Once he found about it, Mike Gottstein had to give it a try.

Instead of solely studying the general subjects at Marian, Gottstein decided to learn more about golf as well.

After taking a week of summer golf lessons at Hilton Head, South Carolina in 2010, Gottstein opted to try and further his knowledge in the sport at the Junior Players Golf Academy there at the same time.

Two things pushed Gottstein to take the initiative to attemd the full-time academy for a school year.

"I went down there for a week of lessons that they (the academy) run and I liked it," Gottstein said. "I liked the coach. They gave me a really good deal. So, that basically did it for me and that's why I went."

Gottstein took online courses for three hours in the morning and then worked with a golf instructor in the afternoon.

"I had online classes up until noon," he said. "At 12, we went for lunch and from there we golfed until we couldn't see the ball anymore.

"The school required us to spend six hours to get done what you needed to get done academically. I got done what I needed to do with my course work and most days I needed to work a little extra at night.

"It was definitely hard at times to keep up, but I did it."

Every afternoon, Gottstein received an "advanced instruction" in golf on Hilton Head Island. The Academy is located at Palmetto Hall Golf Club, which is "a 36-hole facility designed by Arthur Hills and Robert Cupp, located within Palmetto Hall Plantation.

In addition to "face-to-face coaching," according to the website, students also benefited from "the V1 Professional Coaching System.

With its rich multi-media content, V1 provides each student with the resources to review every aspect of instruction. This state-of-the-art software provides the student with the necessary knowledge and understanding of swing techniques.

It was learning techniques like this that helped Gottstein with his play on the courses back home here in Pennsylvania.

"It was just an amazing experience playing at a higher level than you can around here," Gottstein said. "It should definitely help me if I get in under pressure. I have played in pretty big tournaments and at first, I was a lot more nervous in the tournaments than I was at the end of this experience."

Gottstein admitted he's glad to be back home at Marian competing with his Colts' golf team.

"Yes, most definitely," said Gottstein, of being able to play with his original teammates. "It's much better compared to playing in South Carolina. It's much better being up here."

Looking back on the opportunity at JPGA however, Gottstein stated he has brought something back to the Colts' program because of it.

"I'm hoping to give the team more confidence," Gottstein said. "My game was a lot better when I first came home. I lost a lot of what I had earlier in the season, but I still have the knowledge of how to get better at the game and I'm hoping to do that for my senior year.

"Hopefully next year I will be able to play the way I want to and go farther with our team."

While he faired well at the Schuylkill League Championship finishing in second-place scoring a 77 at Mahoning Valley Country Club, Gottstein said the experience last year will definitely be a help at the District Championship at Blue Ridge Country Club this Monday.

"My goal is always to play against par and never against the competition," Gottstein said. "And, to shoot around par, the lower the score usually feels pretty good, especially with what I learned. That's what I try to do rather than play against other players."

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FILLIES "DIG PINK" ... In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Marian Fillies volleyball team along with the Shenandoah Valley volleyball team will host a "Dig Pink" event at Marian High School on Tuesday October 11. The JV match will begin at 6 p.m. with the varsity match to follow.

All proceeds generated by the "Dig Pink" fundraiser will be donated to the the Side-out Foundation which awards grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing compassionate support to breast cancer patients and their families.

The Fillies are asking all fans to wear "pink" to the event.

As part of the fund raising effort, the Fillies held a "Dig Pink" t-shirt sale and will be selling chances for a Pink Volleyball along with a Dinner & Game Basket during the month of October. Also, Skipper Dippers on Route 309 in Hometown will once again sell their special "Fillies Hope Float" pink milkshake with the proceeds being donated to the Fillies "Dig Pink" fundraiser. The "Fillies Hope Float" will be sold at Skipper Dippers and at all the Fillies home games until their fundraising finale.

In addition to the "Dig Pink" event, the Fillies annual CYO Appreciation Night will be held that night. Attending District 5 CYO volleyball participants will be honored for their participation in the program.

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BOMBERS PLAYING FOR A CURE ... Tomorrow afternoon, the Palmerton field hockey team will be playing their second annual "Play4theCure" game in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The Bombers will host Colonial League North Division foe Northwestern at 3:45 in what they call the "Pink Game." They will also have a drawing for a basket filled with "Pink" goodies, as well as a concession stand filled with "Pink" baked goods.

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"MATCH WITH A MEANING" AT LEHIGHTON ... The Lehighton volleyball program is hosting its first Match with a Meaning event.

First-year Lehighton coach T.J. O'Connor said that he hopes to make the charity event and annual affair, supporting different organizations each year.

This year, in conjunction with the Lehighton Athletic Department and other various school programs, the Indians will be supporting Breast Cancer Awareness. The evening will contain performances by the Lehighton Band, varsity cheerleading squad, a performance by the Lehighton Show Choir, and a serving game with various prizes donated by local Lehighton businesses.

The date of the event is Tuesday, October 11 when the Indians host East Stroudsburg South. The varsity match will begin at approximately 7:15 pm, with a majority of the events occurring following the JV match at (around 7 p.m.).

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EXTRA TIME FINALLY PAYS OFF ... Prior to Monday's showdown on the field hockey field, Palmerton had already seen two games with Catasauqua end in a tie. Monday's results finally turned out to be a little different.

Dating back to the last game between the two Colonial League counterparts at the end of last season, the Bombers and the Roughies ended in a 0-0 tie after an extra period of play. Then, earlier this season, the two programs once again ended in a 1-1 tie in Palmerton.

On Monday evening in Catty, the Bombers and the Roughies again needed an extra period to settle their contest. This time the Bombers' Kylee Turko lifted her team to a victory, as Turko beat the Roughies' keeper Janae Matos for the game-winning goal 7:31 into overtime.

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FAR FROM SELFISH ... Over the weekend, Jim Thorpe's Chelsea Smelas finished when she had the opportunities against Nativity. If she couldn't find a way to do so, she passed it off to an Olympian teammate, who ended up scoring themselves.

On Saturday, Smelas ended the game with a hat-trick while also being credited with assists on three other scores thanks to her unselfish play in a 9-2 win over the Golden Girls.

Teammate Kristen Lawrence recorded a hat-trick and an assist as well, while Cat Condly fell a goal short of a hat-trick with two goals and an assist.

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UNTOUCHED AT THE NET ... After Tuesday's contests on the volleyball court, both the Marian and Pleasant Valley girls' volleyball teams remained undefeated in conference play.

The Fillies improved to 9-0 in Schuylkill League play last night with a win in straight sets over Millersburg.

Meanwhile, the Bears needed four sets to move to 8-0 in the Mountain Valley Conference with a win over East Stroudsburg South. Last Friday, East Stroudsburg North threatened to hand PV its first conference loss of the season. The Timberwolves forced the Bears to rebound from a two-match deficit to score a come-from-behind win in five sets.