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Shady Side Academy boys golf returns experienced lineup

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:03 p.m.

The Shady Side Academy boys golf team will have a new coach this season as Wesley Ballantyne will take over.

The team will remain largely the same, though, because the Indians didn't have any seniors on last year's roster.

“We did not graduate anyone,” Ballantyne said. “We will have three new golfers, though. We'll have two coming up from the JV squad and one freshman.”

SSA will be led by co-captains Patrick Bush and Sean Gramley, both seniors. They will be joined by fellow seniors Antoni Aivaliotis and Colin Certo.

Juniors on the team are Max Hoffman, Stephen McInerney, CJ Keim (who was the low qualifier for the team) and Will McMahon.

“There are many steady golfers on the team, and there is a lot of potential,” Ballantyne said. “But it is going to be up to the boys to work hard in order to reach the lofty goals that the team has set for this year, both individually and as a team.

“The one intangible that this team has for them is a strong sense of continuity as they have been playing with each other for a couple years now, and there is a strong sense of camaraderie that is evident when the boys play. Although golf seems like an individual sport, for our team, the focus is on doing the best we can to fight for birdies and pars and avoid higher scores that might hurt the overall performance of the team.”

The Indians opened their season Aug. 15 by winning the Chapel Cup against Fox Chapel. The Chapel Cup uses a Ryder Cup-style format, and the match went to a playoff. The one-hole sudden death playoff featured Gramley and Jack Katarincic.

“Jack was steady the whole way, and Sean made a huge putt to seal the win,” Ballantyne said. “It was a nice start, but it made us realize that we have some work to do.”

Ballantyne will be assisted by Scott Aiken.

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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