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Penn College Wins First PCAA Golf Title

“We’re now in a world we’ve never been in,” Pennsylvania College of Technologygolf coach Chet Schuman observed as the Wildcats headed for the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association championships Monday and Tuesday.

And, after winning their first state championship ever, producing the College’s first individual state titlist in more than 20 years and seeing Schuman named “Coach of the Year,” it’s hard to say where they are now . . . but Schuman and his golfers are happy.

“We did it all, and we did it our way, too,” said the fourth-year coach, noting that his squad built a 15-stroke lead after the first day of competition and extended it to 27 strokes (459 to 486) over second-place Butler by the end of the tournament.

Matt Haile, a sophomore who played high school golf at Shikellamy High in Sunbury, completed one of the best seasons ever for a Wildcat golfer by putting together rounds of 74-76 for a 150 total. He finished regulation play tied with Randy Sellers of Penn State-Mont Alto, then claimed the title with a birdie on the first playoff hole while Sellers had a bogey.

“Matt is probably one of the most consistent, steadiest players in the entire league. And he has tremendous demeanor. There were golfers and coaches from other schools who were rooting for him,” Schuman said.

Haile was second in the PCAA last year as a freshman. Dan McKean was the last Wildcat to medal in the state tournament, at the College’s forerunner, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1982.

Christian Scheller, a sophomore from North Pocono, also took a step up this year, coming in third one notch higher than last season. Scheller had rounds of 78-74 for a 152 total. Jeff Kerr II, a freshman from Bloomsburg, was fifth (82-76 for 158) and Brandon Smith, a freshman from Wellsboro, finished 11th (81-81 for 162). Haile, Scheller and Kerr were awarded all-state honors.

The team’s success has been embraced by the entire Penn College campus, according to the coach.

“It’s really a nice feeling, especially for the golfers,” Schuman said. “It’s been an unbelievable ride . . . They’ll be forever enshrined here at the College for what they’ve accomplished this year.”

Commenting on his selection as state “Coach of the Year,” he said, “It’s an honor, but it’s more important that the kids get their honors. I couldn’t do it without them!”

Throughout the season, Schuman reminded his players, and anyone who asked, that “You’re only as good as you are today.”

Today, they are No. 1 and it will be something to savor for many months to come.

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