LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell head men’s golf coach Michael Binney has announced two incoming recruits for the 2017-18 season: Potomac, Maryland native John Kalavritinos and Sewickley, Pennsylvania native Chris Tanabe. Both bring impressive academic and golf credentials to the Bison program.
“With the impending departure of three outstanding seniors this spring, it was imperative that we brought in some high-quality talent to replace them, and John Kalavritinos and Chris Tanabe fill that role in an exceptional manner,” said Binney. “I am excited to welcome Chris and John to the Bison family, and I feel that both of them have the potential to be immediate impact players when they don the Orange and Blue.”
Kalavritinos is currently finishing his senior year at Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland. He has been a member of the varsity golf team in all four of his years at the Upper School and captain for the last two. He earned First Team All-Met honors from the Washington Post as a junior in 2016, and a year earlier he was a Montgomery County Second Team All-Gazette selection.
So far, Kalavritinos has helped lead his Landon team to three IAC league titles and a pair of Metropolitan championships. He has a low 9-hole score of 32 and a low 18 of 67, and he tied the school’s all-time scoring average record with a 36.4.
On the junior golf circuit, Kalavritinos owns a top-5 finish at the 2015 AJGA Cobblestone Creek (73-74-76) and a top-10 at the AJGA IZOD Irish Creek (71-68-72). He qualified for the Optimist Worlds in 2014. Kalavritinos raised over $5,000 for the Jack Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation through the AJGA Leadership Links program. That made him a top-7 fundraiser nationwide and earned him an invitation Palm Beach, Florida to meet Jack Nicklaus with the other AJGA finalists.
“John comes off of an exceptional summer and fall season that included multiple top-10 AJGA performances and sub-par rounds,” said Binney. “Dipping under 500 nationally on Junior Golf Scoreboard, John’s game is set to help the Bison the week he steps onto campus.”
Tanabe, the 2016 Class 2A Pennsylvania state champion, is a senior at Quaker Valley High School, where he has played both golf and baseball. In golf, he is a four-year letterman and two-time captain and team MVP. His team was the 2016 PIAA state champion after finishing as the runner-up a year earlier. Tanabe also led his team to the 2016 PIAA Western Regional title and the 2014 WPIAL championship.
Tanabe’s low high school round of 69 came on the Penn State Blue Course. He owns the school’s single-season scoring average record of 35.1, and he became Quaker Valley’s first golfer to win a WPIAL title and a PIAA state championship. Tanabe’s 1-under-par 70 gave him the state title by one stroke at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York last October, one year after he was runner-up in the event.
Tanabe also has six career wins and seven top-10 finishes in junior golf events. His two 2016 wins came at the College Prep Series at Penn State and the Major Championship at Birdsfoot in Pittsburgh. At the 2016 Pennsylvania State Junior Championship at Hershey Country Club, he finished fourth in a field of 139 players. He also owns a top-15 finish at the 2015 Innisbrook Easter Junior Classic at the famed Innisbrook Resort and Spa in Florida.
“Chris’ performance in the past year has vaulted him up inside the top 1,000 nationally, and the highlight of his fall season was winning the PIAA Individual championship in Class AA,” said Binney. “In addition to his individual title, Chris also posted a solid fourth place at the PA Junior Boys Championship as well as two individual Hurricane Junior titles. Chris emerged from the fall season as a top regional recruit, and I feel very fortunate to have him join the Bison squad this fall.”
The Bison have at least three events remaining in the 2017 spring season. They will look to defend their title at the Yale Invitational on Saturday, and then the Apr. 22-23 Navy Invitational will serve as a final tune-up prior to the Patriot League Championship. Bucknell Golf Club will host the Patriot League Championship on Apr. 29-30.