By Pete Chiodo
2013 Boys Golfer of the Year: Matt McCord
School: Titusville High School
Vitals: Not only did Titusville’s Matt McCord lead Region 5 with a stroke average of 74.5, claiming his second region golfer of the year title; but thanks in good part to his efforts, Titusville claimed its second straight Region 5 crown, won its first-ever District 10 Class AA title, advanced to states with a win over Ridgway in a PIAA region match; and then finished fifth at the PIAA team championship. McCord also had plenty of individual success, winning his first District 10 title, taking 12th at the West Regional, and then tying for 13th at the two-day state championship match.
Season highlights: While he played well all year, McCord really turned it on at the end of the season. Even while he celebrated his team’s District 10 team title on Oct. 5 at the Country Club of Meadville, McCord was still disappointed by his 81. Yet just a few days later McCord turned it around and fired a 3-over-par 75 on the same course to win the D-10 individual title. That kicked off an outstanding run of scores. It continued with a 2-over 74 at Treasure Lake Golf Course in DuBois during the PIAA team regional, which helped Titusville defeat Ridgway 325-328 to advance to the state championship tournament. Then at the PIAA West Region Individual Championship at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville, McCord shot a 4-over 76, good for 12th place (the best finish District 10 golfer in Class AA). Later, at the PIAA Class AA Individual Championship at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York, McCord shot an 81 in the first round, but shaved off three strokes in the second round to finish with a two-day total of 159, tying him for 13th place (also the best finish for a D-10 golfer this year). And finally, at the PIAA Class AA Team Championship, also at Heritage Hills, McCord posted a 6-over 77, which tied for the second-lowest round of the tournament, matching Chase Makowski of Holy Redeemer. (Wyomissing’s Nate Menon shot low for the day with a 76.)
What the coach says: “He basically played his best golf at the end of the year when he needed to play his best golf,” said Titusville head golf coach Tim McCord. “(At the Western Region Individual Championship) the whole thing there was to just move on. We were not concerned with winning. He made it to the West Region two times previously in his freshmen and sophomore years. And we were very pleased with the 76. He qualified for states. He shot an 81 in the first round, which was a pretty good score. That was the day that the wind really picked up. We were not disappointed. And he followed that up with a 78. I was concerned that he might be a little bit tired after all that golf and we still had a team title to play for that Wednesday. But he went out and played his best round at Heritage Hills. ... The whole end of the season, he played his best golf when it counted the most.”
What we say: While McCord gets our Golfer of the Year honors, we can’t go without recognizing what Titusville accomplished as a team this year. The Rockets picked up their first-ever District 10 Class AA title, won its regional matchup with Ridgway, and then played well at the state championship. It wasn’t just the junior McCord doing the heavy lifting, either. Sophomore Eric Maginnis played well in the postseason too, leading Titusville with a 75 at the D-10 team championships and adding a 78 at the regional and an 88 at the state team championship. Juniors Seth Mehlenbacher and Taite Foley filled out the Rockets’ tough-to-beat top four. And each golfer is expected to return this year, too. So, 2014 could be another exciting year for McCord and the Rockets.