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Wildcat Golfers Win Two Championships

It’s one thing to have talent, and another to make that talent work for you. Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Chet Schuman did both this season and the reward was not one, but two championships.

The Wildcats captured their second consecutive Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association championship Tuesday and also won the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference title during their first year in that circuit. In addition, Schuman was named coach of the year in both leagues.

“That’s a tribute to the players,” Schuman said of his dual honors. Despite his personal postseason accolades, Schuman is always the first to tell anyone who asks that it is his golfers who deserve all of the credit. The tournament Monday and Tuesday at the Penn National course in Fayetteville proved just that.

“The kids played well. The kids played real well. It’s a nice way for them to end the season,” Schuman said.

Brandon Smith, a sophomore from Wellsboro, led the way for the Wildcats with a two-day total of 151 on rounds of 76-75. He was the medalist in the CCAC portion of the championship and third in the PCAA championships after tying with two other golfers then losing in a playoff.

Right behind Smith were sophomore Jeff Kerr II of Bloomsburg, who shot a 154 (78-76), and freshman Shaun McQuay of Warrior Run, who fired a 156 (76-80).

All three were awarded all-PCAA honors.

Also for the Wildcats, freshman Gilbert Balliet of Warrior Run had a 160 (78-82), junior Matt Haile of Shikellamy shot a 164 (77-87; he competed only in the CCAC tournament) and freshman Tony Stopper of Jersey Shore recorded a 171 (88-83).

Schuman was especially pleased with the play of Smith.

“Last year, Brandon asked if I had ever won before. This year, he pointed out that he never lost a match. Not only did he not lose a match while he was a player (at Penn College), but he ended up being the medalist his first time in the CCAC tournament,” the coach said.

“He played extremely well. He rises to the occasion when you put him under pressure. He was a medalist earlier this year (during a regular-season tournament). He comes from good stock. He knows pressure,” Schuman added.

In the PCAA part of the tournament, the Wildcats recorded a 461 team score and finished eight strokes ahead of Butler Community College. Also among the PCAA leaders were Westmoreland Community College, 479; Penn State Mont Alto, 483; Pitt-Titusville, 493; Luzerne Community College, 493; and Penn State Beaver, 497. The top three individual scores from each team counted toward team score in the PCAA.

In the CCAC championships, where the top four scorers counted toward the team total, Penn College had a 617, followed by Penn State Beaver with 669, Penn State Mont Alto with 674, Penn State Wilkes-Barre with 709 and Penn State Abington with 725.

This marked the second-straight undefeated season for the Penn College golf team. It was 35-0 this year and is 80-0 over the past two seasons.

“Unbelievable!” Schuman said of the streak. “It’s a tribute to the kids. They’re a great group of golfers and a great group of young men. On and off the golf course, they represent the College very well.”

Looking ahead, Schuman said, “I just hope we can continue to play good golf. We lose two good golfers this year in Smith and Kerr. We’re going to miss their leadership. The freshmen are going to have to step up next year.”

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