Sophomore heavy line-up takes the green for Kirkwood
If there’s one thing that Kirkwood Community College Head Golf Coach Darin Pint can count on, it’s the experience on his team.
“We have 4 of 5 back from last year,” Pint said. “The four sophomores really have the ability to step up. The expectations are a little higher than last year.”
Matt Berg, Cam Jacobs, Ben Montgomery and Ryan Winchester are all sophomores who were on last years’ squad who finished ninth in the National Tournament last May in Scottsboro, Al.
These veterans, along with four new members are looking to get back to the tournament, but this time advance a little further.
“Finishing in the top 3 or 4 in the nation is a realistic goal,” Pint said. Pint also noted that many schools they compete with at the national level are able to golf year-round.
Pint’s veterans will be getting support from a few decorated newcomers. Mitt Wennekamp, a 2A State Champion last season for Monticello, and Justin Strabala of Mid-Prairie will add depth to the roster.
By February last season, the Eagles were already on the golf course, but because of this winter’s weather, Pint doesn’t know how long it will be until his team can have a real workout. “We have to get our guys ready in a short time,” Pint said, adding that their outdoor season could end up only being weeks long.
To fill the time missed because of weather, the Eagles have been working out extensively at the Michael J Gould Recreation Center. They have been training with a physiotherapy specialist on flexibility and core workouts. They also hit a few days a week.
Despite the weather, Pint thinks his team will be fine this season. “They really know how to fight through tough times,” Pint said. “One of their strengths is the persistence in their character. They don’t pout, they try… and that’s all I can ask.”
The Eagles tentatively open up play on March 29 at the Central College Invite in Pella.