Area looking for next flight of top golfers

A year after Central Cambria finished fourth in the state and Max Kirsch took eighth individually in the PIAA championships, the landscape of area high school golf has changed.

No members of the Altoona Mirror first team will return in 2013. Central Cambria will get back Dom Stevens, Gabe Seymour and Jeremy Eckenrode from its District 6 championship squad.

“Our returning starters are the core of the team and should have a great season,” Central Cambria coach Tom Aurandt said. “I also anticipate solid play and breakout performances from several of the other players.”

Altoona and Hollidaysburg both return several starters from squads that had above-average seasons a year ago.

In District 5, two-time girls champion Logan Brallier of Everett will attempt to win back her title after Bedford’s Kourtney Mortimer took top honors in 2012. Mortimer is one of four starters returning for the Bisons, who finished one stroke away from a District 5 team title last year.

“This is the most talented top-to-bottom team I have seen in my four years,” Bedford coach Matt Barkman said. “Having eight players who scored 77-87 in qualifying shows great depth. Losing the District 5 tournament by one stroke last year should fuel our team to do some nice things this season.”

The following is a capsulized look at each team in the Mirror’s coverage area.


Coach: Erick Kozak, ninth year

Career record: 60-29

League: None

Last years record: 13-6

Returning starters: Trentin Martin, jr.; Thad Zitsch, jr.; Trey Barefoot, so.; Derek Fink, so.

Newcomers: Elijah Dehaven, jr.; J.P. Duffy, fr.; Austin DelBaggio, fr.; Nate Lawhead, fr.; Michael Duffy, fr.; Dylan John, fr.; Billy Ajay, fr.

Strengths: “We have a couple of experienced players who will be able to help the younger players learn what it takes to succeed at the varsity level.”

Concerns: “Our top six will have at least two freshmen and possibly more. That will be a challenge for the younger players as they try to compete against some older players.”

Overall outlook: “We hope to be competitive in all of our matches and improve as the season progresses.”

Assistant Coach: Adam Camberg


Coach: Matt Barkman, fourth year

Career record: 23-17

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year’s record: 7-5, 2-5 in LHAC

Returning starters: Kevin McDaniel, sr.; Nick Straub, sr.; Kourtney Mortimer, jr.; Bailey Martin, jr.

Other returnees: Andrew Smith, jr.; David Cain, jr.; Jeff Kidd, so.; Levi Bowman, so.; Cody Tew, so.

Newcomers: Kody Blevins, sr.; Megan Foster, sr.; Kelly Martin, jr.; Kyle Pittman, jr.; Kyle Toczek, so.; Ben Windows, so.; Jacob Dull, so.; Matt Thorton, so.; Jacob Black, fr.

Strengths: “Good senior leadership from McDaniel and Straub. Also returning match experience in Bailey Martin and returning District 5 girls champion Kourtney Mortimer.”

Concerns: “There are a handful of underclassmen that have shown potential. In order to have a successful season, we will need them to perform well in matches.”

Overall outlook: “This is the most talented top-to-bottom team I have seen in my four years. Having eight players who scored 77-87 in qualifying shows great depth. Losing the District 5 tournament by one stroke last year should fuel our team to do some nice things this season.”

Assistant coaches: Matthew Bullington


Coach: Galen Claar, first year

Career record: 0-0

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year’s record: 5-6, 2-4 in ICC

Returning starters: Mallory Harold, sr.; Adam Osborne, jr.; Curt Messner, jr.

Other returnees: Kalieb Mielnik, so.; Logan Morrison, so.; Blair Poorman, so.

Newcomers: Derek Swope, so.; Kenna Kerns, fr.; Shannon Abrams, fr.

Strengths: “The returning letterwinners should provide a strong foundation and leadership.”

Concerns: “The inexperience of the younger players.”

Overall outlook: “With the returning letterwinners, I expect them to play well. Mallory was in the top 10 at districts in girls competition last year, and Adam and Curt have been playing well this summer. If the younger players improve throughout the year, we should be competitive in our league.”

