The Tryba Golf Tournament is always a good way to see how the high school golf teams are going to fare for the upcoming season.
More times than not, the winning team and golfer go on to have solid seasons.
Last year, Crestwood swept the event, winning the team title as Joe Golden claimed the lowest score. The Comets went on a historic run by advancing to the state tournament for the first time, while Golden ended up qualifying for the District 2 Class 3A Tournament.
Crestwood may not be favored in the 17th annual Tryba, which will be held on Monday at Fox Hill Country Club. Golden and Times Leader Golf MVP Shane Angle have graduated and C.J. Bono has transferred to the Philadelphia area.
“I have expectations for me and for the players, and this group is just going to take a little bit longer,” Crestwood coach Mark Jarolen said. “The problem is that the season is so short, but we’ll be all right. We’ll be competitive. But I think Dallas will be the team to beat.”
Approximately 80 athletes from the Wyoming Valley Conference will be competing in the tournament with Crestwood’s Jeremy Harper the top returning scorer from last year. The senior finished tied for second last year with a 73.
Junior Brett Ostroski from Dallas finished right behind Harper, shooting 74, while Hazleton Area’s Jordan Pick, Lake-Lehman’s Bobby Lugiano, Holy Redeemer’s Martin Cryan and Dallas’ Ethan Zawatski all finished in the top 10.
Tunkhannock’s Tyler Faux, Dallas’ Kyle McAndrew, Hazleton Area’s Joey Rebarchak and Holy Redeemer’s Derek Answini were all one stroke away from finishing in the top 10 and return for another crack at the low score this year.
The season officially started last week with four teams opening their schedule. The other 13 teams will begin play in the Tryba.
Here are a few storylines to keep an eye on during the season-opening event and for the entire campaign.
The Mountaineer effect
Two years ago, a young Dallas team stormed through the WVC claiming team titles at the Tryba then went on to win the division and the WVC team title.
Last season, the team was in the way of Crestwood’s historic run. But there’s still plenty of athletes on the squad from the 2016 championship run.
Seniors Kyle McAndrew, Ethan Zawatski and Colin Bowanko all played in the Tryba last year, as did juniors Brett Ostroski and Cooper Kelley. Ostroski finished in the top 9 in the tournament last time.
Hazleton Area finished in third place in Division 2 just behind Dallas and Crestwood. This year, the Cougars could be a definite threat to upend the Comets. Seniors Jordan Pick and Brady Antolick both had a solid campaign in 2017, while Joey Rebarchick sank a hole in one at last year’s Tryba.
“I think Hazleton is going to have a good year and probably is the team to beat in our division” Jarolen said. “I think they’re pretty good.”
Tunkhannock claimed the Division 1 championship a year ago but will have tougher competition now being in the same division with Dallas. Still, the Tigers had four underclassmen last year lead the squad at the Tryba. Now seniors, Tyler Faux and Dylan Mislevy are joined by juniors Nick Budner and Coby Gilpin with a year of experience under their belts.
Around Class 2A
While Crestwood, Dallas, Hazleton Area and Tunkhannock are four of the top teams in Class 3A, Holy Redeemer put itself back in the catbird seat as being the top in Class 2A last year.
The Royals graduated just two standouts from last year’s team and return district qualifiers in Derek Answini (D2 runner-up), Martin Cryan, Jack Gallis and Sergei Scaramastro.
The Royals should once again finish atop Division 3, while Meyers, Wyoming Area and GAR don’t quite have the firepower to match them.
MMI Prep claimed the Division 4 title last season before falling to the Royals in the league championship match. Wyoming Seminary joins the division this season in what could be a very even field. Lake-Lehman was two-time division champ in 2015 and 2016 and is back on the upswing this season, while Hanover Area and Berwick should be competitive as well.
Nanticoke and Wyoming Area changed classifications for this season with the Trojans bumping up to Class 3A and the Warriors moving down to 2A.
Because of those teams changing classifications, realignment was needed. It also gave a chance to move other squads around for geographical purposes.
In Class 3A, Dallas, formerly in Division 2, now is in Division 1 to take the Warriors’ place and joins with Tunkhannock, Pittston Area and Coughlin. The Trojans take the Mountaineers’ place in Division 2 joining Crestwood, Hazleton Area and Wyoming Valley West.
Over in Class 2A, Wyoming Area moves to Division 3 and will be competing twice against Holy Redeemer, Meyers and GAR.
Also in Class 2A, Wyoming Seminary moves from Division 3 to D4 and will play against Berwick, MMI, Hanover Area and Lake-Lehman.
Top returning golfers
Crestwood’s Evie Williams claimed the District 2 Class 3A title last season and returns for her senior season. MMI Prep’s Jessica McClellan became the first golfer in school history to reach the state tournament and also returns for her senior season.
A pair of seniors in Dallas’ Ethan Zawatski and Holy Redeemer’s Derek Answini both were first-time regional qualifiers last year in Class 3A and Class 2A, respectively.
Junior Bobby Lugiano from Lake-Lehman claimed a win in the Class 2A Pre-district Tournament as a sophomore and followed that by finishing third at districts to advance to regionals. Fellow junior Jeremy Callahan from Wyoming Seminary also reached regionals for the first time last year.
Tyler Faux, a senior from Tunkhannock, was one of the most consistent golfers last year, shooting higher than 79 in an 18-hole event just once.