“Being a senior, it’s my last go around in the conference,” senior Devin Dale said.
Explaining that fall is just a “tune up season,” with spring comes the primary season in which the team will hope to vie for a position in the National tournament. In order to accomplish this, Dale believes the team will need to win the Crossroads League conference tournament to earn a postseason berth.
“I’ve never been [to Nationals],” Dale said. “When I came in as a freshman, [the team] had made it two of the previous three years. It’s always been something I wanted to do.”
Fellow senior Ryan Boester said that in order to accomplish this feat the team will need to “come together at the same time.”
“We all, in practice and in tournaments, have shot low scores and surprised each other,” he said. “One day this person will win, and the next day this person will win. I think we just need to come together at the same time for us to be as good as possible.”
Newly appointed head coach Rick Sholund said that if the Foresters play consistently through the season “that will develop their confidence and beliefs that they can compete at the [conference] tournament.”
“They have good enough players to compete for the title, having a first and second [place finish] in the fall,” Sholund said. “I think when they play the way they are capable of doing, they will be able to compete for that title. Consistency and confidence – believing that they can do it first of all, and then a consistent scoring through the season and then bringing that to a head at the end.”
Sholund will assume head coaching position starting in the fall.
The men shocked their competitors in the fall as they drove their way to a first place finish at the Midwest Collegiate Championship Sept. 8, proving that they are capable of contending with conference powerhouses.
Boester said the win “built confidence” for the team, proving the “fact that we know we can do it.”
Head interim coach Pete Schownir said Boester and Dale “lead by example.”
“They lead by what they do and they have the respect of their teammates,” Schownir said.
Schownir also cited junior Lance Hoch as a key component for the team’s success, saying he “performed very well in our rounds in Florida.” Hoch will start the season as the number one player, according to Schownir.
In order to work on technique and get practice out on the green, the team spent its spring break in Florida, playing six straight days of golf while getting help from a golf pro.
While both individuals and teams can make national appearances, Dale said he believes it would be easier for the Foresters to make Nationals as a team as they can rely on one another to put solid rounds in.
With four scores counted toward the team’s overall score at the varsity level Schownir said that golf is unique because team’s success is dependent on the individuals rather than interactions with opponents.
“Golf’s unique,” Schownir said. “You can’t play defense. You can’t control the other team or what the other teams do. We have to look at it more [from] an individual basis. ”
Hoch added to this, saying that to help the team, each golfer needs to focus on his personal game.
“What you want to focus on is to better the team, you have to get better individually first,” Hoch said. “But once you get better individually, you’re helping the team.”
The golf team’s next contest will be the University of Saint Francis Spring Invitational April 2.