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2017 Reporter-Area Golf: Wissahickon, PW set to battle for SOL American title

Wissahickon's Dan Fantini tees off during a scrimmage with Germantown Academy at Bluestone Country Club on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

Having spent much of the summer sharpening their game, members of the Wissahickon golf team look to duplicate last year’s magic on the greens.

“We have a young team this season but I think we are going to compete,” Trojans coach Kevin Brady said. “They have put in a lot of work in the offseason and I see promising growth.”

The defending Suburban One League American Conference Champions have a pair of solid returners in senior Pranay Kumar and junior Cristea Park. Much of the roster is new but holds a lot of potential, including senior Dan Fantini and freshman Jackson Tappen.

Wiss will try to hold off challenges from the rest of the American Conference, including rival Plymouth Whitemarsh.

“We look forward to a battle in the league this year,” Colonials coach Jeff Kavanagh said. “We have some consistent-scoring players back from last year and have added some young talent in Cade Missimer and Dylan Gooneratne, who will add depth to this year’s team.”

Over in the Continental, North Penn, Souderton Area and Central Bucks West all look to continue their upward climb — the Knights, Big Red and the Bucks finished second, third and fourth in the standings last fall behind only Central Bucks East.

“We lost five very good seniors who were the core of our varsity team, but we have a few younger players who are ready to step up,” Knights coach Dave DiValentino said. “As always, consistency of play will continue to be something to work on.”

Pennridge went winless in the conference last season but may be building something.

“It’s a super young squad with a rock-solid bunch of freshmen that can play well,” coach Steve Yurchak said. “Seniors Cole White and Mike Simpson will lead the way along with junior Caroline Macfadden, who will be right there at the SOL Women’s Tourney in the fall.

“We will be rebuilding this season and hope to compete with the elite in our league.”

Here are some other area teams to watch this season:

Archbishop Wood
Coach: Bob Schmalbach (35th season).
Last Year’s Record: 9-4 (fourth in PCL, fourth in District 12).
Key Performers Lost: Karly Brown (four-time All PCL); John Mallozzi (All PCL); Joe Hill; Josh Cyphers.
Key Returners: Evan McGeever So.; Grant Boyk, Sr.
Others to Watch: Shane Kennedy, Sr.; Frank Lynch, Jr.; Tom Hill, So.; Tyler Thornton, So.
Outlook for the Season: Inexperienced but hopeful to be competitive enough to make a run at a playoff spot.

Central Bucks West
Coach: Bob Schilling.
Key Returners: Luca Jezzeny; Nick Hano; Chaz Nestory; Tom Walsh; Brock Nestory.
Others to Watch: Jack Farrington; Trevor D’Arcy; Brett Shumock.
Outlook for the Season: The Bucks have a good group to build around as they try to stay in the top half of the tough Continental.

Central Bucks West’s Tommy Walsh hits out of a sand trap during the Pennridge Invitational at Indian Valley Country Club on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Dock Mennonite
Coach: Cory Longacre (fifth season).
Last Year’s Record: 4-9.
Key Performers Lost: Matt Schmidt, captain.
Key Returners: Kurt Clemens, Jr.; Sean Kearney, Jr.; Calvin Derstein, So.; Davry Longacre, So.
Others to Watch: Brody Moyer, Jr.
Outlook for this Season: “As the young team from last season matures, along with a few new players this year that will contribute, I believe we will be more competitive than last season. I am looking to be better than .500 this season.”

Germantown Academy
Coach: David Martin (sixth season).
Last Year’s Record: 3-7.
Key Performers Lost: Gaven Giampalmi.
Key Returners: Teddy Davis, Sr.; Ryan Booth, Sr.; Drew Hoeppner, Sr.
Others to Watch: Nick Schnur, Jr.
Outlook for the Season: “We are excited to begin the season. The league is very strong and it will be an excellent challenge for our players.”

Gwynedd Mercy
Coach: Rick Pohle (first season).
Key Returners: Jamie Kim, Sr.; Margaret Fluehr, So.; Lindsey Fogarasi, Jr.
Others to Watch: Michaela Hansen, Jr.; Julianne Frary, Jr.; Reganne Flannery, So.
Outlook for the Season: “We have an inexperienced team to start with. But I am optimistic we can make great strides as the season progresses. I think we have a lot of promise and we will definitely continue to improve as the season unfolds. We have not discussed any goals, other than to be better at the end of the season than where we are right now.”

