Central Cambria’s Max Kirsch and Richland’s Brady Moran basically dominated the area golf scene the past two years.
Kirsch and Moran always appeared at the top of the leaderboard when it came to the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference and District 6 championships. They both qualified for the PIAA championships as seniors and often alternated winning titles.
Along the way, the competitive duo became good friends and, starting next fall, they’ll be teammates as each recently signed a National Letter of Intent to golf at Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“It’s going to be fun and it’s going to be different being teammates,” Kirsch said. “I’m sure we’ll still be competitive with each other.”
Moran was the first to opt for IUP, which won its sixth consecutive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship this fall and finished 14th at the NCAA Division II championships last spring.
“We were looking into (playing together) the past year and did some research on bigger schools to find teams with two spots,” Moran said. “The problem is there’s only nine kids per team, so there’s usually only two or three spots open to begin with. IUP was a good fit for both of us.”
IUP coach Fred Joseph had been recruiting Moran for some time, and the Rams standout was also looking at several schools in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Once Moran picked IUP, he began recruiting Kirsch. The process didn’t take long.
“(Moran) talked to me about it, so I went up there and talked to Coach Joseph about it and he said he wanted both of us to go there,” Kirsch said. “That’s when I decided I wanted to go there.”
Kirsch finished eighth at the PIAA Class AA championships held in York in October. His two-round score was 155, one place and two strokes ahead of Moran, who finished tied for ninth.
Both golfers were medalists.
Central Cambria qualified for the PIAA Class AA team championships, where Kirsch helped the Red Devils to a third-place finish.
At the PIAA West Region, which was held at Tom’s Run in Blairsville, Moran finished tied for second and Kirsch was tied for fifth.
“We both want to go where we’re going to play and we both have a good chance to play at IUP,” said Moran, who is currently playing hockey for Richland. “We both really have a good chance to play all four years. You don't want to go to college and just practice or ride the pine. You want to play and we’re going to a really, really good Division II-program.”