TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

West Shamokin golf team looks to solidify lineup

- West Shamokin senior Anthony Rocco chips over a bunker during a match against Freeport on Friday at Buffalo Golf Course.
West Shamokin senior Anthony Rocco chips over a bunker during a match against Freeport on Friday at Buffalo Golf Course.
- West Shamokin senior Dylan Kube watches his putt during a match against Freeport on Friday at Buffalo Golf Course.
West Shamokin senior Dylan Kube watches his putt during a match against Freeport on Friday at Buffalo Golf Course.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, 1:26 a.m.
 

A season ago, West Shamokin's golf team enjoyed the benefits of a deep, talented lineup while its Section 1-AA foes waited for inexperienced starters to accumulate varsity time and course wisdom.

This year, it's the Wolves who are looking for ways to secure their top six while others in the section boast loaded lineups.

West Shamokin, a year removed from a section title and a 17-1 overall record, will try to sustain team success that stretches to 2006, when the Wolves made their first of five Class AA playoff appearances in six years. Four golfers with substantial varsity experience return, and much of West Shamokin's hopes rest in them.

“We definitely need to be serious about our matches,” said senior Anthony Rocco, the team's top golfer in 2011. “Last year, we were pretty solid, and other teams weren't. But this year, it's going to be a little different. It's going to be a fight the whole way.”

Rocco has turned in scores that are just a few strokes over par with regularity for most of his high school career. His power off the tee is almost unparalleled in the section. But Rocco knows he must deliver complete performances — solid drives and a sound short game — in every match this season.

“Everything under 40,” he said. “I've got to stay near par, at least. … I just need to keep it in the short grass.”

When Dylan Kube, Dylan Crise and Cory Egley scored well a season ago, they further enhanced a potent West Shamokin lineup.

Egley, a junior, and Kube, a senior, finished strong in 2011, as both scored in West Shamokin's top three at the WPIAL team semifinals at Beaver Valley Country Club — Egley shot an 18-hole score of 88, second only to Rocco, while Kube finished with a 90.

Crise, a senior, though not involved with the team playoffs, scored in the top five on a few occasions last season.

But their roles have shifted from capable alternates to critical contributors.

“There's definitely more pressure on (us),” Kube said. “I don't know if it makes me any better or worse. I play about the same, either way.”

Bettering West Shamokin's first-time starters is a priority for the four golfers. They understand how many matches come down to the fifth scorer.

“We're definitely trying to help out with as much as you can, really anything you see on the course,” Kube said.

Options for the final two spots in the starting lineup include sophomore Austin Porter, junior Tyler Peters, seniors Zach Zahorchak and Emil Ihnat and freshmen Andrew Johnston and Ryan Bradigan-Burnett — Zahorchak and Ihnat are former Elderton starters.

The man in charge of creating the lineup, first-year coach Tom McClaine, is pleased with the progress he has witnessed during the offseason and first week of official practice.

“It's a joy whenever you're watching kids hit the ball, even on the range or practicing chipping and putting on the putting green, and they put a tip into practice and you see improvement,” McClaine said. “That's the joy or the benefit that the coach gets.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wwest@tribweb.com or 724-543-1303 ext. 1321.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
  2. Experts say Pennsylvania is a breeding ground for corruption
  3. Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
  4. 4 ejections, benches-clearing scrum mark Pirates’ win over Reds
  5. Freeport’s Morrison strong-arms way to title
  6. Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
  7. Tax fight brews among Southwest Greensburg business owners, landlords
  8. Cyclist injured in hit and run in East Liberty, police say
  9. Greensburg native runs unique catering service in California
  10. Work planned for Route 711 in Ligonier
  11. Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary