Southmoreland girls golfers seek playoff spot
Third-year Southmoreland girls golf coach Gene Spadaro would like to see his team enter unfamiliar territory this season.
“My goal is to definitely make the playoffs,” Spadaro said. “That's been a goal of ours since a lot of these girls were freshmen.”
Southmoreland will compete in Section 1-AA along with Derry, Elizabeth Forward, Ford City, Kittanning, Mt. Pleasant and St. Joseph.
The top end of Southmoreland's lineup likely will be dominated by a trio of juniors. After golfing from the number two position a year ago, Lindsey Pritts has moved up to the top spot.
“She put so much time into golf in the summer,” Spadaro said. “Her work ethic is probably the best I've ever had. She has probably shaved about eight strokes off her game from last season.”
Nadine Mathews and Valerie Crist will follow Pritts at the second and third positions, respectively.
“From tee to green, Nadine is the best girl on the team,” Spadaro said. “She just has to be more consistent with her putting and chipping. And Valerie's a little inconsistent. If she can improve her consistency, she can definitely move up in the ranks. My top three have been with me since I've started coaching. To see them from where they started, all the time and practice they've put in and how good they've gotten … these girls really understand what needs to be done.”
After his top three golfers, Spadaro said there are several girls competing to round out the starting lineup.
Senior Taylor Conn, junior Madeline Snyder, sophomore Cacee McKnight and freshman Emily Halsted are pushing each other to fill out the rest of the lineup.
“We just need more consistency from everybody,” Spadaro said “We will see some great numbers from one kid at one match, but the next match there will be a 10-15 shot difference. As a program, we need to be consistent in everything we do.”
Southmoreland's home course will be Timber Ridge Golf Club, with the front 9 being a par 36.
The Scotties' next match is Tuesday at Elizabeth Forward.
Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer.