ShareThis Page

Derry golf has shot to end 43-year title drought

Paul Schofield
| Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, 8:09 p.m.
Greensburg Central Catholic's Zack Boot watches as Derry's Isaac Butterbaugh reacts after his putt on the 11th green at the WCCA tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Zack Boot watches as Derry's Isaac Butterbaugh reacts after his putt on the 11th green at the WCCA tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Derry's Angelion Capelli tees off during the WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Derry's Angelion Capelli tees off during the WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Derry's Angelo Capelli takes his drop from the near side of the lake on the 10th hole during the WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Derry's Angelo Capelli takes his drop from the near side of the lake on the 10th hole during the WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Derry's Isaac Buterbaugh makes his way up the 11th fairway during the  WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Derry's Isaac Buterbaugh makes his way up the 11th fairway during the WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Derry's Isaac Buterbaugh plays to the 11th green during the WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Derry's Isaac Buterbaugh plays to the 11th green during the WCCA golf tournament Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Latrobe Elks Golf Course, in Latrobe.

It was a historic season for the Derry football team in 2016.

The Trojans had their first undefeated regular season and won a playoff game for the first time in 24 years.

Now the Derry boys golf team is on the verge of ending an even longer streak. The Trojans haven't won a section title since 1974.

That's a 43-year drought.

All Derry needs to do is win two of its final three matches to clinch at least a tie for the Section 2-2A title.

Standing in the Trojans' way is a match Wednesday against once-beaten Greensburg Central Catholic at hilly Mt. Odin Golf Course in Greensburg. They also have home matches with Frazier on Friday and Southmoreland on Monday.

Derry won the first match 231-241 at Latrobe Elks Golf Course. But GCC golfers feel they have an edge on their course.

Trojans coach Jason Pishney said his team played well at Mt. Odin in the past and is looking forward to the challenge.

“The players have come a long way the past couple years,” Pishney said. “They've put in a lot of work, and this has been the year that it came together. They function as a team, they took practices very seriously each time and during the matches they had a game plan that they executed each match.”

Derry dropped a nonsection match to Norwin to open the season and since has rolled off nine consecutive wins.

The Trojans don't have a superstar, just six players who score well in a group.

Senior Isaac Buterbaugh is the No. 1 man, and fellow senior Angelo Copelli is No. 2.

“The beginning of the season started real good,” Buterbaugh said. “We put a lot of work in, and the boys were firing on all cylinders.

“We were nervous early in the season because we knew we had pressure on us because Southmoreland lost a couple kids, and it gave us a better chance to win the section. After the first match, we just kept rolling. We kept winning, and it built our confidence.”

The other four starters are Nick Feliciani, Aiden Bushey, Connor Lenhart and Ryan Bushey.

“We put in work in the summer and went out together to practice a lot,” Copelli said. “We would tell each other if we were doing something bad. We're a tight-knit team, and we help each other.

“This season has been a blast. The past four years, we've been struggling and getting so close to the section title. This year, we have a chance to achieve it.”

Derry qualified for the WPIAL team tournament the past two seasons.

“If we win the section, it would show that a program from a smaller school can win, and it would give us an extra push,” Pishney said. “Golf is a great sport that challenges you mentally as well as physically.”

Buterbaugh said the quick start told the players, ‘the section is ours.”

“I can't describe the feeling if we win the section title,” Buterbaugh said. “All of us have put in so much work over the summer and offseason, and to be able to see all our hard work pay off is amazing, absolutely astonishing.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.