Butler golf teams face challenges
Butler's boys and girls golf teams keep building for the future.
Placed in two of the WPIAL Class AAA's most difficult sections, the Golden Tornado squads hope to keep contending this season.
On the boys side, Butler is in Section 3 with WPIAL powers North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley, which are among the district's top teams.
“We have our work cut out for us. There are a lot of good teams in our section,” Butler coach Travis Shingleton said.
The Golden Tornado opened section play with a 233-236 win over North Hills.
“A lot of our guys did not play very well, but Shannopin Country Club is a challenging course,” Shingleton said. “A lot of our guys have the potential to play extremely well.”
Zach Folk and Gabe Baroffio are the team's lone seniors.
“Gabe has been playing really well,” Shingleton said. “Zach has been consistent. Both have potential. Last year, they were in our top six, too.”
Sophomore Nic Leone is the other top scorer back from last year. He advanced to the WPIAL semifinals when he carded an 80 at the Section 3 match at Hiland Golf Course.
“He is very good, and he was in our top six last year as a freshman,” Shingleton said. “He is consistently a couple over par.”
Juniors Tyler Knass, Kaden Rock and Derek Burk moved up to varsity this season. Sophomores Brock Hinton and Nick Huff are competing as well.
“Varsity golf is a different beast. You're playing country clubs with some long holes and lightning greens,” Shingleton said. “There is good team camaraderie and no egos. I can't say enough about their work ethic. They do what they are told. I have faith they'll do well.”
On the girls side, Butler is in Section 1 with Central Valley, which moved up to Class AAA after winning the past four WPIAL and past two PIAA Class AA titles. The Warriors handed the Golden Tornado a 147-182 defeat this year.
“Central Valley is a tremendous team. They are shooting state championship scores right now,” Butler coach Sarah Zediker said. “Other than that, I think we can compete with anyone in the section. We will hold our own.”
Senior Abby Dumbaugh, sophomore Liz Rakers and freshman Hannah Folk are among the team's low scorers.
“Those three have been very consistent so far. They're right near each other,” Zediker said.
Senior Deidra Anthony, sophomore Caroline Piccola and freshman Maddy Temple are next in line.
“If we can get one of those three in the 40s, I'd be very confident,” Zediker said. “They are not there yet, but they're all close together, too.”
Zediker believes the team will continue to improve.
“The girls are an awesome team. They played together all summer,” she said. “They are working really hard to compete with other teams, and are working hard to compete with each other, too.”
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.