EXETER – It was just a little more than a year ago when Tom Kilduff passed away while still being the head coach of Dallas’ golf team.
His daughter Jane took over the reins of the team last year and led the Mountaineers to a winning season.
On Aug. 22, Jane followed in her dad’s footsteps leading Dallas to the team title at the Tryba Preseason Tournament at Fox Hill Country Club, the site of the last time she coached with her father. The Mountaineers (321 strokes) finished five shots ahead of second-place Crestwood to claim their first tournament title since 2009, the last of Tom Kilduff’s four Tryba team championships.
“He was a really good coach and it’s scary to walk in his shoes,” said an emotional Jane Kilduff. “But to see how in my second year how we’re all coming together, it’s a good feeling. Just being here for that is huge too. I’m always excited to come here, but to win today was big.”
Dallas was paced by Mason Gattuso (77) and Kyle McAndrew (78), who finished third and fourth overall, while Brett Ostroski’s 81 tied for 10th. Zac Bloom scored 85 to round out the scores for the squad. A nervous Kilduff anxiously waited and watched as scores were posted.
“We knew it was going to be close with Crestwood,” she said. “I knew we had a strong possibility, but I always tell the kids that until they produce, anything can go.”
Lake-Lehman’s Adam Motovidlak, who was a District 2 Class 2A qualifier from last year, tied for fifth overall with Holy Redeemer’s Derek Answini, both carding 79. Motovidlak helped the Black Knights finish third in the team race with 338. The Black Knights, who claimed the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 4 (Class 2A) championship last year, also received low scores from Robert Lugiano and Mike Sikora, who shot 86, and Tyler Scharff’s 87.
Motovidlak, who was medalist in all 10 Black Knights matches last year and also claimed a win in the Wyoming Valley Conference Pre-District tourney in 2015, shot 37 on the back nine at Fox Hill and was tied for the second-lowest score on that part of the course in the tournament.
Even though the Mountaineers were in the hunt last season, they lost a few pieces from that team with standout Alexis Wyandt now at Misericordia University.
With a young team this season, Kilduff was pleasantly surprised by the play of her younger golfers especially freshman Ostroski.
“He was one of them that I heard would be a strong contender for the team this year,” Kilduff said. “But to see him come in his first high school tournament and shoot an 81, I thought that was really good.”