Penn College Golfers Ready for More Success
If ever there was a golden era in Pennsylvania College of Technology golf, it is now.
Over the past two seasons, Wildcat golfers have gone 80-0, captured back-to-back Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association championships (they also won the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference team title a year ago), produced the PCAA's individual champion in 2003 (Matt Haile of Sunbury) and the CCAC individual titlist last year (Brandon Smith of Wellsboro, who graduated).
With Haile and three other lettermen returning, coach Chet Schuman enters his sixth season with more than just a little optimism. The Wildcats open their season Friday at the Irem Temple course in Wilkes-Barre.
"This year's team comes in with one of the strongest set of credentials of any previous team we have had at Penn College," Schuman said.
Thanks to the college's affiliation with the Penn State University Athletic Conference, formerly the CCAC, students have four years of athletic eligibility and that allows Haile, a senior, to return. Also back from last year's 35-0 team are Shaun McQuay (sophomore/Watsontown), Gilbert Balliet (sophomore/Watsontown) and Tony Stopper (sophomore/Jersey Shore). McQuay earned PCAA all-state honors a year ago.
Over the summer, Balliet shot a Vintage Course-record 62 at the White Deer Golf Complex and was a part of the winning team in the White Deer Invitational.
Those four are joined by what Schuman describes as a "strong group of freshmen" in Jonathan Dolinich (Sayre), Andrew Hurst (York), Len Nicholas (Hollywood), Ryan Norhold (Enola) and Ben Pupek (Pottstown).
"The key is (that they) just play to their ability. If they play to their ability, then we will be very, very competitive," Schuman said.
"(Having gone 80-0 over the last two seasons) We have a big target on our back, and trust me, somebody wants to beat us," the coach continued.
How long can the current streak of success continue?
"I don't know. The freshmen coming up are very talented, and I'm hoping that good programs bring out (more) good golfers," Schuman said.
Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college's athletics Web site.