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Golf Team: New Faces Against Slate of Familiar Challengers

Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Chet Schuman has two goals in mind for his team: qualify individual players and his team for the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association Championships.

Although the Wildcats return three starters sophomores Brian Vertigan (a graduate of Emmaus High), Kevin Croom (Cave Spring, Va.) and Chris Weary (Cumberland Valley) they are being pushed hard by six freshmen.

“I’m looking for leadership from the sophomores, but we have a very, very strong freshman class,” the second-year coach assessed. The “youngsters” include Kyle Stahl (Milton), Josh Wells (DuBois), Brad Wells (Stroudsburg), Nathan Hauser (Mt. Calvary), Matt Beers (Mount Union) and Eric Kilburn (Cocalico).

Six players represent the college at each match, with the four low scorers used to calculate team score. The Wildcats finished third in a six-team competition in their opener Sept. 7 on the Irem Temple Course at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, falling to Keystone College and Northampton County Community College and topping Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County Community College and Johnson Tech. They missed out on second by just two strokes.

Going into a Sept. 13 match at Green Pond, home course for Northampton County Community College, Vertigan will play at No. 1, with Josh Wells at 2, Stahl at 3, Brad Wells at 4, Croom at 5 and Weary, Hauser or Beers at No. 6.

“If we play the game that we should play, we should finish second and give a run for first,” Schuman said, noting that the same six teams his squad opened against will be opponents throughout the season, with only the course site varying. Penn College will host the group Sept. 25 on the White Deer Challenge Course.

Looking ahead, Schuman said, “We need to take four players to states in order for the college to compete for the state championship. Our goal this year is to do that. And we have players that can shoot those scores to go. I think people are going to notice us this year.

“The kids are here for an education. Education comes first, but the fact that they can compete at a collegiate level is very, very nice. It gives them a great opportunity to match up with players from all across the state. One of the players that they played against last week had a full ride to a school, but his academics didn’t allow him to go. They’re playing with some of the best,” Schuman added.

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