Assistant coaches: Scott Hunter, Ken Swanson, Faith Riling

Bishop Carroll

Coach: Doug Link, 15th year

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year’s record: 6-5

Returning starters: Caleb Oldham, sr.; Luke Vasilko, sr.; Courtney Link, so.

Other returnees: Bryant Ongst, jr.; Seth Hall, jr.

Newcomers: Madeline Vasilko, fr.; Madeline Phister, fr.; Braddy Price, jr.

Strengths: “Caleb, Luke and Courtney can lead the way and help their teammates.”

Concerns: “We are short on players and experience.”

Overall outlook: “We will have a fun year.”

Assistant coach: Jeff Vasilko

Bishop Guilfoyle

Coach: Rick Tangeman, 18th year

Career record: 82-118

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year’s record: 4-6, 4-5 in LHAC

Returning starters: Jared Cummings, sr.; Gordy Hollingshead, sr.; Jared Barber, jr.; Morgan Litzinger, jr.; Aidan Sweeney, so.

Other returnees: Joe Dombrowski, so.; Alec Bakale, so.

Newcomers: Max Benzel, so.; Dillon Disabato, fr.; Michael Eppolito, fr.

Strengths: “We have a core of seniors and juniors who will be competitive as we continue to strive to lower our scores.”

Concerns: “Losing eight seniors from last year’s squad leaves a void in our overall match experience. We need to continue to improve by working on our short games.”

Overall outlook: “This is a very competitive league, and we look forward to the challenge.”

Assistant coaches: Daryl Williams


Coach: Robbie Keith, seventh year

League: Mountain League

Last year’s record: 8-3, 6-0 in ML

Returning starters: Preston Gregg, Ryan Mills, Ben Brumbaugh, Brian Brumbaugh

Other returners: Seth Gunnett, Nick Strum, Brittany Mayer, Xavier Maslowski

Newcomers: Devin Dively, Cordell Bowser, Cynthia Conley, Cassie Leonard

Strengths: “We have four seniors this year who have all been around a long time and know what it takes to win and to be great leaders to the younger players”

Concerns: “After the top three players, we don’t have a lot of experience playing golf in a competition setting”

Overall Outlook: “If we can get some key contributions from some of the younger players, I believe we have an excellent chance at winning the Mountain League again”

Central Cambria

Coach: Tom Aurandt, third year

Career record: 18-2

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year’s record: 8-1

Returning starters: Dom Stevens, jr.; Gabe Seymour jr.; Jeremy Eckenrode so.

Other returnees: Cameron Hoffman jr.; Tyler Weigel jr.; Shane Hunt so.; Coleman Long so.; Braden Hoffman so.

Newcomers: Marcus Magley fr.; Collin Seymour fr.; Lauren Stevens fr.

Strengths: “Our returning starters are the core of the team and should have a great season. I also anticipate solid play and breakout performances from several of the other players.”

Concerns: “This is a very young team with four juniors, four sophomores, and three freshmen.”

Overall outlook: “I expect this very young team to do well. They are a dedicated group and work very hard on their games.”

Chestnut Ridge

Coach: Brad Criswell, seventh year

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year’s record: 4-3

Returning starters: Brandon M. Weyant, sr.; Derrick Claar, jr; Luke Stultz, jr.; Hunter Beisinger, jr.

Other returnees: MacKenzie Livingston, so.

Newcomers: Tom Osman, so.; Dakota Kauffman, so.; Camden Criswell, fr.

Strengths: “Our returning starters are all fairly solid in their game.”

Concerns: “We are inexperienced after our top four golfers.”


Coach: Gene Decker, three years

Career record: 11-13

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year’s record: 4-6

Returning starters: Logan Brallier, sr.; Colton Williams sr.; Matt Zanella sr.

Other returnees: Ethan Foor, jr.

Newcomers: Logan Tewell, so.,Blake Jesk, so.; Ethan Strait, fr.; Cory Ullman, fr.; Tristen White, fr.; Sam Morse, fr.; Zack Robinson, fr.

Strengths: “Logan Brallier is a three-time regional qualifier, winning the District 5 girls title in her freshman and sophomore years. Either Matt Zanella and Colton Williams should our No. 2 or No. 3 players this year. Ethan Strait and Zack Robinson could big contributors as well.”

Concerns: “Depth.”

Overall outlook: “Looking for a strong showing in our league.”


Coach: Bryan James, third year

Career record: 23-4

League: None

Last year’s record: 16-3

Returning starters: Hunter Shields, jr.; Grant Delozier, jr.; Jerome Landry, jr.; Jesse Ottaway, jr.; Daniel Stubbs, jr.; David Schraff, so.; David Snyder, so.

Newcomers: Gage Hollingshead, jr.; Micah Bowser, fr.; J.J. Collins, fr.; Cameron Edgell, fr.; Michael Reese, fr.; Adam Rosenbaum, fr.; Isaac Wood, fr.

Strengths: “This team consists of student-athletes that have clearly put in time on the course during the offseason. Several individuals have begun to show vast improvements in all areas of the game.”

Concerns: “Consistency.”

Overall outlook: “There is a strong bond among members of this team. The plan is to utilize the next two months in order to improve each week and ultimately play our best golf in October.”


Coach: Scott Eichelberger, seventh year

Career record: 12-60-1

League: Mountain League

Returning starter: Joey Dell, sr.; Cole Bishop so.; Lane Wilson, so.

Other returnees: Avery Simpson, jr.; Josh Finkle, so.

Newcomers: Zach Foust, sr.; Kendra McCartney, so.; Matt Kruppa, fr.; Devin Atherton, fr.; Drew Watson, fr.; J-Dyn Yetter, fr.

Strengths: “Sophomores with good experience and a good crop of newcomers.”

Concerns: “How the newcomers will handle the pressure of competition.”

Northern Bedford

Coach: Gene Snyder, seventh year

Career record: 35-25

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year’s record: 5-7, 5-5 in ICC

Returning starters: Colin Guyer, so.

Other returnees: Brandon Wright, sr.; Mitchell McDonald, sr.; Dan Defibaugh, jr.; Caleb Grace, jr.; Zane Grimes, jr.

Newcomers: Brandon Beck, fr.; Patrick Black, fr.; Austin Detwiler, fr.; Ryan Leonard, fr.; Jake Long, fr.; Logan Wismeyer, fr.

Strengths: “We will have a great attitude about striving to get better during the season.”

Concerns: “We are extremely young and will need to get actual match experience to improve and become competitive with the teams in our league.”

Northern Cambria

Coach: TJ Mullen, third year

Career record: 12-8

League: Heritage Conference

Last year’s record: 7-3

Returning starters: Zach Lee, sr.; Ray Shell-, sr.; Ben Strollo, jr.; Mark Farrell, jr.; Jim Rescinito, jr.

Newcomers: Hunter Duriez, fr.; Austin Tibbott, jr.

Strengths: “Experience is one of the keys to our success this season. Success last season is also a key factor going into this season. The team is hungry and looking to excel in the conference once again.”

Concerns: “Staying consistent is always a concern in golf. Stay focused and regroup when needed.”

Overall outlook: “We are looking to take a run at the Heritage title this season and advanced some more golfers to districts and beyond.”

Assistant coaches: Pat Shell

Penn Cambria

Coach: Chris Wilk, 25th year

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year’s record: 5-5, 5-4 in LHAC

Returning starters: Donte Perino, sr.; Robert Pramuk, sr.; Ian Dunmyer, jr.; Nolan Link, jr.; Jacob Stevens, jr.; Will Wlkinson, jr.; Dillon Perino, so.

Other returnees: Josh Zimmer, sr.; Madison Krug, jr.; Matt Wray, jr.; Devin Selip, jr.; Sep Pettaniti, jr.; Jordan Stombaugh, jr.; att Maruska, so.; Derek Olsick, so.; Jared Buck, so.

