Shady Side Academy boys golf looking to peak at right time

Saturday, October 3, 2020 | 11:01 AM

The Shady Side Academy boys golf team is hoping 2020 is its year and certainly has the talent to get the job done.

Shady Side captured its fifth straight Section 8-AAA with a class of seniors who will graduate in the spring with a section record of 46-2.

Seniors Adam Lauer, Charles Troutman and Garrett Fuhrer have been three of the main contributors and could potentially help the team qualify for a fourth straight WPIAL team final. Junior Wes Warden also has helped Shady Side Academy put together a run over the past few seasons.

“They have all had great success,” coach Mark Hessler said. “I think they know what makes it happen, how it happens and what they have to do.”

In team events this season, Lauer has led the way by averaging 35.92 strokes per match. Troutman is right behind him at 36.55 and Warden has averaged 37.09. Fuhrer has averaged 41.56 strokes per nine holes. Then, on Sept. 29, all four golfers qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA individual final that will be held at South Hills Country Club on Oct. 8.

Lauer shot a 1-over par 71, at the semifinal qualifier to tie for third, while both Troutman and Warden shot a 3-over, 73. Fuhrer shot 75.

From a team aspect, having four players at the top of your lineup who can shoot low is the key to a team’s success, seeing that only the top four scores are counted.

Hessler is happy with what his team has been able to accomplish and believes they have the pieces to put together a title run, which would be their first WPIAL team championship in school history.

“Those four players are pretty solid for us, and we have six other guys that we can put in there that can play well too,” Hessler said. “We just have to figure out who it is before we go to the team finals. They can all shoot good scores, and they can all break 40 on just about every golf course; you just have to pick the right one at the right time.”

Just last year, Shady Side Academy came close to capturing a WPIAL title. After a strong front nine and somewhat falling apart on the back side, they came in 16 strokes behind eventual WPIAL and PIAA champion Fox Chapel.

With the talent Shady Side Academy has this season, Hessler is confident in his group but he believes there are a few things they need to execute when the time is right.

“You just have to make good swings, play one shot at a time and if you do get in trouble you need to try and get out of it,” Hessler said. “We’re trying to talk our kids into not making big mistakes and if we can do that, I think we have a good foundation. I like our leadership and I think we can do very well. We just have to do very well.”

While they have the talent, Hessler believes they also have the chemistry that can take his team far. He said they’ve been playing together for quite a long time and usually spend most of the summer together on the golf course, but even he knows sometimes everything comes down to who is playing well at the right time.

“These guys have been playing for quite a while so I think we are pretty solid and we are pretty solid at the other end as well,” Hessler said. “I think we have a really good chance, but just like anything else you have to play well when you need to play well. So, we’ll see how that works out, but I think we have a great chance and we have a great chemistry”

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


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