Penn-Trafford boys golf team starts season strong

Sunday, August 29, 2021 | 11:01 AM

When the Penn-Trafford boys golf team opened the season Aug. 24 against Indiana, coach Andy Rizzardi said he didn’t know what to expect with only two starters returning.

Indiana is always a good team, and I knew going against them to open the season would be a challenge,” Rizzardi said.

But Rizzardi’s mind was put to ease on this day because his two veterans — sophomore Nick Turowski and senior Chase Crissman — came out sizzling.

Turowski shot a 7-under-par 29 on the front nine at Manor Valley Golf Course, and Crissman shot a 2-under 34 to lead Penn-Trafford to an impressive 182-202 victory in Section 1-AAA action. Turowski, who had seven birdies and two pars on the front nine, went on to play the back nine and finish with a course-record 63 (9-under par). He sank a birdie putt on No. 18 to break the course record set by Brian Machen in 2009.

Turowski made 11 birdies, five pars and two bogeys. He had 29 putts. The nine-hole score set a school record, breaking his brother Alex Turowski’s total of 33 from a year ago.

The other Warriors contributing in the win were Colt Kaminski (38), David Newsom (39) and Jackson Kerrigan (42).

“We’ll count on Nick and Chase to lead us,” Rizzardi said. “But Colt isn’t too far behind. I have a number of sophomores who really developed since last season. It’s a great class.”

That sophomore group includes Newsom and Brady Mastine. Kaminski, Kerrigan, Eric Wettline and Gio Damico are juniors. There are 18 golfers on the roster, including 10 sophomores.

Because of the inclement weather, Penn-Trafford only had a 36-hole tryout. Rizzardi expects there will be a lot of players pushing to make the top eight during the season.

“The hope is we get players lowering their averages since last year,” Rizzardi said. “Nick averaged 36.7 per nine, Chase 39.8 and Colt 40.8. If we can get others to do well, we’ll be OK.”

Rizzardi said he doesn’t know much about the other teams in the section, but he knows his team must continue to stay sharp and improve if they want to win the section and make noise in the WPIAL playoffs.

The other teams include Armstrong, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Latrobe and Norwin. A nonsection match against Woodland Hills was canceled because the Wolverines didn’t have enough players.

Turowski and Crissman had excellent summer tournament seasons.

Turowski played in bigger events around the region, and Crissman did well in the Tri-State Section PGA Isaly’s Junior events.

“I think both players benefited from that competition,” Rizzardi said. “I know others also played different events to improve their games.”

Turowski qualified for the PGA Junior Championship and played in the AJGA Southpointe tournament.

“It was a good experience,” Turowski said. “I learned a lot. I also learned a lot by talking and playing against (USGA Amateur medalist) Mark Goetz. He helped me out with my putting and other suggestions.”

Penn-Trafford qualified for the 2020 WPIAL playoffs but fell in the semifinals to Central Catholic, Peters Township and eventual WPIAL champion Franklin Regional.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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