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| Menís Golf Season Preview |
Beginning the first year of competition for St. Thomas golf since the mid 1980s, the 2011-2012 golf team is poised to make an impact in the NAIA right away. Two junior transfers will lead the team with a talented group of freshmen competing for playing time. Several players are coming off strong spring and summer schedules as both individuals and in team competition.
“I am very excited about the talent level that we have for our first season,” said golf coach Matt Luther. “We have a good mix of experience and talent as well as both steady players and guys who can shoot low scores. We have some excellent attitudes that will represent The University of St. Thomas very well and I have no doubt that we will be making an appearance at the NAIA National Tournament next May.”
James Rayner and Sean Kennedy both come to St. Thomas as junior transfers. Rayner competed at the Division I level for the past two seasons where his team won two conference championships and he recorded a top ten finish at The PGA’s National Minority Championship where he recorded scores of 71,75,76. Kennedy played at the junior college level from 2009-2011,and was part of the 2011 NJCAA National Championship team at Indian Hills Community College. Both players bring key experience to the young Celt golf team.
Three freshmen should have an immediate impact as well. Zach Cabra, a standout golfer and basketball player from McKinney-Boyd High School, has the potential to compete at a national level. He is an excellent ball striker and his ability to shoot low scores and lead from the front will be the key to the team’s early success. The steady play of Jeff Swearingen will help solidify the roster and bring consistency to a young team. Jeff played very well this summer at the HGA’s Young Houstonian Championship. In a field of Division I and II players, Swearingen fired rounds of 70,76,75 to finish tied for fifth place. He will look to carry that success into the fall season. Freshmen AJ Skiba will also be able to have an immediate impact. His attitude and work ethic will set the tone for the fall and his ability to contribute will be counted on. Ryan Lyons and Stephen Camilli will contend for a top spot in the traveling squad. Both freshmen have incredible talent and will be key factors in the success of the team.