Wildcat Golfers Again Take Care of Business, Win Yet Another Title
A good work ethic is important in all facets of life, and because the Pennsylvania College of Technology golf team took care of business on Monday, it won yet another conference title on Tuesday.
Paced by freshmen Matt Winder (Montgomery) and T.C. Reynolds (Muncy) who shared medalist honors by shooting 73s, the Wildcats captured the season-ending Penn State University Athletic Conference championship in a rain-shortened final at the Penn State Blue Course. By beating seven other teams, they also improved their four-season win streak to 130-0.
"They peaked at the right time," Wildcat coach Chet Schuman said. "You have to keep in mind that these young men were playing courses blind (for the first time). In Division I, they play a practice round and then they play the match. Our kids went in playing blind. It shows the skill level of these kids. They're good golfers."
Good weather Monday helped produce some great scores. In addition to Winder and Reynolds' 73s, Gibby Balliet (junior/Watsontown) shot a 78, Len Nicholas (sophomore/Hollywood) shot a 79, defending individual champ Shaun McQuay (junior/Watsontown) recorded an 81, Craig Flint (sophomore/Port Allegany) had an 82, Tony Stopper (junior/Jersey Shore) shot an 84 and Ryan Nornhold (sophomore/Enola) shot an 85 for Penn College. Penn College's top six golfers earned all-conference honors.
Teamwise on Monday, Penn College had a season-low 305, while Penn State Mont Alto was second with 339. Scores of Winder, Reynolds, Balliet and McQuay were used to determine the Wildcats' team score.
Play began Tuesday, but heavy rain and cool temperatures, and a forecast for more of the same throughout the day, brought action to a halt midway through the round. Scores from Monday were used to decide the final outcome.
"All the kids came off the course, and they wanted to come off because of the terrible weather, but all were playing very well. The fact that they came off the course playing very well made me feel good that we would have done even better the second day," Schuman said.
"They did a great job.... The college is very proud of the young men they put out on the golf course. They represent us very well," continued the coach, in his seventh season.
Of the players on the Wildcats roster, none is a senior, which could bode well for the future.
"A lot of things can happen over a year, but, if they come back and are ready to play, we should have a very competitive team next year," Schuman said.
The PSUAC crown was the second straight for the Wildcats. They won Commonwealth Conference Athletic Conference and Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association titles in 2004 and the PCAA championship in 2003. Penn College teams were champions in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference in 1994, 1995 and 1998.
This also marked the fourth straight year that a Penn College golfer has been a conference individual champion. Matt Haile did it in 2003, Brandon Smith in 2004 and McQuay last year. The college's only other individual conference champ was Dan McKean, in 1982.