2013-2013 William Penn Golf Preview
2013-2014 William Penn Men’s Golf Preview
2012-2013 MCC Finish: 7th of 7
Letterwinners returning/lost: 3/5
Byron Lindeque Jr. Boksburg, South Africa
(80.7 avg., low of 69)
Ben Roberts So. Albia, Iowa
(84.6 avg., low of 79)
Adriaan de Villiers
Tyler Lallier Jr. Algona, Iowa
Jeremy Swink Jr. Burlington, Iowa
Chris Dupont Fr. Miami, Fla.
Zach McGriff Fr. Grinnell, Iowa
The return of an experienced coach, combined with potentially the best recruiting class in school history, has given the Statesmen men’s golf squad belief that the 2013-2014 season will put it back on the map.
Last season was a rough one for the navy and gold as it finished last in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, but Steve Tucker is back in the driver’s seat and the recruiting trail was set ablaze to get the ship righted for this year. While only three letterwinners return to the links (both former all-conference players graduated), Tucker is confident new blood will help to get WPU into league contention.
“I am excited to be back on the staff, and with so many new players on the roster, this really is a new chapter for the William Penn men’s golf program,” Tucker said. “Practice has gone very well so far with everyone getting along well and competing at a high level.”
Byron Lindeque (Jr., Boksburg, South Africa, General Accounting) headlines the returners column with an 80.7 stroke average last campaign, while Ben Roberts (So., Albia, Iowa, Industrial Technology) and Terence Schafer (So., Solwezi, Zambia, Industrial Technology) also knowledge at the varsity level. Roberts owned an 84.6 stroke mark, while Schafer’s average per round was 92.5.
Austin Bringman (Fr., Sigourney, Iowa, Psychology) is excited to compete as well after redshirting in 2012-2013.
“Our returning group is not large, but it is a solid one,” Tucker said. “These guys bring experience to our program, which will be an asset in these early weeks.”
The big story of this year’s Statesmen group, though, will be the many new faces that have been brought to Oskaloosa in search of links glory. A total of 11 fresh faces will adorn this fall’s team photo, including eight young men straight out of high school. Players from right here in the Hawkeye State will mix with athletes from as far away as Florida and California as well as several from Texas. Throw in a transfer from Illinois as well.
The freshmen include: Hank Bennett (Whitesboro, Texas, Biology), Chris Dupont (Miami, Fla., Physical Education), Kyle Hashimoto (Acampo, Calif., Undecided), Charlie Hayes (Whitesboro, Texas, History/Government), Zach McGriff (Grinnell, Iowa, Biology), Zach Smith (Fort Worth, Texas, Industrial Technology), and Jeremy White (Baytown, Texas, Mechanical Engineering).
“Our freshmen all come in with great track records,” Tucker said. “They have had success at the junior level; now they just need to step it up to get those same results in college. They work extremely hard and are dedicated to turning this program around.”
Tyler Lallier (Jr., Algona, Iowa, Business Management) and Jeremy Swink (Jr., Burlington, Iowa, Physical Education) will be two of the important pieces early in the process for WPU as both bring collegiate playing experience, at Iowa Central CC and Ellsworth CC, respectively.
“Tyler and Jeremy have a couple years of college golf under their belts,” Tucker said. “Like the returners, their experience will be invaluable for us as our young team matures.”
Brandon Dizon (San Leandro, Calif., Sociology) and Ian Harris (So., Marengo, Ill., Physical Education) will both look to improve as redshirts.
An abbreviated five-tournament fall season will open up on September 7-8 at Hunters Ridge Golf Course in Marion for the Mount Mercy Cropper Classic. The program will host the William Penn Invitational on October 11-12 with participants taking on all 45 holes that Oskaloosa has to offer (18 at Edmundson and nine at Harvest Point on the 11th, 18 at Oskaloosa on the 12th).
Grand View started slow last year, but quickly picked up the pace and claimed its fourth-straight league crown, despite Mount Mercy and AIB breathing heavily down its neck. William Penn anticipates that by year’s end the league race will feature at least a handful of teams that could hoist hardware and represent the MCC at nationals.
“Grand View has been the top team in our conference for quite some time, but everyone is improving and trying to close that gap,” Tucker said. “We have been picked near the bottom, but I think we are going to surprise a lot of teams this year as we should only get better each time out.”
“We honestly do not know how good we are or can be,” Tucker added. “This season is going to be a lot of fun as we find out what our potential is and try to reach that in every competition. The sky is the limit for this squad and we look forward to turning some heads.”
2013-2014 William Penn Women’s Golf Preview
2012-2013 MCC Finish: 2nd of 7
Letterwinners returning/lost: 5/2
Maggie Yang Jr. Chino, Calif.
(First-team all-MCC, 81.2 avg., low of 78)
Demi Coertze So. Johannesburg, South Africa
(First-team all-MCC, 82.9 avg., low of 78)
Ashley Manhnieo Jr. Las Vegas, Nev.
(90.4 avg., low of 83)
Natalie Booton So. Mount Pleasant, Iowa
(91.4 avg., low of 79)
Jing Yang Fr. Woodland Hills, Calif.
Alexandria Eckenrod Jr. Mason City, Iowa
Courtney Cunningham Fr. Muskogee, Okla.
