Latrobe pair aim for WPIAL golf honors
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Will Wears wears out a golf ball. Ben Biss strikes it precisely.
Together, they may lead Latrobe to WPIAL glory.
The high school golf season began last week, and Wears and Biss are poised to help the Wildcats strike. They are the Nos. 1 and 2 players on a squad that should challenge for the Section 1-AAA championship and could be in the running for more.
“I think our section is pretty tough,” coach Scott Reaugh said. “Someone from our section has made the WPIAL finals each year that I've coached. Some years, it's two teams. But we have quite a few players back. I almost hate to say it, but we hope to have a chance for the section title.”
Wears and Biss are foremost among the returnees and on the list of the WPIAL's finest players. The field includes Peters Township seniors Tommy Nettles and Trent McPherson; Belle Vernon senior Kirby Manown; and juniors Matt Barto of Leechburg and Matt Holuta of Indiana, as well as Baldwin sophomore Zack Taylor, who won the 2011 WPIAL title.
The Latrobe seniors are a contrast in styles. Wears is 6-foot-5 and strikes the ball accordingly; Biss seems to use a laser instead of clubs.
“Will is a strong kid who hits it a mile,” said Reaugh, whose Wildcats were section runners-up and WPIAL semifinalists last year. “He has all the tools and understands the swing very well. Ben is not quite as long but still hits it a ways. Without a doubt, he's one of most consistent players I've coached. He shot 70 the other day — 2-under-par — and he had two birdies and 16 pars.”
Both did well at the WPIAL Division I (now Class AAA) individual championships last year, Wears tying for 10th and Biss tying for 16th. Each qualified for the PIAA tournament, where they came in 27th and 48th.
To contend as a team, however, the Wildcats will need strong play from starters 3 through 6 — and beyond. They could get it; this is a talented bunch that, despite the presence of four seniors, played a lot last year.
Sophomore Chad Kissell qualified for the WPIAL individual semifinals as a freshman. He also is a budding standout in the family's signature sport: tennis. Kissell was Latrobe's No. 1 singles player last spring, upholding a tradition established by three older sisters who sparkled for the Wildcats and played at Division I colleges.
Seniors Lance Metsger, Matt Jodis and Ben Havrilla and junior Adam Martin provide savvy, depth and quality golf. Five freshmen fill out the 12-player roster: Tom Kisick, Bryce McNealy, Ryan Shaw, Charlie Biss (Ben's brother) and Brandon Gustaffson.
The Wildcats will host the Gary Garrison Tournament on Monday at Latrobe Country Club, an event that includes Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Erie Cathedral Prep. They open section play Tuesday against Penn-Trafford.
Rick Shrum is a freelance writer.
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.
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld
- Reports: Steelers trade for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Aliquippa RB Bronaugh to miss season after cancer diagnosis
- Prisoner mistakenly released from Allegheny County Jail to fight extradition
- Biden to visit Pittsburgh on Labor Day
- Animal welfare groups see opportunities in dialogue about Vick signing
- Pastor who advocated against removal of Ten Commandments monument dies at Connellsville hospital
- Steelworkers scoff at ATI earnings claim
- No certainty for Pirates’ call-up veterans
- New Kensington police seek shooting suspect
- LaBar: Sting making history fighting for WWE title