early in the season, McCune is hoping the Gators can use those early learning experiences to help improve as the year goes along.
“Since a lot of the kids are shooting higher scores, it's a lot easier to get them down…they're quick fixes,” McCune said. “Mr. Tyska's going to show them what they need to work on and then hopefully they can improve from there.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.