Boys Golf: 2014 North Season Preview

Written by Joe Koch on .

Class AAA: Shady Side's Katarincic tops list of returnees

A year ago, Shady Side Academy's Jack Katarincic had a stellar season as he placed 13th in the WPIAL Individual Class AAA boys golf tournament ad Diamond Run. What was impressive about his 7-over-par round of 77 is that is the springboard he hopes to take into his next two years as a member of the Indians' golf team.

Just a junior, Katarincic has two solid years of golf in front of him. Teammate Sean Gramley also competed in the WPIAL Individual Championship a year ago. He placed 30th with a 16-over-par round of 86, and he returns for his senior season. Another teammate, Pat Bush, shot an 80 at the Section 8 qualifier as a junior.

Count on Hampton High's Ben Huber to make some noise this season. As a freshman, Huber was one of 36 golfers to quality for the WPIAL Class AAA Individual Championship a year ago. He finished 33rd with an 18-over-par round of 88. With three years remaining, Huber's high school career got off to a fine start with his appearance in the championship event.

Expect some solid efforts to come from Bush, Fox Chapel sophomore Matt Friday, Pine-Richland senior Connor White, North Allegheny senior Martin Lazzaro and Fox Chapel sophomore Anthony Cordaro. All of them competed in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals a year ago. Lazzaro just missed advancing to the individual championship as he was an alternate.

Class AA: Sewickley Academy has designs on winning another WPIAL team title

In 2013, Sewickley Academy played well down when the championship events were taking place in the Class AA boys alignment of the WPIAL golf season.

One of the stronger teams annually in the district, the Panthers compiled a score of 390 to advance to the finals of the WPIAL Class AA team tournament. In the championship event held at Cedarbrook Golf Club, Sewickley Academy shot a team total of 398 to win the WPIAL Class AA championship by 10 strokes over another perennial favorite, Burgettstown.

The effort earned the Panthers a berth in the Class AA state championship where they placed third out of six teams.

Sewickley Academy lost two of the five players it took to Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York for the state team championship -- Keenan Hickton and Sam Duerr. But coach Win Palmer welcomed three members of that team back for this season: senior Anthony Muscato, junior Scott Brown and sophomore Jason Li.

This season, the Panthers were 4-0 heading into this past Friday's match at Quigley. They scored a big win with a playoff victory in a nonsection match against North Allegheny. Tied 184-184 after nine holes, the Panthers won the match on the third playoff hole.

It was Li who helped propel the Panthers to the WPIAL Class AA team championship a year ago when his 7-over-par round of 77 was a key factor in the Panthers' championship.

Muscato qualified for the WPIAL individual championship a year ago where he placed ninth.

He'll be joined by some other fine competitors this season. Included in that group are the Tanabe brothers from Quaker Valley. Alex Tanabe, who is a senior, placed 14th a year ago at the WPIAL Class AA individual championship. Younger brother Chris is a sophomore. As a freshman, he finished 33rd a year ago.

Other top returnees include Eden Christian Academy's Carter Ehms and Northgate/Avonworth's Jay Knable. Both are seniors this year. Ehms finished 15th at the WPIAL Class AA individual championship; Knable was 24th.