Shady Side Academy boys golfers set high expectations for season
The Shady Side Academy boys golf team, coached by Mark Hessler, is coming off of a highly successful 2017 season.
The Indians won Section 8-AAA with a 9-1 record and finished 11-2 overall. They qualified for the WPIAL team tournament and finished fourth overall. The team also won the IPSL Tournament consisting of SSA, Western Reserve Academy in Cleveland, Linsly School in West Virginia and Kiski Prep.
The Indians must replace Frankie Fuhrer IV and Patrick Ellis from last year but return six players -- senior Jas Fuhrer, juniors Brice Delaney, Patrick Walsh and Grady Munroe, along with sophomores Adam Lauer and Brice Delaney. All were starters at some point last year.
Three newcomers expected to contribute are senior John Andreos, sophomore Garrett Fuhrer and freshman Weston Warden.
According to assistant coach Kyle Smith, the strength of the team will be depth and experience.
“These players have had a consistent coaching staff and improved their final results over the past three years,” he said. “Jas Fuhrer is entering his fourth year in the starting lineup and is coming off a recent victory in a summer tournament in Cleveland. Delaney is entering his third year as a starter and brings a wealth of experience to the team. Both Fuhrer and Delaney have played in the WPIAL individual finals, as well as the WPIAL team finals.
“Lauer and Troutman are two of the most talented young golfers in the WPIAL and are entering their second years as starters. ... Other players with experience include Walsh and Munroe.”
Smith added that the Indians will have their hands full against some of the top competition in the state.
“There aren’t any real areas of concern with the team given our talent and depth, but the WPIAL is loaded this year in Triple-A,” he said. “Central Catholic has won back-to-back WPIAL titles, and Fox Chapel is as deep as any team I have seen in my time coaching. There are also great individual players in the WPIAL this year, so making the individual or team finals will be a great accomplishment.”
SSA will be competing in Section 8-AAA this season.
“The top competition in our section over the past couple of years has been Hampton, and I would expect them to be strong again, even though they lost some great seniors,” Smith said. “Armstrong is improving every year and has some talented sophomores returning. Mars is another team that you always have to be ready for, especially at their home course.”
Despite the competition, the Indians are setting their expectations high.
“Our expectations are to win the section, win the WPIAL team tournament, and qualify for the PIAA tournament,” Smith said. “With our individual talent, we also expect to see our top players compete for the WPIAL individual title.”