Steve, Bruce advance
Jack Steve of Upper St. Clair and Hunter Bruce of Peters Township took the first step toward capturing a state title in boys’ golf when the pair qualified for the PIAA Class AAA tournament.
By virtue of their finishes in the WPIAL championships, Steve and Bruce begin their quest Oct. 16 during the Western Regional to be held at Tom’s Run Golf Course.
During the WPIAL finals held Oct. 3 at the Nemacolin Country Club, Steve finished fourth overall. Though he led through 12 holes, he dropped off and carded a 3-over-par 73.
“I was having trouble with my 6-iron,” explained Steve, a senior who qualified for regionals for the first time in his career. “If I could have hit that better, I would have played better.”
Bruce, likewise, could have played better. The 2015 WPIAL champion scored 78. Though he finished tied for 14th place, he gained the final qualifying spot for the regional when his opponent failed to show up in time for the one-hole playoff.
“My back nine was good but I made a stupid double (bogey) on 12,” Bruce said. “My last four holes really hurt me. I need to work on my putting a little more.”
Moon Area’s Chris Sabol edged Latrobe’s Brady Pevarnik for the WPIAL title. After both shot 1-under-par 70s through 18 holes, Sabol grabbed the title with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
The PIAA team and individual championships are set for Oct. 23-25 at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center in York.
In the WPIAL girls’ championships, USC’s Mary Groninger finished tied for 10th place. She shot an 86 at Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley. She did not qualify for the PIAA Western Regional. North Allegheny’s Caroline Wrigley retained her title, firing a 5-under-par 67 to win the championship.
Indians finish 17-1
Peters Township prepped for the WPIAL team championships by wrapping up the dual match season with a 201-231 victory against Baldwin. With the win, the Indians finished 17-1 overall. They won the Section 7-AAA title with a perfect 10-0 record.
Parker Johnson earned medalist honors against the Highlanders. He first a 38 over the front nine at the South Hills Country Club. Connor Gielarowski followed with a 3-over-par 39. Hunter Bruce (41), Michael Bell (41), Matt Petrisin (42) and Geoffrey Poon (43) completed PT’s scoring.
While “excited” about having achieved their goal of making the playoffs, the Indians, say head coach David Kuhn, have their sights set on competing in the WPIAL team championships set for 10 a.m. Oct. 12 at Cedar Brook Golf Club in Belle Vernon. Last fall, despite breaking a record, Peters Township finished third in the team standings behind champion Central Catholic and runner-up Fox Chapel.
The Indians’ playoff strategy is simple.
“We just need to worry about what we can control and that is our game plan, preparation, and execution,” Kuhn said. “There are all good teams in the playoffs so we just need to focus on what we need to do and hope that result gets us to where we want to be.”
Despite their success so far this season, the Indians have some work to do before they get to where they want to be.
“Anyone that knows me knows that I always think there is room for improvement,” Kuhn said. “We have been working on cleaning up some areas but I think we are making progress and have the competitive experience necessary. We have had a lot of success this season and my hope is that the team draws on those experiences to help them perform the best that they can.”