Pine-Richland golf team looking to get back to top of section

Sunday, August 28, 2022 | 9:01 AM

The Pine-Richland boys golf team was a young group last year, and the Rams saw their streak of five consecutive section titles come to an end.

Through it all, each player gained experience and is looking for continued improvement this fall.

The Rams have four seniors in their starting lineup, as well as a pair of promising sophomores.

The seniors are Toby Kitay, Liam Daniello, Mason Peterson and Blaise Masciantonio. All four played on the varsity team last season and have set a good example in the early going.

“The leadership from our senior guys has been great,” coach Jeff Seybert said. “It’s extremely important for our JV guys to see it and the two sophomores we have on the varsity team. If they have a bad round, they take ownership of it and can shake it off and come back the next day and play very well.”

Peterson shot 1-under par 35 to lead the Rams to a 188-199 win over North Allegheny on Aug. 23. It was the first win of the season.

Roger Williams and Will Hilton are the two sophomores in the lineup. Hilton is out for the team for the first time. He played football in ninth grade but decided to play golf this fall. He shot a 1-over par 37 in a loss to Mars.

“He bought into golf and he loves it,” Seybert said. “He really works hard. He had a handful of lessons and busted his butt to get better. He’s doing great.”

The Rams are looking for consistency in the early going. They were 1-3 in matches through Aug. 24, but one loss, to Seneca Valley, was by three strokes.

“Most of them have been playing this game since they were 5 or 6 years old and a lot of them are multi-sport athletes,” Seybert said. “They’ve put all this time into golf, but sometimes the rub of the green bounces one way or another.

“We’re just trying to get them to focus on one shot at a time, one hole at a time and one match at a time and do the best they can. That’s what we ask of them. Do the right thing and keep your head up.”

The Rams are in Section 3-3A with Butler, Mars, North Allegheny, North Hills and Seneca Valley. Seybert said the section is very balanced and the winner might end up finishing with a 7-3 record, with three others at 6-4 right behind them.

Pine-Richland is hosting the individual sectional but won’t play at its home course, Treesdale Country Club, due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, the section tournament will be at Suncrest Golf Course, the home course of the Rams’ junior varsity team.

No one from Pine-Richland qualified out of sectionals last year, so they’ll be using that as motivation this year to go along with some home course knowledge.

“Golf is such an individual sport, but as a high school coach, you try to make it into a team concept where you help each other read putts and things like that,” Seybert said. “When it comes to individual events, the kids root for each other, but in a way, it’s on them. It’s their tournament where they can make it.

“A lot of our kids and kids on other teams in the section play in the Islay’s, Tri-State, AJGA and Hurricane tournaments, but to get your name into a WPIAL event is a big deal for a high school kid.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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