Four A-K Valley boys golf teams look to punch their ticket to WPIAL championship
Monday, October 7, 2019 | 6:39 PM
On Tuesday morning, four boys golf teams from around the Alle-Kiski Valley will travel to River Forest Golf Course to play in a WPIAL Class AA semifinal match and compete for a chance to play for the team championship.
The top three teams from the two semifinal matches — the other is taking place at Beaver Valley Golf Course — will move on to Thursday’s championship match at at Cedarbrook Country Club. In order to advance, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport and Riverview will have to outplay Derry, Mt. Pleasant, North Catholic, Quaker Valley, South Park and Uniontown.
“We gotta score low, hit fairways and make very few mistakes,” Riverview coach Hal Biehl said.
The Raiders ran away with the Section 1-AA crown this year with an undefeated section record of 12-0. They finished with an overall record of 15-1. Burrell and Freeport tied for the second spot in the section at 8-4, earning a spot in the semifinal match.
Riverview turned in one of its best seasons in program history. Led by a tight-knit senior class that has come up through the program together, the Raiders are confident heading into their second straight semifinal appearance.
“Playing in the semifinal last year gave us a little confidence,” Biehl said. “I don’t think they are overconfident, but I think they feel like they know what to expect.”
Among the four Alle-Kiski Valley teams participating at River Forest, Riverview and Burrell are the only teams returning for a second straight year. Last season, the Raiders shot a 461 and finished sixth out of the nine teams in their semifinal at Butler’s Golf Course. Burrell shot a 454 and finished eighth out of the nine teams that competed.
Logan Schoepf and Marcus Pinchok have led the way for the Bucs.
Pinchok qualified for the WPIAL Class AA tournament Sept. 26 and was just two strokes shy of qualifying for the PIAA Western Regional.
Deer Lakes will make an appearance in the team playoffs for the first time since 2016 when it shot a team score of 460 and placed sixth out of the nine teams that were competing. This season, they’ll have senior Will Meyer leading the way.
Recently, Meyer qualified for the Western Regional when he shot a 78 at the WPIAL Class AA boys championship. The Lancers also will have a little bit of an advantage because their coach, Sam Sack, is a longtime member of the course and gave his team a nice gameplan.
“You just have to survive the front nine and go for it on the back,” Sack said.
Freeport is the only one of the four teams that didn’t send a player to the individual tournament and earned a playoff spot towards the end of sectional play. It’s their first appearance since 2017 when they shot a 477 at River Forest.
With a year of experience under their belt, the Yellowjackets are feeling confident.
“Our players were kind of in some situations this year where they were faced with adversity,” Freeport coach Joe Sprumont said. “So, they should be able to build on that and use it to their advantage.”
Teams will begin to tee off at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .