Men’s golf is ready to win in spring


With summer-like conditions gracing Ohio this March, many students have taken advantage of the weather by tanning, playing basketball outside or studying in the quad.

As for the men’s golf team … well, they have used it to prepare for what is to come.

After completing a solid fall season, the Pioneers have been preparing with much anticipation for the spring season.

Senior Richie Schembelcher tees off on the first hole during the Malone Fall Classic on Sept. 16-17. Schembelcher finished T-3 for the event and will play a large factor into Pioneer success in the spring. (Photo courtesy of Andy Smith)

Over spring break, the Pioneers made a trip to Tampa Bay, Fla. for an inter-squad competition in which the top players played in the first tournament.

The winner of this competition was junior Tyler Light, who not only won but also broke the course record.

The other top players of this competition, who are also on the A team, are junior Kent transfer Nathan Tarter, senior team captain Richie Schembechler, junior Jay Hollifield and freshman Ryan Headley.

As the spring season approaches, each player and coach has his own high expectations for the upcoming tournaments.

“My goal is to be top 10 in every tournament,” Headley said.

Because of the NCAA Division II transition period that the Pioneers have been going through, the team is ineligible to compete in any national tournament or the GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) postseason tournament.

“Win every title,” head coach Ken Hyland said about his expectations this spring.

When it comes to the anticipation of the upcoming season, the players are very confident in their abilities.

“We know we are good enough to win each tournament,” Headley said.

Despite not being eligible to participate in the larger national tournaments, the Pioneers still have tournaments that carry a lot of significance.

One that stood out the most to Headley was the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational because it will be a good measuring stick of where the team is with their games.

Also, since the team is unable to compete in their conference’s postseason tournament, they are going to participate in the Ohio Independent Championships instead.

This invitational carries a lot more weight for the team than the other tournaments because of the exact reason that they are unable to play in other tournaments.

For the Pioneers, it is a chance to prove they are the best independent golf squad in Ohio, which includes universities like Cedarville and rival Walsh.

[pullquote]Win every title,” head coach Ken Hyland said about his expectations this spring.[/pullquote]

Something that definitely is a factor in golf and for the team is the aspect of being able to practice all year. The golfers usually go to indoor facilities like the Hall of Fame Fitness Center in order to practice, but sometimes it just isn’t the same.

“Sometimes it seems that practicing indoors hurts more than it does anything else, because all you can work on is the mechanics of your swing,” Headley said.

Despite this sentiment, the team is preparing for another strong spring season.

The Pioneers first tournament of the season will be the Capital University Purple and White Invitational March 30-31. The team will tee off at 9:30 a.m. day one at the Foxfire Golf Club in Lockbourne, Ohio.

Andrew Haney is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.

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