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Tribe Golfers Prepare for Abbreviated Season
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-09-09

            Members of Upper Perkiomen's golf team have spent most of the summer playing alone. On Tuesday, when the team convened at its home course for the first

Upper Perk golfer Donavan Hanney tees off during prac-

tice on hole #3 at Macoby Run Golf Courst on Tuesday

afteroon - it was the first time the team practiced together.

time this season, Coach John Brittain delivered a simple message: stay safe and take advantage of the opportunity to improve.

            "Let's make the best of this situation and go from there," he said.

            Concerns over the novel coronavirus will lead to an abbreviated season for the Indians, who could begin competing in the Pioneer Athletic Conference on Monday. They likely won't have any non-league matches, according to Brittain. He said the conference championship meet will be smaller than usual, and that dual meet season could extend into October.

            District One and the PIAA are planning post-season tournaments. The coach said he received those details during a Zoom meeting held Sept. 9.

            Brittain has spent the summer keeping up with his players' progress. The coach said it's easier for them to follow the restrictions set by each local golf course than the more strenuous standards established by the school district's health and safety plan.  "From what I'm hearing, they are playing quite a bit," he said.

            The Indians will be led by Zach Gehman and Soren Svanson, their top two returning seniors. Gehman, who is expected to be the No. 1 player, has made significant strides with his short game, according to Brittain.

            "What I like about Zach is that he is so even keel," the coach said of Gehman, who was named the co-MVP of last year's season and whose family owns and operates the Butter Valley Golf Port in Upper Hanover. "He never gets too excited. He always seems to have a consistent score."

            Brittain described Svanson as the hardest working player he's ever coached. According to the coach, the senior has focused on becoming consistent and has improved his ability to manage his way through his round.

            "Soren has learned to slow down," Brittain said. "He's starting to understand golf is not a 'go go go' game."

            Classmate Donovan Hanney should contend for a spot in the Tribe's lineup. The coach expressed hope that a lack of summer baseball allowed Hanney to play additional rounds.

            "Hopefully, he was able to get ready for the season," Brittain said.

            Like Hanney, the coach hopes Nate Reinhart played more golf this summer than in past years due to a lack of travel baseball. Brittain described Reinhart, the team's top returning junior, as a natural athlete who would be "good at anything he decides to pick up."

            A trio of sophomores - Braden Rothenberger, Zach Silver and Blake Gehman - are all expected to compete against senior James Weller for spots in the starting lineup. At least one ninth-grader, Brandon Rozanski, should be included in the mix, according to the coach.  "Brandon is a pretty good player," Brittain said.

            Connor Martin will not play due to injury but will remain a part of the team after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery. Brittain said Martin, who played in varsity matches last season, did not receive medical approval to play.


 

 

 

 

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