Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The 2013 season has been a record-setting one for the Laurel High golf team.
Freshman dynamo Evan Long has joined forces with teammates Nick Peluso, Colton Brown and Tucker Skerbetz to lead the Spartans in search of section and WPIAL crowns. Several players have alternated in the fifth spot, including Nolan Firmi and Brady Crawford. Tucker Skerbetz is a son of Spartans coach Steve Skerbetz.
With a 208-248 victory over visiting Ellwood City Lincoln yesterday at Green Meadows Golf Course in Volant, Laurel moved to a perfect 8-0 on the season and in doing so earned itself Lawrence County Co-Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.
“This was supposed to be our big year, having Evan come up and play for us (as a freshman),” said Peluso, a senior. “We’ve posted a lot of scores in the 190s, which we haven’t shot as long as I’ve been on the team.”
The low scores have predictably lead to Long, Peluso and Co. etching their names in the Laurel High record books — multiple times.
On top of beating rival Neshannock on Sept. 4, the Spartans shattered the school record with a 183 against Union at Rolling Hills. They have routinely posted team scores in the 190s.
“Everyone’s played really well this year,” Peluso said. “We’ve only had two scores over 200, so we’re playing really solid.”
With all the team success, the Spartans have their sights set on doing some damage in the WPIAL Team Championships in the coming weeks.
“I’ve done pretty well in the past with the individual things, but I’ve never been a part of the team stuff,” Peluso said. “I don’t know what that’s going to be like, but I think we can handle it. We have the WPIAL qualifiers first, but we definitely have the team to win a WPIAL title. I really think we should win it with how good we are.”
Despite being a mere freshman, Long has provided the Spartans with a shot in the arm this year.
“It’s been a good season so far,” Long said. “I’m a freshman, so I’m kind of new to this format. It’s been a good season for me individually and for us as a team. I guess they expected a lot out of me, but I just go out and play my game. Whatever happens, happens.”
‘Whatever happens’ has been Long etching his name in the Laurel High record books alongside Jordan Macri by posting a school record 31 against Union on the par 34 back nine at Rolling Hills on Friday.
Long posted birdies on holes Nos. 11, 13, 15 and 17 with a 3-putt bogey on No. 14.
“Mostly everything was working well for me,” admitted Long, who comes by golf naturally since his family owns Green Meadows, Castle Hills and Quicksilver golf courses. “I was putting good and I was mostly doing everything good.”
Until the 18th green, that is, when Long’s chance at securing the school record outright scooted just right of the hole.
“I had my chance on 18, but I couldn’t make the putt,” Long said after posting a 39 against Ellwood City Lincoln on the front nine at Green Meadows yesterday. “Tying the school record was still one of my best accomplishments, so I’m not mad at all. I had the chance (at breaking the record), but tying the school record is still pretty good. I was a little nervous, but it’s golf. You have to go up and try to make a putt.”