The Youngstown State men's golf team will begin the spring portion of its schedule March 9-10 with the Jackrabbit Invitational hosted by South Dakota State at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nev. The Penguins are scheduled to compete in five events before the Horizon League Championships April 22-24. The group is slated to play rounds in Nevada, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Florida.
After starting the spring out west, YSU will travel directly to Athens Country Club in Athens, Ga. for the Southern Intercollegiate hosted by the University of Georgia on March 12. The Guins will then head back down south to Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. for the Kingsmill Intercollegiate hosted by William & Mary March 25-27.
The squad will remain out of state for the Towson Spring Invitational at Prospect Bay Country Club in Grasonville, Md. April 7-8 before returning to Ohio for the only in-state event of the spring. The team will compete in the Wright State Invitational at Heatherwoode Golf Club in Springboro, Ohio April 15-16 as a final tuneup before the conference championships.
The Horizon League Championships will take place April 22-24 at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. The event will be played on the resort's Las Colinas Golf Course.
Looking to Carry Momentum Forward
The Penguins finished their fall schedule in impressive fashion, earning a second-place finish at the Titans Motown Collegiate. As a team, the Penguins turned in a season-best, three-round total score of 893. The performance featured rounds of 297, 298 and 298 respectively. YSU sat atop the leaderboard with a two-shot lead after two rounds of play but came up just short. The team had a number of strong individual performances as three golfers finished in the top-10. C.J. Hughes finished third, Kevin Scherr seventh and Jason McQuown eighth. The team will now look to carry that momentum into the spring season.
Last Ride for Hallapy
Justin Hallapy, the team's only senior, will enter the final stretch of an impressive career with the Penguins. Hallapy was a fixture in the YSU lineup again this past fall; he posted two top-20 finishes and was the team's top finisher on two occasions. The Hubbard, Ohio, native has now played in 29 tournaments and 78 rounds over the course of his career. He has helped provide invaluable leadership for the large group of underclassmen on the team. The senior's second-round 70 at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational tied for the team's best single-round score of the fall.
McQuown Makes Impact Again
Jason McQuown is another veteran who provides a wealth of experience and consistency. The Poland, Ohio, native played in all six tournaments this fall and has now competed in 25 consecutive events dating back to his freshman season. The junior turned in his best three-round performance of the season with a 224 (77-73-74) to earn a career-best, eighth-place finish at the Titans Motown Collegiate. His second-round 73 was his lowest this season and the team's best score of the round. Head Coach Tony Joy will once again rely upon McQuown to anchor the Youngstown State lineup this spring.
Hot Start for Hughes
C.J. Hughes is sure to be a focal point of the YSU lineup this spring after making a major impact in his first collegiate action. The freshman earned two top-10 finishes and was YSU's top finisher in the final three events of the fall. He shot a three-round score of 220 (75-74-71) at the Titans Motown Collegiate to earn a career-best, third-place finish and lead his team to a second-place finish. His third-round 71 matched his best round of the season and was tied for the lowest single-round score of the entire event. His total of 220 was the team's best three-round score of the fall. Hughes finished tied for 19th at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational and tied for 10th at the Cleveland State Invitational. The freshman's second-round 71 at Marshall featured his first-career eagle. He also averaged a team-best 75.8 strokes per round during fall action.
Strong Showings from Scherr
Kevin Scherr will also be seeking to build upon a stellar first fall with the program. The freshman earned a season-best, seventh-place finish at the Titans Motown Collegiate with a three-round 223 (72-78-73). His first-round 72 was the Penguins' lowest score of the round, matched his best of the season and featured his second eagle of the year. His 223 was the team's second-best, three-round total score of the fall season. Scherr finished in a tie for 18th and carded the first eagle of his young career at the Cleveland State Invitational, shooting a three-round 226 (77-76-73). The Nazareth, Pa., native averaged 76.5 strokes per round, which was the team's second-best mark during fall play.
Freshmen Look to Build on Strong Fall
A group of true freshmen became integral parts of the YSU men's golf team this past fall. C.J. Hughes, Kevin Scherr and Ken Keller participated in all six tournaments and 17 rounds. Keller earned a career-best, 24th-place finish at the Titans Motown Collegiate with a three-round 233 (75-77-81). The performance was his best three-round showing of the season. The Cardinal Mooney standout's second-round 70 at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational tied for the team's best single-round score of the fall. The group will look to use the experience gained in the fall to take another step forward in spring action.
Penguins Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll
Youngstown State was picked to finish sixth in a preseason poll of the Horizon League's eight coaches. Oakland was tabbed as the preseason favorite and received five out of a possible eight first-place votes and 61 of a possible 288 points. Cleveland State received the remaining three first-place votes. The Golden Grizzlies were followed by Cleveland State (59), Wright State (40), Northern Kentucky (36), IUPUI (33), YSU (29), Detroit Mercy (20) and Green Bay (10).
For news and updates throughout the spring season, follow the YSU men's golf program on Twitter @YSUMensGolf