Port Allegany Reporter Argus
September 4, 2008
With four returning letterwinners on the team, including two-time Penn-York League All-Star Lynea Gustafson, Port Allegany girls’ golf coach David Roae has reason for guarded optimism heading into the 2008 season.
“I definitely expect us to place better than we did last year against the other teams in our league,” he said. “We were outmatched last year. We were out-talented in every match. But I think with four girls with experience, we have a better chance of at least being competitive.”
Gustafson is the team’s unquestioned No. 1 player. “She’s a good golfer,” Roae said. “I don’t know if she was the medalist in any of our matches, but she was consistently second or third in every match that we played.”
Seniors Sarah Gordon and Shaina Snodgrass also competed in the District 9 championships last year, and sophomore Amber Fischer returns for her second season. They’re joined by sophomore Alesha Shatley and freshmen Sasha Fischer, Lindsay Delacour, Nyasia Middleton, Kiersten Kio, and Justine Kinney; Roae hopes the large freshman class will become a solid base of talent to build on in future seasons.
Because the Gator golf teams no longer have a home course, the fourth-year head coach admitted the last couple of years have been demanding. “It’s difficult to practice, and it’s difficult to plan for matches,” he said. “Last year, for two of the girls, our first match was the first time they’d ever been on a golf course. Can you imagine being a basketball coach and going out for your first game, and two of your players had never been on the court before?”
Despite the added inconveniences, Roae’s commitment to the program hasn’t wavered. “Yes, it’s a challenge to come up with a winning team and recruit girls and keep things going – but we do it, and we do the best with what we have,” he said. “It’s such a great sport, and it’s a sport the kids can take with them for the rest of their lives. I think it’s something we definitely need to keep going.”