Riverview taking undefeated season match by match

Monday, September 9, 2019 | 8:23 PM

The Riverview boys golf team qualified for the WPIAL Class AA team tournament for the first time in quite a while last season, and with a starting line-up of five seniors and a junior, the Raiders are looking to do it again.

They are off to a good start, too. Riverview is undefeated through 10 matches, with seven of them Section 1-AA contests.

“It’s been going well. We’ve been playing really well,” Riverview coach Hal Biehl said. “I have a great bunch of kids, and, just like every year, they are working hard.”

The group leading the way for Riverview is a special one.

The starting lineup of Jack Harden, Chase Conroy, Jake Shoop, Dan Donatucci and Dom Bovienzo mostly came into the program together and, each year, the group has progressed.

“They worked their butts off this summer and were playing two or three times a week,” Biehl said. “So far, it looks like it’s paying off. Everyone is just playing their game, and they are putting up great numbers.”

Those numbers have translated into wins. The Raiders shot a team score of 214 on Monday against Freeport and shot a 216 against Valley on Aug. 28 to come out with another big Section 1-AA victory.

Unlike some teams that have one or two golfers who can carry the load, the Raiders have a team-first approach. If someone has an off night, someone else steps up. That was the case Monday night when Jack Harden stepped up for the Raiders on the way to their 214-261 victory over Freeport at Buffalo Golf Course.

“For the past few years, we’ve had two guys play really well in each match,” Harden said. “But all of our scores in the top six are kind of fluctuating every day, so it’s a different guy at the top every day. That makes it easier to play because if you mess up or have a bad hole, you know the other guys on the team will have your back.”

To start its season, Riverview received an opportunity to play at one of the most prestigious courses in the area. For the first two matches of the season, the Raiders took on Plum and Freeport at Oakmont Country Club.

Playing on a course like that to start the season, on top of coming away with two wins was huge for the Raiders’ confidence.

“Oakmont is a tough course, so it was good that we could get like four or five rounds in the 40s,” Chase Conroy said. “We just capitalized on holes that we needed to, and I definitely believed it helped us, and it will help us as the season goes on.”

Even after a hot start, there is still work to be done. Last year, Riverview placed sixth in the WPIAL semifinals. This year, the Raiders are hoping to take the next step, and Biehl believes they are in the right state of mind.

“The kids are taking it one round at a time, and they aren’t looking back at what they did they are just looking forward to playing the next round,” Biehl said. “They are extremely focused on improving and just look forward to the next round.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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