A-K Valley athletes of the week: Deer Lakes’ Anna Yourish, Freeport’s Stephen Evans

Saturday, September 24, 2022 | 6:43 PM

Anna Yourish

Class: Senior

School: Deer Lakes

Sport: Golf

Report card: Yourish made three birdies and shot 84 on Wednesday to finish tied for third at the Section 1-2A qualifier at Cedarbrook Golf Course. She advanced to the WPIAL tournament first round, which is set for Monday at Youghiogheny Country Club. She finished 14th at WPIALs last season.

How did you play at the section qualifier Wednesday?

I was really satisfied with it. I was happy. Going into it, I talked with my mom and family saying I wanted to be top five and at the top of the pack. I know it could’ve been the last time I played in the WPIAL individual. Things happen in golf where you can play really bad, one of those days. I wasn’t very nervous. It was a calm round of golf. I was really happy with the way I played. I definitely wish I could have gone lower, but everyone wishes that in golf.

What are your goals for the WPIAL tournament Monday?

I think I’m going into it with the same mentality. I want to be at the top of the pack. I want to put down a good score. There’s only 17 of us. I want to be at the top. It’s a tough course. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

What did you think of Youghiogheny Country Club when you practiced there Friday?

It’s a tough course, very hilly. It’s longer than what I typically play. That’s definitely a new challenge brought into it. I think, overall, I’m definitely ready for it and excited to take it on Monday.

Has last year’s experience at the section and WPIAL tournaments helped?

I think it’s honestly been very beneficial. It’s taught me how to calm my nerves and cope in different ways. You are going against all different girls at all different skill levels who can put down these scores to push you. I think that overall it’s just taught me to just be more calm going into these things and be prepared for what is to come out of it.

How did you get started with golf?

My neighbors (Ron and Christy McCloskey) got me into it. No one in my family golfs. I started doing classes at First Tee of Pittsburgh. I’ve done that my whole life. The coaches have taught me the skills, and I’ve adapted them as I’ve gone along. May parents have been a huge support to me. That’s fueled me a lot.

What is the best part of your game?

I personally love putting. I always have. We have a putting green in our backyard. My dad and I always do putting competitions. It’s pushed me to be competitive and want to beat him. I made a couple crucial birdie putts in my last round at WPIAL qualifiers to help my score. That’s definitely where my game is above the rest.

Are you involved in any other activities at Deer Lakes?

I’m in Spanish National Honor Society and National Honor Society. I’m also part of the Best Buddies program for kids with special needs. We do a lot of activities through that. I attend A.W. Beatty. I go for cosmetology. I’m in National Technical Honor Society and Skills USA.

Have you made plans for next year?

I have a job right now. I’m not going the college path. I’m going to start working right away at Loud Rose Hair Studio. It’s just me and my boss. I absolutely love it. I’m gonna get my cosmetology license and start working.

What is something people might not know about you?

I love to fish.

Stephen Evans

Class: Sophomore

School: Freeport

Sport: Golf

Report card: Evans shot 79 to finish second at the Section 1-2A golf qualifier last Monday at Buffalo Golf Course. He advanced to the WPIAL tournament first round Monday at Hannastown Golf Club. He also shot 39 on Thursday in Freeport’s 206-231 victory over Burrell that helped the Yellowjackets (16-1, 14-0) clinch their first section title since 2017.

How did it feel for the team to win the section title?

It felt really good, especially because last year we were in a tougher section and faced a lot harder competition. This year, I think we came a long way. It’s a big boost for all of us. We haven’t won a section since 2017, so it felt really good.

What did it take to do that?

There is a lot of camaraderie between our team. This year we’ve jelled a lot closer. There’s also a lot of competition inside the team for lineup spots. Obviously, we have a great coach and great program. Together that made us a good team.

What is the goal for the WPIAL team tournament?

We’re going to try and do as well as we can.

How do you think you played at the section qualifier?

I was very proud of the way I played. Everyone that qualified played really well as a whole. I feel like my game was on that day. Hopefully, I can replicate it at Hannastown.

Have you played Hannastown before, and what do you expect for Monday?

Yes, I played there two years ago, but I haven’t played there recently. I’m going there Saturday. There’s going to be tough competition for sure, but as long as I play my game, I should do pretty well.

How did you get started with golf?

My dad introduced me to it when I was in seventh grade. Freeport has a summer program at our local course, Buffalo. All my friends were doing it, so I did, and I fell in love with it.

What is the best part of your game?

I’m definitely really good with the driver. I have a lot of control with it and can normally hit it pretty far out there. My irons are a pretty good part of my game as well.

Are you involved in any other activities at Freeport?

I’m in the Key Club and I also play baseball.

What is something people might not know about you?

I’m a very active person. Whenever people talk to me about golf, they think that’s all I do. I ski in the winter time. I play baseball. I have a lot of other hobbies outside of golf.

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at bhartlep@triblive.com.

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