Wildcat Golfers Seek Continued Success

Published 09.07.2004


Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Chet Schuman is not sure that this season's team will match the accomplishments of last year's undefeated championship squad, but he is sure of one thing: Their attitude is good. Returning from the "dream season" team that went 45-0 overall and won the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Conference championship are sophomores Jeff Kerr (Bloomsburg), Brandon Smith (Wellsboro), Scott Dawson (Danville) and Christopher Herb (Halifax). Kerr placed fifth in the end-of-the-season PCAA championships and Smith was 11th. Among what Schuman describes as a "great group of freshmen" are Shaun McQuay and Gilbert Balliet (both of whom helped Warrior Run High School to the PIAA District 4 high school team championship last fall), Tony Stopper (Jersey Shore) and John Messerly (Napoleon, Mich.). McQuay is the current White Deer Golf Course club champion. "Some of these golfers have the potential of doing very, very well this year. . . . I think we're deeper as far as talent throughout the squad than we were last year. They could do well," Schuman said. "As far as repeating last year . . . I don't know. That would be another dream come true. Some of these kids have told me they have never lost in college golf and they don't want to start losing. That's a real positive attitude," the coach continued. "Even though last year was a dream season, I will be as nervous as though it was my first year when they go out on the course," said Schuman, who is starting his fifth year at the helm of the Wildcats. Penn College opens its season Friday in a six-team tournament at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. In practice, Wildcat golfers have been shooting between the low 70s to low 80s, and Schuman credits the management at White Deer for giving his players ample opportunity to practice and improve. "They really watch out for us. They bend over backwards to help us. Without their support we couldn't practice, and that's wonderful," the coach said. In addition to competing in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference this season, Penn College is a new member of the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Association. Following five regular-season matches this month, Wildcat golfers will participate in the EPCC tournament in early October, then, in mid-October, participate in the combined PCAA/CCAC tournament. Schuman described his team's schedule as a sprint. "Four or five weeks and we're done with the season. There's not a lot of room for major turnarounds. You've got to score early and move on," the coach said. Like last year, players in each event will be paired by handicap; although, this season, no two players from the same team can be in the same foursome. Six players from each squad will compete in matches, with the low four scores being used to determine team totals. "I hope the kids play up to their ability. If they do that we'll be fine," Schuman added.