Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Birdies Had a Meaning for Usc

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Birdies Had a Meaning for Usc

Article excerpt

While the Upper St. Clair boys golf team was winning section, WPIAL and PIAA team championships, the Panthers were doing their part to raise money for cancer research, too.

"Two years ago, Tim Novic, who was a senior at the time, started a program called Birdies for a Cause," said Grant Engel, who won the PIAA Class AAA individual championship last week at York's Heritage Hills Resort.

"Tim wanted to raise money for autism research, and we continued that a year ago," Engel said. "This year, I wanted to raise money for colorectal cancer research because it has impacted me since we have a family history with this disease."

Engel said he and his teammates passed out pledge cards to family and friends. Each time, a Panther made a birdie or better, money would be donated from those who pledged to the charity.

Last year, the team continued Novic's efforts and raised $3,300 for autism research.

Things went better this year for Engel and his teammates.

"I had 59 birdies this year and two eagles," he said. "We don't have the final figure yet, but it's going to be close to $6,000.

"Once the final figure comes in, we'll write a check to Allegheny General Hospital's Colorectal Cancer and Research Department."

Engel said neither he nor his teammates gets any money from this charity.

"Every cent we raise goes to the charity," he said.

-- By Joe Koch

The starting line

* What: Red, White & Blue Classic.

* When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday

* Where: Schenley Park.

* Skinny: In it's 10th year, this is the first big multi-school meet of the cross country season.

By Cara De Carlo

The Red, White& Blue Classic cross country meet is celebrating its 10th year this Saturday at Schenley Park and, as always, it will be a fast and mixed-up competition.

"You don't know the teams that have picked up a good freshman who may have just moved into their district," said Rich Wright, Baldwin High School's head coach who serves as the meet coordinator. "With 60 boys and girls teams typically entering, the Red, White& Blue Classic has become the region's starting point for the strategy game of cross country."

For example, Highlanders' sophomore Jake Phillips may be an unexpected runner in veteran teams' paths. By winning the JV race at the Sept. 1 Gateway Invitational, Phillips earned his way onto Baldwin's varsity squad. Now, boys' teams will face a Baldwin pack including Phillips and veterans Christian Labash and George Kelly. Labash and Kelly ran on Baldwin's winning varsity squad at the Gateway Invitational.

The girls' race will also be a mix of both seasoned and unexpected competition.

"This is the biggest girls' team we've ever had," said Wright.

He said newcomer Stephanie Bott is in her first year of running, but finished as Baldwin's fifth runner at the Gateway Invitational. The Baldwin girls finished ninth (of 15 teams) at Gateway. …

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