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NTL GOLF: SAYRE COACH EXPECTS REDSKINS TO MAKE A RUN AT DISTRICTS (2020-09-03)

By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report

SAYRE — The Sayre golf team has just six players on its roster, but coach Jamie VanDuzer believes the Redskins will make a run at qualifying for the District 4 Championships as a team.

“I don’t know if we can hang with Wellsboro and North Penn-Mansfield (in the NTL), who both carry 12 guys, but I’m excited about the season,” said VanDuzer.

“I can see us finishing in the top three or four, with a real chance to qualify for Districts as a team,” added VanDuzer, noting teams with a winning record in the regular season qualify for Districts.

The Redskins return junior Kannon VanDuzer, a big hitter who qualified for Districts last year, as well as junior Dylan Seck, and sophomore Colton Watkins. Senior Travis Wibirt also returns.

Sayre also has two newcomers in seniors Zach Moore and Torry Stark.

“(Zach Moore) has some athleticism,” said VanDuzer. “I think he’ll pick it up quick, and he should be able to help us. He’s been hitting the ball pretty good.

“(Torry Stark) has been hitting the ball solid,” noted VanDuzer. “For the little time we’ve spent with him, he’s done pretty well.”

Again, VanDuzer believes the Redskins will be in the mix in the NTL in 2020.

“Kannon (VanDuzer) and Dylan (Seck) played all summer long, and should be a pretty strong 1-2 at the top of our line-up.

“With Colton back, and with the addition of Zach (Moore) and Torry (Stark), I think we will be very competitive,” he said.

“I think our 3, 4 and 5 players are all going to be pretty close, so we’ll probably have to do some shifting around as we make our way through the season,” VanDuzer added.

VanDuzer is excited about the return of Watkins, who missed the end of the 2019 season as the result of heart surgery.

“He played three or four matches last season, and was playing very well,” said VanDuzer. “He was our number 3 or 4, and shooting in the mid-90s.

“Once we lost him, our fourth score dropped off 20 or 30 strokes — it really hurt us,” he added.

VanDuzer expects his son Kannon to return to Districts this year, and expects he’ll have company.

“Kannon has been playing a lot, and he’s been playing very well,” he said. “Dylan has improved quite a bit from last year. His average was 96 last year, I expect him to get down into the high 80s.

“And, I think our league average for qualifying will go up this year,” noted VanDuzer. “Wellsboro and Cowanesque Valley had five seniors between them who all shot in the 70s, so they brought our league averages down quite a bit.

“I think Colton (Watkins) may be able to qualify for Districts, too,” continued VanDuzer. “He got better each week last year … if he plays like that again this year, I think he could make it.

“I hope to qualify as a team, so that all four can play in Districts — that’s the ultimate goal,” added VanDuzer.

The Redskins open the season this afternoon at the Towanda Country Club.

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IN PHOTO 1: Sayre’s Kannon VanDuzer.

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