Westmoreland high school athletes of the week: Chuck Tragesser and Jillian Butchki

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | 9:16 PM

Chuck Tragesser

School: Franklin Regional

Sport: Golf

Class: Junior

Claim to fame: Tragesser shot 3-under-par to win by five strokes at the Section 4-AAA individual tournament Sept. 17 at Meadowink Golf Course. Tragesser placed 24th at the WPIAL individual final at Oakmont Country Club last season.

“The season for me has been up and down, but I’m starting to feel more confident in my game. I had one of best matches against Fox Chapel. Last week at Meadowink, I was just trying to play the best I can and hit as many best shots as I can,” Tragesser said.

What did you learn from your WPIAL performance from last year?

I had a gameplan going in. I was trying to get by last year. Playing Oakmont was very intimidating. I was way too conservative. I was hitting too many 3-woods and not enough drivers. It ended up hurting my score, and I wasn’t able to advance.

What do you think is your strongest part of your game?

I think my iron game. I’ve been striking the ball well. If I can get my drive ball down, I think we’re looking at something special here.

What’s your favorite course to play and why?

My favorite course is Hannastown. I think that course plays so much different than the courses we play for our matches. I think it plays a lot like Oakmont. It’s a whole different game when you play there. I like the challenge more, and you have to hit shots that you wouldn’t have to hit on other courses.

What made you get into golf?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been hitting the golf ball. My dad got me into it. He played in high school and tried to play in college. He has spent so much time to work with me on my game.

What’s one adjective that best describes you and why?

I learned a lot about myself in the past year to not give up. I’m always focused on righting the ship and not focusing on a bad hole.

Jillian Butchki

School: Belle Vernon

Sport: Soccer

Class: Junior

Claim to fame: Butchki, who has 16 goals and seven assists this season, had three goals and two assists to lead Belle Vernon (6-2, 5-0) to an 8-2 win over Elizabeth Forward in Section 2-AAA action Sept. 18. Earlier in the week, Butchki netted two goals in a 5-0 win over Greensburg Salem in section play Sept. 16. Butchki has 52 goals and 35 assists in her career.

“We’ve been doing really well this season so far. Scoring-wise, we’ve been able to produce a lot of goals. I have a lot good teammates that help me get the ball in the back of the net. We’ve been able to spread the scoring around,” Butchki said.

What did the team learn from the two 4-2 losses to Connellsville and Waynesburg?

I think we learned we really have to stick to our own style of play and not panic when we get into situations against competitive teams. I think if we all play 100 percent, we will overcome the challenges.

How has the adjustment been for the team under new coach Tracy Lovett?

It has been going well. We’ve switched up a lot from last year. We only played three in the back, so we’ve switched to a four back. We’ve been focusing on working the ball from defense to our forwards.

What has been the message to the team as you hope to make a deeper playoff run this year?

The big thing that we’ve been preaching is working together as a team and staying connected on the field. We’re solid both offensively and defensively. We’ve been working together to win.

How has your game improved this year?

I’ve gotten more confident and comfortable on the field. I think I’ve gotten more aggressive when it comes to winning 50-50 balls and taking players on one-on-one. My vision has improved passing wise.

What’s one thing people might not know about you and why?

I’m a competitive dancer. I dance year-round, which is another of my big passions.

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