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Golf Team Looks to Improve

A mix of solid veterans and a promising quartet of freshmen are expected to lead the Wyalusing Valley High School golf team into league contention this year.

"I really think we have a shot," said John Bradley, who is starting his 12th year as coach.

Five letterwinners return from last year's squad that struggled to an 18-39 overall record.

Senior Preston Hitchcock and junior Matt Lee were consistently Bradley's top two golfers last season.

Hitchcock earned first-team All-NTL honors in 2003, averaging 86 in 10 matches. In Northern Tier League matches, he averaged 85.6.

The other returning letterwinners are senior Jake Beattie and juniors Alex Ochse and Shane Terascavage.

While Bradley is looking to the upperclassmen to provide leadership, he is excited about the potential of the freshmen—Bucky Aeppli, Jeff Dorman, Craig Fenton and Drew Fogel.

"All four freshmen could letter," he said.

Aeppli comes to the team with a Towanda Country Club junior club championship under his belt. His two-round score of 162 last weekend was 21 strokes better than the second-place finisher. He also won the second-flight of the regular club championship.

The second-place finisher in the junior club championship at TCC was Dorman. Fogel finished third with a score of 190.

Aeppli's talent is obvious, but the "other three have a lot of potential," Bradley said. "I'll be surprised if they don't letter."

While the Rams are clearly improved, Bradley feels the rest of the league is vulnerable.

Athens, the defending champion, lost the majority of its team to graduation, as did third-place Mansfield.

According to Bradley, Towanda may not even field a team as it has fewer players out than the minimum needed to be scored as a team.

The door is open for Wyalusing to dramatically improve on its sixth-place finish of a year ago.

"I'm optimistic," he said.

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