Coach: Mike Harmon (10th season)
Last Year’s Record: 14-4 (11-3 SOL American)
Key Returners: Hayden Moffat, Sr.; Mike Festa, Sr.; Jack McCormick, Sr.; Michael Morris, Jr.
Outlook for the season: “After a solid showing in our new conference, we are looking to continue our solid play and take the next step forward. We are returning five varsity players from last year and have added some solid younger players to it as well.”

Lansdale Catholic
Last Year: District 12-2A Champions.
Key Returners: Brendan Clark, Sr.; Rob Shimony, Sr.
Outlook for the Season: The Crusaders are looking to compete well in the Catholic League and are gunning for their fourth straight district title.

La Salle
Coach: Martin Jackson (27th season).
Last Year’s Record: 20-2.
Key Returners: Matt Acker; T.J. Chaykosky; Frank Gregor; Bud Hansen; Steve Lorenzo; Tim Lorenzo; Sean O’Neill; Alex Parlanti; Matt Quirk.
Outlook for the Season: “We are playing a strong non-league schedule, which includes home and away matches against Penn Charter, Malvern, and Episcopal Academy. In our league, it will be a battle with St. Joseph’s Prep. Competition within the team will be fierce. We are looking for mental toughness when you don’t have your A game going. Growth and maturity need to be our assets.”

Lower Moreland
Coach: John Conrad (ninth season).
Last Year’s Record: 8-9.
Key Performers Lost: Dan Galbreath.
Key Returners: Brennan Bostock, Sr.; Max Cousins, Jr.
Others to Watch: Bryce Fazio, Fr.; Anthony Mangan, So.
Outlook for the Season: Bostock and Cousins are two guys to build around.

Coach: Kevin Flanagan (10th season).
Last Year’s Record: 11-1.
Key Returners: Christian Rossi, Sr.; John Cooper, Sr.; A.J. Thomas, Jr.; Dylan Lasecki, Andrew Catania, Nick Martin, Mitch Thompson, Sean Henry, and John Haley.
Key Losses: Kyle Vance, Dan Rieger, Connor McCaffrey, John McGrory, Lucas LaCava, Max Rennie, Gunnar Gale, Harvey Smith.
Outlook for the Season: “The team looks to build on the success of the large graduating class. We will look to seniors Christian Rossi, John Cooper, and junior A.J. Thomas that have the most varsity experience. Andrew Catania, Mitch Thompson, Nick Martin, Sean Henry, Dylan Lasecki and John Haley will have to learn on the fly as they will be put into a different position coming into the season. We hope to continue our success and make the final four and compete for a PAC 10 Championship.”

Mount St. Joseph
Coach: John Mischler (second season).
Last Year’s Record: 14-0.
Key Performers Lost: Caitlin Mahon; Alex Mercader.
Key Returners: Maya Trujillo, Sr.; Brianna Mahon, Jr.; Olivia Wirsching, So.
Others to Watch: Olivia Brogan, Sr.; Grace Quinones, Sr.; Ciara Morrissey, Sr.; Lia Priolo, Jr.
Outlook for the Season: “We have a strong core to our team and plenty of talent to have a successful year. The exciting part of the season will be to see which players can deliver consistent performance as the season progresses. We feel confident in our ability to compete within our league with the hope to repeat as League Champs. District competition has never been stronger so our focus will be on making it through District Qualifiers and putting ourselves into a position to compete for States. We are also excited about the new incoming players who will be trying out for the team.”

North Penn
Coach: Dave DiValentino (eighth season).
Last Year’s Record: 13-2 Overall; 12-2 in the League; six district qualifiers.
Key Performers Lost: Andrew Lombardo; Ron Robinson.
Key Returners: Min Kim, Sr.; Shane Herb, Jr.; Tyler Schulze, Jr.
Others to Watch: David Givand, Fr.
Outlook for the Season: “We are looking to set certain goals for our team this year that we would like to reach. Obviously we would like to win our conference, but if we try to obtain small goals throughout the season, the end product will be better. With many younger players on the team, gaining experience playing competitive golf at a high level with make us better.”

