West Shamokin golf team looks to solidify lineup
TribLIVE Sports Videos
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 email@example.com or 724-543-1303 ext. 1321.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Humane Society lifts quarantine on dogs at North Side shelter
- Uniontown teen charged in shooting of friend
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Starkey: Artie Rowell’s incredible odyssey
- WXXP listeners, artists to recall ’80s indie-rock days at reunion show
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Police investigating after cab driver shot in Hazelwood
- Annual Holiday Parade to celebrate all things Pittsburgh
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues