WPIAL Class AA boys championship preview: Sewickley Academy strong again

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | 4:52 PM


WPIAL Class AA boys golf championship

9 a.m. Thursday, Allegheny Country Club, Sewickley

2019 champion: JF Aber, Sewickley Academy

The field: 44 players will compete for the district title. The breakdown by county — Allegheny (20), Lawrence (8), Westmoreland (5), Beaver (4), Butler (2), Washington (2), Greene (2), Fayette (1).

Section champions: Cole Villa, Leechburg (Section 1); Ben Ritenour, Greensburg Central Catholic (Section 2); Kai Carlson, Northgate (Section 3); Matt Lacek, Fort Cherry (Section 4); Tom George, Shenango (Section 5); Tristan Shuman, South Side (Section 6); Brendan Cooley, Serra (Section 7); Kyle Clayton, Jefferson Morgan (Section 8); Navin Rana, Sewickley Academy (Section 9).

Who moves on: (Updated) The top 12 finishers advance to the PIAA tournament Oct. 21-22 at Heritage Hills Resort in York.

Inside the ropes: It is hard to pick against Sewickley Academy when it comes to golf. The Panthers, who have won seven WPIAL team titles in a row, have six players in Thursday’s field. … Panthers senior Navin Rana shot 2-under-par 69 to win the Section 9 tournament at Rolling Acres. Senior Teammate Tim Fitzgerald was second with a 70, and junior Will Duggan was third at 71. … Fitzgerald finished fourth in the AA championship last year with a 74, and Rana was eighth (77). Rana was 12th as a sophomore. … Quaker Valley also has six qualifiers, including junior Adam Tanabe, sophomore Jackson Bould and senior Luke Melisko. The Quakers play in the same section as Sewickley and recently edged the Panthers, 200-201. … Watch Sewickley sophomore Joey Mucci, who played in last year’s WPIAL final and tied for 14th. … Tommy George, a senior from Shenango, finished 12th (80). … Sewickley Academy plays its home matches at Allegheny Country Club. … There are two freshmen in the field: Luke Gronbeck of Eden Christian and Kai Carlson of Northgate. … Leechburg senior Cole Villa is another third-time qualifier to watch. … Aber, who dethroned three-time champion Skyler Fox of Riverside, graduated and joined the team at Division III Wittenberg (Ohio).

Tee times: WPIAL link

Past WPIAL champions:

2019 — Scott Bitar, Fox Chapel (AAA); JF Aber, Sewickley Academy (AA)

2018 — Jimmy Meyers, Central Catholic (AAA); Skyler Fox, Riverside (AA)

2017 — Chris Sabol, Moon (AAA); Skyler Fox, Riverside (AA)

2016 — Gregor Meyer, Fox Chapel (AAA); Skyler Fox, Riverside (AA)

2015 — Hunter Bruce, Peters Township (Class AAA); Jason Li, Sewickley Academy (Class AA)

2014 — Anthony Cordaro, Fox Chapel (Class AAA); Chris Tanabe, Quaker Valley (Class AA)

2013 — Corey Long, South Fayette (Class AAA); Matt Barto, Leechburg (Class AA)

2012 — Brent Rodgers, Central Catholic (Class AAA); Matt Barto, Leechburg (Class AA)

2011 — Zack Taylor, Baldwin (Division I); Brad Thornton, Shenango (Division II)

2010 — Bo Lustig, Belle Vernon (Division I); Max Kaminsky, Serra Catholic (Division II)

2009 — Ben Gjebre, Latrobe

2008 — Adam Stawski, Plum

2007 — Brock Pompeani, Hopewell

2006 — Adam Hofmann, Fox Chapel

2005 — Christian Goetz, Burgettstown

2004 — Mike Van Sickle, Pine-Richland

2003 — Mike Van Sickle, Pine-Richland

2002 — Tim Moynihan, Franklin Regional

2001 — David Vallina, Burgettstown

2000 — David Valllina, Burgettstown

1999 — Scott Chisholm, North Hills

1998 — Nate Speer, Burrell

1997 — Tom Barnhart, Laurel Highlands

1996 — Andy Latowski, Baldwin

1995 — Russ Manski, Central Catholic

1994 — Andy Hay, North Catholic

1993 — Brian Tutich, Greensburg Central Catholic

1992 — Jeff Dickson, Knoch

1991 — Jeff Dickson, Knoch

1990 — Jeff Diehl, Butler

1989 Kevin Shields, Mt. Lebanon

1988 — Perry DiNardo, Trinity

1987 — George Laskey, Geibel

1986 — Kevin Reisenweaver, Latrobe

1985 — Seth Pevarnik, Greensburg Central Catholic

1984 Tony Brovety, Bentworth

1983 — Paul Balest, Greensburg Salem

1982 — Greg Klabon, Shenango

1981 — Kurt Beck, Upper St. Clair

1980 — Jim Watterson, Upper St. Clair

1979 — Bob Bradley, Hempfield

1978 — Steve Savor, Jr., Springdale

1977 — Ray Nelson, Ligonier

1976 — Frank Fuhrer III, Fox Chapel

1975 — Frank Fuhrer III, Fox Chapel

1974 — Frank Fuhrer III, Fox Chapel

1973 — Scott Arthur, Moon

1972 — Dennis Osborne, Butler

1971 — Mike Phillips, West Allegheny

1970 — Mike Phillips, West Allegheny

1969 — Rich Foutz, Plum

1968 — Harry Hamilton, West Allegheny (fall season)

1968 — Jim Simons, Knoch (spring season)

1967 — Frank Garella, West Mifflin North

1966 — Sterret Watt, Northwestern

1965 — Rick Hrip, Butler

1964 — Charles Cullison, Baldwin

1963 — Scott Yard, Greensburg

1962 — Jim Lynch, Mt. Lebanon

1961 — Bob O’Block, Plum

1960 — Bob O’Block, Plum

1959 — George Mackanos, Penn Hills

1958 — Fred Maeder, Har-Brack

1957 — Jack Veroncy, Moon

1956 — Wally Samuels, Mt. Lebanon

1955 — Ken O’Gorman, Moon

1954 — Ron Schwarzel, Brentwood

1953 — Ron Schwarzel, Brentwood

1952 — Ron Schwarzel, Brentwood

1951 — Bill Gabel, Ambridge

1950 — Tom Cherok, Penn Hills

1949 — Rich McCarthy, West View

1948 Bill Thompson, Sharon

1947 — Arnold Palmer, Latrobe

1946 — Arnold Palmer, Latrobe

1945 — Tom Denny, Greensburg Salem

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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