Young Pine-Richland golf team looks to keep championship streak going

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Saturday, August 14, 2021 | 10:01 AM


The Pine-Richland boys golf team has been section champ the last five years, and the Rams are hopeful to keep the streak going this fall.

If they are going to accomplish that goal, they’ll do so with one of the younger teams coach Jeff Seybert has had in his 10 years with the program.

The Rams have only one senior in Andrew Ni but return four players that started on the varsity team last year.

Three juniors — Liam Daniello, Blaze Masciantonio and Toby Kitay — join Ni as experienced players for the Rams.

“This is going to be one of the youngest teams we’ve had in a really long time,” Seybert said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to win five section championships in a row, get to a handful of WPIAL championships and have some individuals go to states in the past six or seven years. This year will be a little bit different. We’re young, but we do have some experience.”

The Rams graduated Mark Terchick, who advanced from his semifinal to the WPIAL individual championship and placed 29th.

As a team, Pine-Richland played in a WPIAL semifinal at River Forest Country Club.

Seybert said all of his returning varsity players have strengths to their games. Daniello had a strong summer and is one of the longer drivers on the team. Kitay also had a strong summer. He got a hole-in-one and placed fourth at the Islay’s Junior Tournament at Fox Chapel Country Club on July 29.

Ni and Masciantonio are solid all-around golfers from tee to green and Seybert credited their mental approach to the game.

Seybert uses a formula that revolves around chemistry between players for success during section matches.

“Team-wise, what we try to do in matches is pair the boys up that play well with each other that play the same tempo, help each other read putts and make decisions,” he said. “We do our best to pair them up where they like each other, but they also complement each other.”

Pine-Richland plays its varsity home matches at Treesdale Country Club and junior varsity matches at Suncrest Golf Course.

Tryouts were held Monday through Wednesday prior to Pine-Richland’s first match of the season against North Catholic. Then the Rams will play in a tournament at Latrobe Country Club on Monday.

“We usually run four days of tryouts, but we decided to change it up a little bit this year,” Seybert said. “Our first match is typically a big one against some of the better teams in all of the WPIAL like Fox Chapel, Central Catholic, Latrobe and Franklin Regional at Arnold Palmer’s course. We wanted to get a match in beforehand, so we’ll play nine holes with North Catholic Thursday and go into 18 holes at Latrobe on Monday. There will be several teams that were state champions in recent years at that tournament, so it’s nice to go in and play some high-level competition to see where we’re at.”

Pine-Richland plays in Section 3-3A with Butler, Mars, North Allegheny, North Hills, Seneca Valley and Shaler. Seybert expects the Rams to have stiff competition as they try to win a sixth consecutive section championship.

Seneca Valley is going to be a really good team,” Seybert said. “Mars will be good, and I think Butler is going to be a sneaky, really good team. You always have to look out for North Allegheny as well.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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