There may not be a more accomplished name in local high school golf than Greg Kanaskie.
But for all his honors and success, the one thing Kanaskie did not have in his six seasons at Unionville was a Ches-Mont League Tournament title.
That last barrier was broken as the Indians captured the Ches-Mont tourney crown and gave Kanaskie the missing piece to his resume. That triumph, and others through the season, helped Kanaskie earn the 2015 Daily Local News All-Area Golf Coach of the Year award.
“I’m very fortunate,” said Kanaskie. “Our seniors showed great leadership and then you get a younger player who surprises, like Nick Gianelos last year and Richie Klein this year. The younger folks feed into the leadership shown by the seniors.”
The Indians had a deep lineup that were filled with players able to shoot around par. Kanaskie stated that the team’s goal was to shoot the magic number of 200 for a total team score. They achieved that feat in all but two of their matches.
Unionville went 11-1 going into the Ches-Mont Tournament. Led by Gianelos, the Indians captured the team title for the first time after winning the American Division crown for the third time in Kanaskie’s six years at the school.
“We feel real good to win it for (Kanaskie),” Gianelos said after the tournament. “He’s been at it for a while.”
With an indiidual sports like golf, where so much of the coaching is done by private coaches, Kanaskie understands his role in developing his players.
“I’m more of a team psychologist,” he said. “I mainly keep them positive and encourage them. If I give them a tip, they can take it back to their private coaches.”
Kanaskie gave much of the credit to his seniors.
“Kate Evanko is going to Georgetown for golf and she has been a steadying influence on the team,” said Kanaskie. “Parker Wine is a three-year player who also plays hockey and usually shot a solid score. He brought a quiet, solid leadership.”
He also had talented younger players like Rourke Dillon, Klein and Jake McCloskey.
While most of his players take part in junior tournaments, Kanskie extols the virtue of team golf.
“Playing team golf is so much different than tournaments,” he said. You play eight and count five, and all eight players know that they can contribute to the total score and help the team win. It’s a great experience that can only help them in their individual tournaments.”