Deer Lakes’ Yourish leads A-K Valley contingent into PIAA golf championships

Sunday, October 16, 2022 | 8:36 PM

Anna Yourish looked on a couple of years ago as her older brother, Josh, represented Deer Lakes at the PIAA championships in track and field.

Josh now is a senior on the men’s track team at Division I George Mason.

Anna, too, wanted the opportunity to compete at a state championship event, and Monday, that will become a reality.

“Josh told me sophomore year, ‘Conquer your mind. Junior year, conquer WPIALs and make it to that next round, so you’ll have that experience. And senior year, make it to states,’ ” Anna Yourish said.

The senior will join three other Alle-Kiski Valley golfers — Freeport junior Lillie Snow, Plum sophomore Wes Lorish and Freeport senior Nate Covey — on the Blue (Class 2A) and White (Class 3A) courses Monday and Tuesday at Penn State.

“I am really excited more than anything,” said Yourish, who traveled to Penn State last Wednesday for a practice round and hit the driving range Sunday. “I am definitely confident in my game from what I was able to do over the past couple of weeks. It’s a big accomplishment to get here.

“It is just so amazing to be here and experience all of this. It is a great way to end my senior year.”

Yourish was 14th at last year’s WPIAL Class 2A championships at Hannastown Golf Club in Greensburg. She missed the cut for states by seven strokes and then made it her mission to get there this year. This time at WPIALs, played over two rounds, she was the seventh of nine to punch her ticket to states.

Yourish moved up three spots from 10th after the first round.

The golfers in the boys and girls Class 2A and Class 3A tournaments will play 18 holes both Monday and Tuesday. The start time both days for all four tournaments is 8:30 a.m.

Snow, Covey and Lorish got a feel for their respective courses with Sunday practice rounds.

Snow finished fifth (43-over) after both WPIAL rounds.

She tied for fourth after the first round (87) and then moved down one spot with a 100 at Valley Brook.

It is her first trip to states. She placed 13th at WPIALs last year, finishing four strokes behind the final qualifier.

“I started (the practice round) a little rough, but then I started to catch up at the end,” Snow said. “I am really excited to be here and have the chance to compete. I might not score in the top three, but hope that I am happy with my scores and I can play my best.”

Snow, who, like Yourish, golfs on her school’s boys team during the regular season, said it is nice to share this PIAA experience with Covey, who also is golfing at states for the first time.

“It’s pretty cool because I don’t normally get a chance to spend (playoff tournaments) with any of my teammates,” Snow said. “We’ll be here to support each other. That’s a good feeling.”

Covey tied for 13th (24-over) in the two-round, 36-hole WPIAL boys Class 2A finals.

“I am really happy that I was able to pull through for the past couple of rounds,” he said. “I just want to go out there and have fun. My goal is to break 80 for one of the days.

“I am also happy with how the team did this year, also, with finishing the section undefeated. Individual tournaments are cool, but I am more of a team guy. This is just a really nice way to finish my varsity career.”

Lorish came into his sophomore year wanting to build on his first foray into the WPIAL individual postseason. He took 53rd in the WPIAL semifinal qualifier at Willowbrook Country Club.

It was a different story this year, as Lorish, who also helped his Plum team reach the WPIAL team finals last Thursday, rose from a tie for ninth at the section qualifier to a tie for seventh (75) in the semifinal round at Champion Lakes and an overall tie for fifth (8-over) after the final round Oct. 6 at Allegheny Country Club.

He is one of 14 boys from WPIAL Class 3A competing at states, including WPIAL champion Rocco Salvitti, a senior from Central Catholic.

“I am playing pretty decent golf right now,” said Lorish Sunday evening following his practice round in what he called near perfect conditions. “My ball striking definitely is pretty consistent. I am keeping the ball on the fairways and hitting a lot of the greens. I just want to leave everything on the golf course over the next two days and then see what happens. I am feeling pretty confident.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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