WPIAL boys golf preview: Central Catholic’s Salvitti leads deep group of top players

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Thursday, August 27, 2020 | 6:56 PM


Who is the top boys’ golfer in the WPIAL?

Well, it depends on what day it is.

There are numerous top players returning, including many accomplished seniors.

The player to watch is Central Catholic sophomore Rocco Salvitti, who tied for third in the WPIAL individual tournament last year and ended up seventh in the state.

Salvitti opened some eyes in June when he led after the first round of the Tri-State Open at Williams Country Club in Weirton, W.Va. He ended up tied for fourth at 4-under. Early in the final round, after birdies on three of his first four holes, he went to 8-under.

Later, he won the West Penn Golf Association’s Junior Championship.

“I’m using this summer to prepare for the fall season,” Salvitti said. “I love to compete.”

He later competed in the AJGA Southpointe event, where he tied for fourth. He said he was disappointed with that performance.

Penn-Trafford senior Alex Turowski is another budding star. He finished second in the WPIAL in 2019 and reached the PIAA championship at Heritage Hills Resort in York. He placed 22nd.

Turowski also had a good summer, winning a few Isaly’s events.

“I’m working on different things in my game,” Turowski said. “I’m just glad we’re getting a chance to play.”

The 2019 Class AAA champion Scott Bitar of Fox Chapel and Class AA champion John Aber of Sewickley Academy have graduated. Riverside’s Skyler Fox, a three-time WPIAL Class AA champion who won his first PIAA title in 2019, has also graduated.

Others to watch are Upper St. Clair senior Scott Jordon, Shady Side Academy senior Adam Lauer, Peters Township senior Ellian Ascencio, Franklin Regional senior Chuck Tragesser and Shady Side Academy senior Charles Troutman.

The top Class AA golfers back are Shady Side Academy’s Tim Fitzgerald and Navia Rana.

“I believe the team title is up for grabs,” Peters Township coach Dave Kuhn said. “Shady Side Academy will be tough, we have three starters back, and Upper St. Clair has two qualifiers back.”

Peters Township is always a contender, having made the team final 16 of the past 17 years.

Returning team champion Fox Chapel graduated all five starters.

“The key to a successful team is having solid four and five players,” Kuhn said.

In Class AA, Sewickley Academy, the returning WPIAL and PIAA champion, returns three starters including Fitzgerald, Rana and Joey Mucci.

The WPIAL Class AAA individual championship will be held at Nemacolin Country Club on Oct. 6. The Class AA boys return to Allegheny Country Club on Oct. 1.

Players to watch

Class AAA

Alex Turowski, Penn-Trafford, Sr.

Scott Jordan, Upper St. Clair, Sr.

Adam Lauer, Shady Side Academy, Sr.

Rocco Salvitti, Central Catholic, So.

Charles Troutman, Shady Side Academy, Sr.

Chuck Tragesser, Franklin Regional, Sr.

Ellian Ascencio, Peters Township, Sr.

Jack Urban, Upper St. Clair, Sr.

Nick Piper, Pine-Richland, Sr.

Justin Scally, Moon, Sr.

Wes Warden, Shady Side Academy, Jr.

Class AA

Tim Fitzgerald, Sewickley Academy, Sr.

Navia Rana, Sewickley Academy, Jr.

Tommy George, Shenango, Sr.

Joey Mucci, Sewickley Academy, So.

Cole Villa Leechburg, Sr.

Ben Ritenour, Greensburg Central Catholic, Sr.

Jackson Bould, Quaker Valley, So.

Teams to watch

Class AAA

Fox Chapel

Upper St. Clair

Shady Side Academy

Seneca Valley

Franklin Regional

Peters Township

Central Catholic

Class AA

Sewickley Academy

North Catholic

Quaker Valley

Neshannock

Derry Area

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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