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Penn-Trafford boys golf hoping to compete in section

| Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Penn-Trafford boys golf team stayed competitive last season, finishing with a .500 record in section play.

With two full-time starters and two-part time starters coming back, the Warriors hope to compete for a WPIAL playoff spot in 2014.

Penn-Trafford opened its season Monday afternoon with a 188-205 loss to Hempfield. Despite the early setback, coach Andy Rizzardi said he believed the team could have a strong season.

“I'm confident we'll be competitive,” Rizzardi said. “All the kids that were on the team last year that didn't graduate are back.”

Rizzardi is in his second season as golf coach after previously coaching the bowling teams at Penn-Trafford. He said he feels more comfortable this season compared to 2013.

“Last year, for me, was a learning year kind of thing,” Rizzardi said. “I didn't say too much. I think I'm a little more outspoken and have a little more idea of what direction I want to go in for things. I'm more comfortable with the kids and how much I get involved with them with their swings and things of that nature.”

Returning starters Justin Guzik, a junior, and Trey Brown, a senior, will lead the way for Penn-Trafford this season. Guzik competed at the WPIAL individual semifinals last season, while Brown also started for the entire year.

“(Guzik is) a top-notch golfer,” Rizzardi said. “Trey Brown started last year, and he's pretty consistent. I'm liking the development of a couple of my kids who are juniors this year. A couple of the kids are hitting the ball longer and more consistently and are so far scoring better than they did last year.”

Rizzardi said he saw several of his golfers on the course during the summer and heard many of them played regularly.

“Hearing they were out at the course frequently is good to hear,” he said.

Penn-Trafford will compete in Section 1-AAA with Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Indiana, Latrobe, Norwin and Yough. The Warriors traveled to Greensburg Salem on Tuesday and hosted Yough on Wednesday, with both matches ending past the deadline for this week's edition. They will travel to play Elizabeth Forward in a nonsection match Thursday.

“Last year when we played our section games, we either beat the team both times or lost to them both times,” Rizzardi said. “Indiana, Latrobe and Hempfield were above us. I don't know if we can compete with Indiana and Latrobe for the title or anything, but I would like to see between those three teams that we beat a couple of them at least once.”

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

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