Observer-Reporter Athlete of the Week: Aaron Yorio, Waynesburg
Waynesburg senior golfer Aaron Yorio advanced to the PIAA West Regional that will be held Oct. 16.
Name: Aaron Yorio
Yorio’s week: Yorio shot a 6-over 76 to finish third in the WPIAL Class AA Golf Championships. He qualified for the PIAA West Regional to be held Oct. 16 at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville. After finishing with three straight bogeys to end his front nine, Yorio rebounded with birdies on Nos. 10 and 14 at Allegheny Country Club to assure himself a qualifying position.
“I was really just looking to qualify and move onto the next round,” Yorio said. “I pulled up the link where you can see the scores and found out I had a really good chance. I was up near the leaders and that’s when I realized how well I was doing.”
He finished only two shots behind leaders Cole Luther and Skyler Fox, who played in a one-hole playoff before Fox won his second consecutive WPIAL title.
“There is not a more deserving kid than Aaron,” said Waynesburg golf coach Jeff Coss. “He puts in the time and he’s legit. He has earned it.”
Leading the pack: Consistency from Yorio, as Waynesburg’s No. 1 golfer in each match this season, has helped the Raiders to their first undefeated season – 12-0 in section and 13-0 overall – since 2007.
“As a team, this has been a really good season,” Yorio said. “We had everyone on our team coming back and had a lot of golfers work hard and get better over the summer. It’s been a fun year and we are constantly getting congratulated in school. It’s just been a good time.”
With senior Tre Rohanna, juniors Kyle Shriver and Trevor Borris and sophomores McCottie Dungeon and Richard Bortz, Waynesburg sat atop a section previously dominated by California and Carmichaels.
“We finished in third place last year and knew this was going to be our time to make a run,” Coss said. “We have kids who can really hit the golf ball but have finally learned that there are times where you don’t have to hit the driver. It’s about playing the course smartly. That’s helped us greatly.”
Coss and Yorio also believe success starts with having a good continuity within the team, spending time together outside of school and golf.
“The strength of our team is that we all get along,” Coss said. “Every kid in our lineup plays multiple sports, so they’ve been in pressure situations outside of golf. There are a lot of years when you get into the van at the end of a match and there isn’t a word that’s said. That hasn’t been the case this year.”
Back for a better result: Yorio is confident he can improve on last year’s finish in the state semifinals, when he finished in a four-way tie for fifth place at 4-over 76.
“The main reason I think I can play well there is because I liked the way the greens rolled,” Yorio said. “I like the way the course is laid out. It reminds me a lot of The Pines, a country club in Morgantown where my dad and I are members.”
Learning young: Yorio said the best part of his game is how he hits both his long and short irons, one of the many intricacies his father, Joe, taught him at a young age.
“My dad has always been into playing golf and it’s really what I’ve always known,” Yorio said. “As I continued to get older, I began to take it more and more seriously. It definitely means a lot to the both of us. He cares as much as I do, if not more. He’s put a lot of time into my game and that means a lot.”
Compiled by Luke Campbell