Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Fox Chapel golf, tennis start strong

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Thursday, August 29, 2019 | 8:12 PM


While the Fox Chapel football team has gotten off to a rough start on the gridiron, the golf and tennis teams couldn’t be hotter.

Coming into the 2019 season, the Fox Chapel boys golf team was motivated to take its game to the next level after finishing just short of a WPIAL championship the past few years.

A win at the Gary Garrison Invitational, where the Foxes carded a team score of 399 to beat runner-up Franklin Regional by two strokes, was a step in the right direction. They’ve won eight matches, and four came against Section 4-AAA opponents, including a big win over rival Central Catholic on Thursday, 186-213.

“Were really proud of the kids with their course management and just being team-oriented,” Fox Chapel coach Bryan Deal said. “They are starting think about what’s best for the team rather than what’s best for themselves. We have a lot of kids that have played a lot of golf, and they are the building blocks for our success and we’ve just been really steady.”

The girls golf team has a record of 5-0. Senior Emily Scheffler and a trio of sophomores have led the way. Nina Busch shot a 37 on Wednesday that allowed her team to beat North Allegheny, 185-188. Coach John Broderick said that was their first win over the Tiger in four or five years.

Heading into the season, the longtime Fox Chapel coach said he was confident his team would have a pretty good season because of the work it does in the offseason.

“I knew how much they played in the summer and knew some of them had a lot of success,” Broderick said. “I really have a handful of girls who like to play golf, and that’s important. You can’t just use athletic ability in golf. It’s a game you have to play, and it’s a game you have to work at. It’s a huge advantage when you have girls that just like to play the game.”

FC girls tennis improving

With the return of senior singles player Charlotte James, the Fox Chapel girls tennis team was optimistic about its chances. Through five matches, Fox Chapel has gotten a complete performance night-in and night-out.

“We have a lot of girls who put in a lot of work in the offseason in the past year, and when you put in that much work you get a little better each day,” Fox Chapel coach Alex Slezak said. “We have a saying: ‘The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender,’ and that work just starts to accumulate and you get better and it’s paying off.”

On Thursday, the Foxes got their fifth win of the season 3-2 against Upper St. Clair. No. 3 singles player Catherine Petrovich sealed the Class AAA victory with a tiebreaker defeat of Shanning Zhou, 6-4, 7-6 (8).

The first of many

On Saturday, Bradley Walker and the Leechburg boys soccer program, a newly formed co-op between Leechburg and Apollo-Ridge, travel to Ellwood City to play their first game ever.

“We’re very excited,” Walker said. “The team has come long way since camp started on August 12. We’re excited to see how we put it all together.”

Graduation can devastate a young program, but Walker, who is also the business manager at Leechburg, won’t have to deal with that problem as more than half of the roster is freshmen.

Of his 15 players, two are seniors, one is a junior and the rest are either sophomores or freshmen.

Knoch set to honor 2019 Hall of Fame Class

As the Knoch football team begins the home portion of its season Friday evening against Blackhawk, the Knoch Sports Hall of Fame will recognize its Class of 2019.

This year’s group of Knights athletic standouts — Todd Tudor, Mike King, Bethany Baker Krueger, Kevin Doyle, Chase Rowe and Jean Howard — represented sports from football, track and field, cross country and baseball to volleyball, soccer, softball and basketball.

The class will be celebrated before kickoff in a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on the field.

“It’s such a really strong class, and we’re all really excited to recognize and celebrate with them,” said Diane Geist, Knoch’s girls volleyball coach and a member of the hall of fame committee.

This is the fifth since the hall began enshrinement in 2015. The five individuals in this year’s class bring the total honored to 26.

Last year’s group also included the first team to be inducted: the 1978 WPIAL Class AA championship football squad.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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