Share This Page

Freeport golf overflowing with talent

| Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, 12:17 a.m.
Freeport senior Robbie Miller watches his putt during a match against West Shamokin at Buffalo Golf Course in Buffalo Township on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Bill West | Leader Times
Freeport freshman Mickey Frazetta chips onto the green during a match against West Shamokin at Buffalo Golf Course in Buffalo Township on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Bill West | Leader Times

Freeport's golf team has one of those good problems this season.

A collection of standout freshmen, improved juniors and experienced seniors puts Freeport in position to contend in Section 3-AA. The trick is figuring out which six golfers should fill the lineup sheet.

“I don't think many teams can match our depth,” junior Matt Swartz said. “We have 10 or 11, even 12 players who can play on varsity and shoot a good score.”

With its seniors alone, Freeport can field a fairly competitive lineup. Captains Robbie Miller, Luke Mariotti and Richard VanDruff lead a group that also includes Greg Newman, Ryley Cowan, Steven Vento and Tyler Bonitsky. Miller and VanDruff ranked as the most reliable scorers a year ago, but almost all of the others also showed flashes of productivity that led to stroke totals in the mid to low 40s.

The eldest members understand their spots in the lineup aren't guaranteed, though.

“I've been on the other side of that,” Miller said. “As a freshman, I came into probably one of the best teams in Freeport history. They were six seniors deep — it was probably a lot like our team is now. And I think me and Richard VanDruff finished fourth and fifth at tryouts on a team that (won the section title).

“So, I've seen the other side of the spectrum, and I know it can be a little intimidating as an upperclassman. But it keeps pushing you, so that you know you can't just get in a groove, go out and shoot a 41 or 42 and keep your spot.”

The top candidate to take Miller's No. 1 spot in the lineup? A freshman girl, Audrey Clawson.

Clawson, just two years into her golf career, has averaged fewer than 40 strokes per nine holes through her first two varsity matches. She shot a 38 to finish one behind Miller in the season opener and had a 39 one day later. She also tied Miller for first during team tryouts, capping the three-day stretch with a score of 122.

“It was intimidating at first,” Clawson said. “But then I realized that I could be better than them, even though I'm a girl.”

Mickey Frazetta is the other half of Freeport's dynamic duo of freshmen. He placed in the top five of the team's first two matches as well, shooting 41 and 47.

Sandwiched between the seniors and the upstart freshmen are Swartz and fellow junior starter Cole Hepler. They, too, shoot in the mid to low 40s.

“It's great for them to have friendly competition and really push each other,” coach Joe Sprumont said of the Yellowjackets. “Just like it's challenging for them to come out and play, it's challenging for me to make the prudent decisions (about the lineup) for every match.”

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

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.