Kittanning Boys Play for Golf Championship Today

The Kittanning Senior High boys’ golf team plays for the WPIAL championship today in Belle Vernon against six other teams – including the section rival and runner-up Freeport Yellow Jackets. (submitted photo)

by Jonathan Weaver

This summer, the Kittanning High School golf team could routinely be found on the greens perfecting their game.

That dedication led to another Section 1-AA boys golf championship and to this week’s Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League matchups.

Top-5 Golfer Nathan Falchetti attributed that work ethic to his team’s success.

“That’s probably a huge factor why we’re continuing to be pretty good,” Falchetti said.

Yesterday, the Wildcats captured second place in their bracket to advance to this morning’s championship at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon.

The semifinals began with 20 schools at Cherry Creek Golf Club in Greensburg, Coach Bud Stanley explained.

“In the semifinals, there are two brackets of 10 teams. In each of those brackets, they pick the top three – in the bracket we were in, we took second place, so we’re one team that gets to go,” Stanley said. “There will be six schools vying for the championship.”

Among those today in the hunt for the boys’ title are teams from Burgettstown, Winchester Thurston, Sewickley Academy, Laurel and section runner-up Freeport.

Coach Stanley was happy with the way Kittanning’s Top 5 – Juniors Cole Davis, Christian Miller, Noah Kunst, Noah Spang and Nathan Falchetti – played yesterday, as they shot within three strokes of their season average.

Jeremy Yackmack will be the team’s sixth starter today. The top five scores are averaged into the championship total.

“Our goal coming into this was to play our game – meaning to just shoot the scores we have shot all year,” Stanley said. “It got us to this point, so I didn’t feel we had to try and be someone that we’re not.”

Coach Stanley told his players yesterday while they practiced on the Cedarbrook Golf Course – which is also home to the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcan Men’s and Women’s NCAA varsity golf teams and the university’s Professional Golf Management program – that the course is indeed ‘scorable’ and urged them to stick to their game.

“From top to bottom, this may be the strongest line-up we’ve had,” Stanley said. “We’re solid from top to bottom.”

Only the top team score moves on to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championship regional matchups next week.

Kittanning golfers have won three section championships – in 2010, 2012 and 2013 – since the program was established in 2000 under Coach Stanley.

The championship begins at 9:30AM. Kittanning starts on the back nine of the ‘gold’ course.