North Penn’s Min Kim during the Pennridge Invitational at Indian Valley Country Club on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

Coach: Steve Yurchak (first season).
Last Year’s Record: 1-12.
Key Performers Lost: Matt Dolan; Ben Baker.
Key Returners: Cole White, Sr. Mike Simpson, Sr.; Paul Croyle, Jr.; Carloline Macfadden, Jr.
Others to Watch: Brenden Bauer, Fr.; Matt Genatempo, Fr.; Connor Fritch, Fr.
Outlook for the Season: A young, promising nucleus gives the Rams plenty of chance for improvement this fall.

Plymouth Whitemarsh
Coach: Jeff Kavanagh (third season).
Last Year’s Record: 10-4.
Key Performers Lost: Matt Aprile; Jon Green; Jake Butler.
Key Returners: Jon Silberman, Sr.; Alec Goldberg, Sr.; Scott Laudenbach, Jr.
Others to Watch: Cade Missimer, So.; Dylan Gooneratne, Fr.
Outlook for the Season: The Colonials should challenge for the top spot in the American.

Pope John Paul II
Coach: Brian Kovatch (first season).
Last Year’s Record: 7-3.
Key Performers Lost: Mike Limongelli; Matt Grimm; Andy Blum; James Poot.
Key Returners: J.T. Spina, Sr.; David Antoniuk, Sr.; Greg Hiriak, Sr.; Courtney Caiola, Sr.; Ethan Slover, Jr.
Outlook for the Season: “The program is coming off back-to-back PAC Final Four appearances. We believe we have the talent to compete for a third straight appearance, which is one of our team goals. A solid group of seniors coupled with good underclassmen depth has the program bullish on the coming fall season and into the future.”

Coach: Fred C. Cicacci (28th season).
Last Year’s Record: 9-4; 8-4 in SOL Continental.
Key Performers Lost: Dawson Anders; Nicholas Scott.
Key Returners: Thomas Butler, Jr.; Anthony Barr, Sr.; Evan Kreiser, Sr.; James O’Malley, So.; Joshua Smith, Sr.
Others to Watch: Steven Butler, Fr.; Liam Kreag, Jr.; Evan Bohmueller, Jr.; Justin Panner, Jr.; Ryan Lowe, Sr.; Young Lee, Jr.; Ryan Williams, Sr.
Outlook for the Season: “We look to be competitive in the tough Continental Conference. It depends upon how the golfers handle away matches at some difficult venues. A handful of our golfers had great competitive tournaments this spring and summer to prep for the season.”

Souderton’s Thomas Butler on the second green during the Pennridge Invitational at Indian Valley Country Club on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Coach: Brett Vivian (sixth season).
Last Year’s Record: 4-7-1.
Key Performers Lost: Drew Tracey.
Key Returners: Tim Dahme; Tommy Nadolski; Ryan Firman; Sean Cornley.
Outlook for the Season: “Ryan Firman was our only player to qualify for the SOL Championship last year and we are hoping to send at least two or three players this season. With our team focus being put on practicing short game and putting, we expect our record to improve from last year. With several new players this year, I would say that Austin Maggioncalda, and the Coll brothers, Finn and Liam, would be players to watch.”

Coach: Jeff Mast (30th season).
Last Year’s Record: 10-0 PAC.
Key Performers Lost: Chase Armor; Connor Boham; Thomas Freed; Alec Ridings; Jack Wilson.
Key Returners: Ben Pochet, Sr.; Jack Straub, Sr.; Jon Lumley, Jr.
Outlook for the Season: With a solid nucleus in place, the Rams should once again challenge for the conference crown.

Upper Dublin
Coach: Steve Pickford (second season).
Last Year’s Record: 15-2.
Key Performers Lost: David Kim; Brandon Jensen; Matt Hebling; Ryan Williams.
Key Returners: Jarrod Matz, Jr.; Jason Swartz, Sr.
Others to Watch: Grant Molloy, Sr.; Cary Romig, Sr.
Outlook for the Season: “We hope to repeat as American Conference Champions.”

Coach: Kevin Brady (second season).
Last Year’s Record: 13-1; SOL American Champs.
Key Performers Lost: Matt Greaff; Noah Harrington; Phil James.
Key Returners: Pranay Kumar, Sr.; Cristea Park, Jr.
Others to Watch: Dan Fantini, Sr.; Jackson Tappen, Fr.
Outlook for the Season: A good mix of experience and youth gives Wiss a chance to defend its title.



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