WPIAL Class AAA boys golf championship preview: Field looks crowded

Sunday, October 4, 2020 | 3:44 PM

WPIAL Class AAA boys golf individual championship

11 a.m. Tuesday, South Hills Country Club, Whitehall

2019 champion: Scott Bitar, Fox Chapel

The field: 36 players will compete for the district title in an 18-hole tournament. The player breakdown by county: Allegheny (18), Westmoreland (8), Butler (3), Washington (3), Beaver (2), Fayette (1), Armstrong (1).

Section champions: Nick Turowski, Penn-Trafford (Section 1); Matt Karpeal, Albert Gallatin (Section 2); Blake Bertolo, Mars (Section 3); Michael Wareham, Franklin Regional (Section 4); Justin Scally, Moon (Section 5); Callan Wilcox, Mt. Lebanon (Section 6); Scott Jordan, Upper St Clair (Section 7); Adam Lauer, Shady Side Academy (Section 8).

Who moves on: The top 10 finishers advance to the PIAA championship scheduled for Oct. 19-20 at Heritage Hills Resort in York. The PIAA eliminated the Western and Eastern regional tournaments this year.

Inside the ropes: While some coaches and players point to Central Catholic sophomore Rocco Salvitti as a possible favorite based on his strong summer and fall season, this field seems to have multiple contenders and could produce a tight finish. Of the 36 qualifiers, 32 of them shot 79 or better in section tournaments. … Salvitti, the lone freshman to qualify last year, will have to work his way around a number of seniors. … Penn-Trafford senior Alex Turowski, for instance, is the top returning finisher after he took second last year (72) behind Fox Chapel’s Scott Bitar, who shot 4-under-par 66 and ran away with a six-shot victory at Fox Chapel Golf Club. … Eight of the top 12 finishers return, including Salvitti (73), Upper St. Clair senior Scott Jordan (73), Shady Side Academy senior Adam Lauer (73), Fox Chapel senior Aidan Oehrle (73), Shady Side Academy senior Charles Troutman (74), Franklin Regional senior Chuck Tragesser (74) and Peters Township senior Elliam Ascencio (75). … Salvitti and Jordan were the only players under par at sectionals, both shooting 1-under. … Penn-Trafford has the lone freshman in the field this year in Nick Turowski, who has been 1-2 with his brother all season. He won the Section 1 tournament with a 74 at Greensburg Country Club. … Fox Chapel senior Aiden Oerhle and Alex Turowski finished seventh and eighth at the 2018 championship at Oakmont. Jordan and Tragesser also played in that event. … Peters Township, Fox Chapel and Shady Side Academy each have four players in the field, and Franklin Regional and Upper St. Clair have three apiece. … Fox Chapel and Central Catholic have combined for five individual titles since 2012. … There has not been a champion from Westmoreland County since Bo Lustig of Belle Vernon in 2010. … There likely will not be a medal ceremony. The WPIAL planned to mail medals to top finishers from the Class AA boys tournament last week at Allegheny Country Club and could follow that same procedure.

Pairings: WPIAL link

Live scoring: WPIAL link

Past WPIAL champions:

2020 — Tim Fitzgerald, Sewickley Academy (AA)

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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