Wed, Aug. 17, 2011 - [Men's Golf]
2010-2011 MCC Finish: 5th of 9
Letterwinners returning/lost: 3/4
Sebastian Stobart, Sr., Harare, Zimbabwe
(Honorable-mention all-MCC, 78.1 avg., low of 70)
Adriaan de Villiers, Jr., Akasia, South Africa
(78.5 avg., low of 70)
Geoff Dammann, Jr., Wyoming
(82.1 avg., low of 75)
Shane Goldsmith, Fr., Benoni, South Africa
Byron Lindeque, Fr., Boksburg, South Africa
Now veterans, a trio of talented linksters will guide the Statesmen golf team into the 2011-2012 season.
William Penn was a disappointing fifth at last spring's Midwest Collegiate Conference Championships, but three letterwinners are back on the roster as the squad looks to improve within the league standings.
Two-time honorable-mention all-MCC pick Sebastian Stobart (Sr., Harare, Zimbabwe, St. Georges College) has one year of eligibility left and is primed for a big campaign. He owned a 78.1 average last year, but posted nine rounds in the 70s and recorded four top-ten finishes.
"When Seb stepped onto campus three years ago, there was no question he was a talented player," Head Coach Buster Albertson said. "He has not reached his potential, but I expect him to really shine in his final year."
Fellow letterwinners Adriaan de Villiers (Jr., Akasia, South Africa, Akasia HS) and Geoff Dammann (Jr., Wyoming, Midland HS) are expected to be strong complements to Stobart.
de Villiers owned a 78.5 stroke average (two top tens) a year ago, while Dammann was at 82.1 (one top ten) in his second season at the collegiate level.
"Adriaan has one of the best swings on the team," Albertson said. "He has unfortunately found some bad luck over the past two years and turned really good rounds bad. If he can stay away from trouble, his scores will drastically lower."
"Geoff has the ability to be a very good varsity player for us and I hope he can reach his potential this year," Albertson said.
With some holes to fill, Albertson expects a few other returners to step up to the challenge. Evan Thomas (Jr., Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa HS) highlights the crew after a great summer, which included winning the Oskaloosa City Championship. Will Poterek (Sr., Lee, Ill., Indian Creek HS) and Brian Lawson (Sr., Omaha, Neb., Iowa Western CC), who was a letterwinner in the fall of 2008, are also prepared to make a run at the top squad.
Tony Keller (Jr., Union, BCLUW HS) and Gibb Whitlatch (So., Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa HS) will add depth as returners.
"Our returners know what it takes to be successful at the collegiate level and I look for them all to adjust their games this year to post lower scores," Albertson said.
Newcomers Shane Goldsmith (Fr., Benoni, South Africa, St. Dunstans College) and Byron Lindeque (Fr., Boksburg, South Africa, Christian Brothers College) seek to continue a strong tradition of stellar players that come from the southern hemisphere.
"Shane was actually able to visit here in the spring," Albertson said. "He has a great swing from the left side. Byron is also a top commodity and should fight for a varsity slot as well."
Alex Castro (Fr., Iron River, Wis., Home School) and Michael Stone (Fr., Moravia, Moravia HS) will also join the squad.
The Statesmen begin their fall slate on September 6-7 at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington for the Iowa Wesleyan Fun City Classic. William Penn also hosts its own tournament, the first annual Iowa Intercollegiate, on October 24-25 at the Amana Colonies Golf Course in Amana.
One of the best squads in the NAIA, Grand View will again be placed at the top of the class and is ready to take on all challengers this year. St. Ambrose and Viterbo are the most likely culprits to find their way to the top, while Ashford, in its final year in the MCC, has produced a strong recruiting class and may also challenge.
Mount Mercy and William Penn figure to be darkhorses in the race.
"Grand View is a great program and continues to get better," Albertson said. "The rest of the conference continues to improve, so we have our work cut out for us to remain a contender."
"We have some quality individuals returning as well as some exciting freshmen coming aboard,," Albertson added. "We need the guys to get after it from the opening day and if we can get some better consistency, we have the potential to have another strong year."