Newcomers: Tyler Smolko, fr.; Anthony Podrasky, fr.; Colton arrell, fr.; Tyler Weakland, fr.

Strengths: “Experience. All starters return. Last year’s non-starters are showing improvement and could be considered for starting positions.”

Concerns: “Consistency with all aspects, especially the short game. Remaining focused throughout the season and keep sight of our goals.”

Overall outlook: “We are anticipating a successful season with all starters with multiple seasons of experience.”

Assistant coach: Chad Krawczyk


Coach: Tracy Vipond, 13th year

League: Mountain League

Last year’s record: 4-6

Returning starters: Ben Sinclair, jr.; Kyle Witmer, jr.; Austin Slother, jr.

Other returnees: Stephen Crain, so.; Will Granville, so.; Bryce Dunlap, so.

Newcomers: Trentin Harrington, jr.; Carter Fischer, fr.; Jared Anderson, fr.; Payton Guelich, fr.

Strengths: “Younger players are displaying potential.”

Concerns: “Overall experience.”

Overall outlook: “We should continue to improve throughout the season.”


Coach: Bernie Gorba, ninth year

League: WestPAC

Last year’s record: 4-5

Returning starters: Richard Wolford jr.; Frank Fordick, jr.; Brad Rosemas, jr.; Bennett Falvo, so.; Steven Panick, so.

Newcomers: Heather Franey, jr.; Anna Murphy, jr.; Tyler Roberts, jr.; Emily Kunko, fr.; Madelyn Single, fr.

Strengths: “Some experience, good numbers signed up.”

Concerns: “Our No. 1 and 2 golfers from last year have graduated, so someone will need to step up and lead the team.”

Overall outlook: “This will be a young team that may do very well. The excitement level coming into the season is high, and this is a group of coachable kids.”

Assistant coach: Rodger Walkovich


Coach: Greg Ferguson, ninth year

Career record: 65-24-2

League: Mountain League

Last year’s record: 4-6-1, 3-2-1 in ML

Returning starters: Steve Lucas, so.; Sean McGovern, so.

Newcomers: Blake Brooks, jr.; Nathaniel Soellner, jr.; Zack Kensinger, jr.; Nathan Hormell, fr.; Jack Murtagh, fr.; Matthew Fink, fr.; Gage Light, fr.

Strengths: “We have a group of kids that are athletic and have good work ethics and are also eager to become better. They all have good, positive attitudes as they continue to learn.”

Concerns: “Young team.”

Overall outlook: “Our outlook for the season is to watch these kids improve each week and build toward our future. I feel pretty good about this group as we progress through this season as weel as the next few years.”

Assistant coach: Chris Perry



Coach: Bernie Jubeck, third year

Career record: 28-2-1

Last year’s record: 18-2-1

Returning starters: Abby Love, sr.; Ginger Glass, sr.

Other returnees: Maddison Fitch, so.

Newcomers: Alexandra Bihary, fr.; Madison Clapper, fr.; Molly DeProspo, fr.; Reghan Fitch, fr.

Strengths: “Excellent attitudes, coachable with desire and determination and work ethic to get better.”

Concerns: “Inexperience (underclassmen) and consistency of play.”

Overall outlook: “Excited and looking forward to the season and confident we will be competitive and play to the best of our ability.”


Coach: Larry Kolbe, third year

Career record: 14-14

League: Mountain League

Last year’s record: 10-4, 7-4 in ML

Returning starters: Haley Frank, sr.; Katie Burns sr.; Erica Coval sr.; Natalie Conte sr.; Abby Showers jr.; Hayley Hayward so.

Other returnees: Drew Peters, jr.

Newcomers: Katie Nartatez, jr.; Madison Foreman, jr.; Julia Burns, fr.

Strengths: “We have a nice core of starters coming back, so we should be very competitive.”

Concerns: “Many of the girls play other sports also, so we will not always be at full strength.”

Overall outlook: “We should be very competitive with the girls we have coming back.”

Assistant coach: Steve Frank