Southmoreland golf team hopes to contend for playoff spot
With four experienced seniors, Southmoreland's boys golf team figures to be in the running for a Section 2-AA playoff berth this season.
What is expected to be a tight section battle became even tighter after Yough handed Southmoreland a one-stroke defeat to open the season. Two errant tee shots led to the loss.
“But it was a great learning experience,” Southmoreland first-year coach Gene Spadaro said. “I sat them all down after the match and explained the importance of every single shot. If somebody misses a three-foot putt, it's important. You never know when it's going to come down to one shot to determine the match.”
Joining Southmoreland in Section 2-AA will be Frazier, Geibel, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Mt. Pleasant and Yough.
Spadaro expects the section to be a four-team race.
“Greensburg Central, Mt. Pleasant, Yough and us are literally within five shots of each other,” Spadaro said. “Every shot is going to be critical. Yough coming in and stealing one off us at our home course really hurt. That first section match was definitely a learning experience and definitely an eye-opener. I definitely think it was a blessing that it happened in the very first section match and not at the end of the year.”
At the top of Southmoreland's lineup is senior Brandon Yuhouse, whose game lacks nothing, according to Spadaro.
“He's the most consistent golfer that's probably came through Southmoreland in the past 10 years,” Spadaro said. “He's definitely the leader of the team. He's not missing anything. He can hit long and straight off the tee, and he has a great short game.”
Zac Black will fill the No. 2 spot, with Zac Ripple at No. 3. A fourth senior, Tyler Weltz, is at No. 4.
“Zac Black is literally 1-B for us,” Spadaro said. “He's just like Brandon. He's phenomenal everywhere. Zac Ripple isn't the longest hitter, but he always scores in the low to mid-40s. And if you had to look up consistency in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of Tyler.
“These are the guys we depend on. Most of the time this season, I'll split a couple of seniors up at No. 3 and No. 4 so they can help out with our five and six guys.”
Sophomore Phillip Lockheart, and freshmen Corey Schafer and Jose McCue will compete for the remaining two spots.
“This group of guys is still young,” Spadaro said. “They're still learning a lot about the game of golf. As of right now, they're just inconsistent. And that will come with time.”
Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.