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Shaler's Tanner Grzegorczyk planning to play in WPIAL golf final despite soccer injury

| Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Tanner Grzegorczyk might have been the easiest golfer to recognize at the WPIAL Class AAA championships Wednesday at Nemacolin Country Club.

Anyone who saw a competitor hobbling around likely was looking at the Shaler senior.

After the best week of his athletic career, Grzegorczyk fractured his ankle last Friday in a soccer game against North Allegheny. As of Sunday, despite not having practiced since the injury, Grzegorczyk is planning to play.

“I'm definitely going to go and try,” Grzegorczyk said. “Not sure how it's going to work.”

Results from the WPIAL championships were too late for this edition.

It's easy to see why he would want to continue. Grzegorczyk, who qualified for the PIAA tournament last season, was white hot in both sports the week before his injury.

During the WPIAL semifinals Sept. 25 at Donegal Highlands, Grzegorczyk was 4-over par through eight holes. Then everything started clicking.

Six birdies and an eagle allowed Grzegorczyk to shoot a course-record 31 on the back nine on his way to a total of 69.

“I birdied No. 9, and I turned it around,” Grzegorczyk said. “My putter started working, and everything was going right for me.”

A bogey on No. 17 prevented him from tying Franklin Regional's Palmer Jackson for medalist honors.

Titans coach John Brough was excited to watch the round. It showcased the areas where Grzegorczyk has made progress this year.

“Being able to convert more birdie opportunities,” Brough said. “Last year, he had those opportunities. This year, he's able to take and convert those birdie chances.”

The day after his big round, Grzegorczyk had both goals in the Shaler's 4-2 Section 1-4A loss to Butler.

Balancing soccer and golf has been a juggling act. Typically, he doesn't miss games. Some soccer practices have gone by the wayside during golf matches.

Last season, Gregorczyk left the golf team to focus on soccer. Despite the injury, Grzegorczyk has enjoyed playing both sports.

He's hoping the injury from soccer, which prevented him from playing a practice round at Nemacolin, won't prevent him from another strong performance.

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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