Ligonier Valley boys, girls golf teams having strong seasons

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Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 9:17 PM


Football isn’t the only team having a good fall at Ligonier Valley.

The boys golf team has proven to be just as dominant in the Heritage Conference.

The Rams capped a 10-0 season in the conference Wednesday by winning the Heritage Conference tournament at Champion Lakes Golf Course.

Junior Ryan Jones took medalist honors by shooting 83. Ligonier Valley edged West Shamokin, 353-369. Northern Cambria placed third with 385, followed by Northern Cambria a 385 and Homer-Center 409.

Senior Gunnar Elliott placed third with an 87, and Ryan Harbert was fifth with an 89.

“This is the deepest group we’ve had since I began coaching six years ago,” Ligonier Valley coach Al Gaiardo said. “We have a good group that works hard, puts in extra work, played in a lot of tournaments, attended workout sessions in the winter and some that went for lessons with professional instructors.

“Because of their attitude and hard work, they’ve accomplished a lot. We’re going to be good for a few more years.”

Ligonier Valley has won four of the previous six Heritage Conference titles. The team is 12-1, with the only loss coming against Kiski School.

The girls team is also having a good season. They are the only girls team in the conference, so they have tried to play a competitive schedule.

They are 6-2 with the losses coming against the Greensburg Central Catholic, the returning WPIAL and PIAA champion, and the Blairsville boys.

Ligonier Valley is scheduled to play the Central Cambria girls, who it already defeated, Monday.

At the Heritage Conference tournament, senior Maddy Pierce took medalist honors with 98. Freshman Haley Boyd was third with 105, and senior Kendra Pecora and freshman Ava Adams tied for fourth at 108.

“The girls are in their third season and have progressed well,” Gaiardo said. “We put together an offseason program and encouraged them to play in tournaments. We have deals with pros to give lessons.”

The boys will be preparing for the District 6 tournament Sept. 28 at Windber Country Club. The girls tournament is Oct. 3 at Windber.

“Right now, we’re working on getting the boys to shoot around 320,” Gaiardo said. “I feel they are capable of doing it, but they have to put it together on that day.”

And Gaiardo said the future looks strong with only one senior in the starting lineup for the boys and two seniors in the girls starting group.

“We have some good underclassmen ready to move up,” Gaiardo said. “We should be pretty good for the next few years.”

The other boys starters are juniors Jon Rankin and Isaac Neidbalson and sophomore Logan Smith. The other starter for the girls is sophomore Laurent Brant.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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