H.S. GOLF: MALE ATHLETES OF THE WEEK, Chambersburg duo play opposite styles, get same...
The Chambersburg golf team has a bit of a yin-yang thing going at the top of its lineup.
On the one hand is Jordan Shaffer, a senior with a not-imposing physique (5-foot-7, 157 pounds) whose forte is consistency. On his way to an average of 75.1, his lowest score is 71 and his highest 78. There is not one part of his game that stands out, but he is well above average in everything.
Then you have freshman Karsen Rush, a left-handed specimen at 6-4, 200 who can roast the ball off the tee – he said he averages around 310 yards on his drives. His driving often puts him in great shape, but he knows his putting has to improve. He has brought his average down to 74, and has low rounds of 70 (twice), along with an 81.
With that kind of talent, and an excellent supporting cast, how could the Trojans fail? Well, so far, they haven't. Chambersburg was 30-0 this season to extend its winning streak to 163 matches, won a Mid Penn Colonial Division title and Monday added an overall MPC Championship in the league's tournament at Dauphin Highlands.
Shaffer and Rush are co-Public Opinion Male Athletes of the week.
Last week, Shaffer shot an even-par 73 at Chambersburg Country Club to win medalist honors in the last match of the season (Rush had 74). In Sunday's Hershey Invitational, which the Trojans won by 10 strokes, Rush fired an even-par 70 on the venerable Hershey Country Club East Course to win the title, while Shaffer had 78. At the MPC event, Shaffer shot 76 and Rush 72.
Not surprisingly, Chambersburg coach Mark Yost has a hard time keeping a smile off his face.
"I heard one of the other coaches say to me (Monday), 'Jordan really is a player. He could not have shot any worse than that 76.' It was kind of a ho-hum 76 – he was in play all day. How many other players wouldn't kill for a 76 at Dauphin Highlands?"
Shaffer, whose eight rounds last year were all between 76 and 80, said, "I think my putting has been better this year, because I work on it whenever I can. And I've been picking Karsen's mind for some of his putting drills and I've used some new ones."
Ironically, Rush believes his biggest need is to improve his rolling the ball on the greens.
"I believe my putting is holding me back," he said. "At Hershey East I three-putted four times. (Monday) it was decent, but still not what I was looking for. But coach has helped me lately with some things."
Yost said, "Karsen is just a very talented, powerful golfer who can overpower a golf course. It will be interesting to see how he develops. People are taking notice of his game, but the good thing is I think right now he's just having fun."
Pretty hard not to when you're shooting low scores, winning tournaments and helping your team to championships.
Size: 5-7, 157
Parents: Catherine & William Shaffer
Interests: He works at Chambersburg C.C. and likes to take hikes with his girlfriend.
Surprising fact: Shaffer started golfing only 5 1/2 years ago.
Favorite golfer: Tiger Woods
Statistics: Shaffer fired an even-par 73 in last Monday's final Mid Penn Colonial Division match of the season ... He was the medalist in four of the six events this fall ... In Sunday's Hershey Invitational, he shot 78 ... His season average is 75.1.
Size: 6-4, 200
Parents: Annette and Tracy Rush
Interests: He also plays basketball and baseball.
Surprising fact: He says his hobby is "eating."
Favorite player: Phil Mickelson
Statistics: At the Hershey Invitational on Sunday, Rush shot an even-par 70 on the long East Course to win the title by six strokes, despite bogeying the final hole ... He has lowered his season average to 74.0 with rounds of 74, 70 and 72 right after his highest score of the season, an 81.