Potter Leader-Enterprise / Port Allegany Reporter Argus
September 9, 2009
The Port Allegany girls’ golf team may not have the benefit of a home-course advantage, but the Lady Gators do have something no other Penn-York League squad can claim: reigning league MVP Lynea Gustafson. The three-time All-Star began her senior season the same way she ended the last one, medaling in each of the team’s first two matches.
“Lynea has a very natural swing,” said coach Dave Roae. “There’s not a lot I can do to change what she’s doing, because she’s doing such a nice job. She definitely has the talent to play at the collegiate level. I think she’s the top golfer in the league again this year. She’s going to get pushed a little bit by Ashley Mackey from Bradford – she’s one to watch – but I think Lynea’s definitely the cream of the crop in our league. She’s got nowhere to go but up – or down – in score, depending on how you want to look at it,” he said with a grin.
Juniors Alesha Shatley and Amber Fischer and sophomores Lindsay Delacour and Sasha Fisher also return from last year’s squad, giving Roae an experienced foundation to build on. Instead of having to spend most of his practice time teaching fundamentals, he can focus on fine-tuning each golfer’s game.
“It’s definitely a help,” Roae said. “We can work on golf swings at practice instead of having to teach the absolute basics.”
Junior Cora Bova is the lone new addition to the team. “She’s already improving,” Roae said. “She’s really never golfed before, she’s brand new at this, but she’s an athletic young lady and I think she can help us.”
Port went “oh-and-whatever” in regular-season matches last year but recorded a strong showing in the league tournament, finishing a single stroke out of a tie for second place and providing Roae with a source of motivation for this season. “It gave us a chance to say, ‘Hey, we can compete with the rest of the league,’” he said.
The Gator girls emphatically proved that point in their season opener, dominating Smethport 33-21 to earn a split in a tri-match played on Cameron County’s home course.
“It had been several years since we had won a match, so it was very nice to see,” Roae said. “We’ve been struggling with numbers in the past few years, with our practice situation being what it is, so it was very nice to come in with a win.”
Now in his fourth season with the program, Roae’s goals are simple: “As long as I can get my ladies to continually improve, I’ll be happy.” As for the team? “Win some more matches.”
Roae sees Bradford and Coudersport battling for the Penn-York league championship, with everyone else competing for third place. Where does Port Allegany factor into that equation?
“We are definitely more competitive this year,” he said. “We have the young ladies with talent to win a few matches this year, and that’s a great thing to see for the program.”
9 – Kane, 4 p.m.
10 – Coudersport, 4 p.m.
17 – Couderport, 4 p.m.
21 – Cameron County, 4 p.m.
23 – Bradford, 3:30 p.m.
24 – Penn-York Tournament, 9 a.m.
28 – Kane, 4 p.m.
5 – District 9 Tournament, 9 a.m.