Alexi Rule Fr. Idaho Falls, Idaho
The Statesmen women’s golf team will be living off the slogan ‘Nationals or Bust’ in 2013-2014 as it seeks to reach a goal that just slipped out of its grasp last year.
William Penn placed first in five events last year and was runner-up six other times, including a heartbreaking second at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Championships.
Head Coach Nik Rule will have some help in moving his squad over the hump as Steve Latos was hired as a graduate assistant.
“Adding Coach Latos has been a huge step forward for our program,” Rule said. “With his knowledge and player development benchmarks, we feel like we are providing our athletes with even more opportunities to grow in the game.”
First-team all-MCC performers Maggie Yang (Jr., Chino, Calif., Biology) and Demi Coertze So., Johannesburg, South Africa, Digital Communication) headline a strong returning crew determined to make sure the league hardware is on the van back to Oskaloosa next April.
Yang topped WPU last year with an 81.2 stroke average, including three tournament wins.
“Maggie has proven time and again that she is one of the two best players in the conference,” Rule said. “She has had a very good preseason and it is obvious she worked hard on her game this summer. Her preparation in the offseason has put her in a great position to lead this team on the course and I am excited to watch her compete.”
Coertze made an impressive collegiate debut as well, posting an 82.9 stroke mark (one win) to earn MCC Newcomer of the Year laurels.
“Any time you have the Conference Newcomer of the Year back there is something to be excited about,” Rule said. “Demi had a great fall, but struggled for a while in the spring. All that turned around as she had a mental breakthrough in her final round of the year. Her outlook on the game has been much more positive in our preseason, and if she can continue that progress she can have an entire year of quality production.”
Ashley Manhnieo (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev., Business Management), Natalie Booton (So., Mount Pleasant, Elementary Education), and Danielle Giannotti (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz., Psychology & Human Services) also all worked their way onto the varsity squad in 2012-2013 and will take that invaluable experience into this fall.
“These three battled it out many times last year for our final two varsity spots,” Rule said. “They gained some significant experience because of that competition.”
“Ashley really started to play to her potential at the end of last season and picked up where she left off in last week’s practice rounds,” Rule added. “As a junior, her game is maturing to the point where she has the potential to make an everyday impact. Natalie had a very impressive fall season last year. Although she struggled a bit in the spring, she followed a strategic practice plan this summer, and by playing in many high-level amateur events, I believe she has grown as a player. Danielle is the type of player that rarely gets into trouble on the course and someone who I believe has a chance to push for a spot in the top five.”
Lindsay Dorn (So., Mount Pleasant, Elementary Education) also returns to the links, while fellow returners Janet Kuskie (So., Grant, Neb., Public Accounting) and Samantha Lingle (So., Manilla, Elementary Education) will seek to improve their skills in redshirt campaigns.
“Lindsay is a joy to have around and is capable of good things,” Rule said. “She brings a great attitude to the table.”
Rule will be adding to the already deep squad a handful of talented newcomers. Alexandria Eckenrod (Jr., Mason City, Iowa, Elementary Education) is the lone recruit with collegiate time under her belt, coming to WPU from North Iowa Area CC.
“Alexandria has loads of talent,” Rule said. “I first saw her play as a freshman in our home tournament and from that day forward I wanted to see her in our navy and gold. Not only is she a great talent on the course, but she is a natural leader who will bring some maturity and perspective to our young team.”
The rest of the class has enjoyed loads of success as well, though at the prep level. The list includes Jing Yang (Fr., Woodland Hills, Calif., Biology), Alexi Rule (Fr., Idaho Falls, Idaho, Education), Courtney Cunningham (Fr., Muskogee, Okla., Computer Science), and Carly Schmalz (Fr., Buffalo Lake, Minn., American Government).
“Alexi and Jing also provide significant depth,” Rule said. “Jing is consistent from tee to green and is equipped with a strong short game. Her success in high school shows she has the ability to win and understands what it takes to win. Alexi has a natural golf game that has yet to peak. She is likely to develop quickly in a program like ours. She is a very good ball striker and will get better with each week of practice. I fully expect both of these freshmen to continue to improve and contribute as they adapt to the longer length of courses that we play in the college game.”
“Courtney has been one of our most consistent players in the preseason,” Rule added. “She is competitive and I love her demeanor on the golf course. She will give her all and is someone we can depend on regularly.”
“Carly will also provide some extra depth to our roster,” Rule said. “She is a hard worker with a good attitude and I am excited to see her develop each week. This recruiting class is by far the strongest we have ever had.”
A trip to Marion on August 30-31 will begin the fall season as WPU joins the field at the Mount Mercy Invitational. Two tourneys in Nebraska and another to Minnesota will preclude the William Penn Invitational on October 11-12.
Until they are dethroned, the two-time defending champion Vikings of Grand View are the team to beat. The Statesmen finished higher than GVU in three regular-season tournaments last year, but could not hold off its rival a fourth time at the MCC Championships. Rule is more than confident that another intense two-team league race is likely to ensue this year.
“We are very excited about this year,” Rule said. “We definitely have talent up and down the roster. With the returners we have back and the great recruiting class we brought in, I expect our qualifying and practices to be highly competitive.”
“Our goal is to win the conference tournament and to make a statement at nationals,” Rule added. “I am confident if this team works hard and stays intact, we can definitely accomplish a lot for this University.”