The Youngstown State men's golf team will begin their 2017-2018 season on Sunday, Sept. 3 with the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate in Verona, N.Y. The Penguins are scheduled to compete in six events during the fall portion of their schedule. The group is currently slated to play rounds in New York, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan.
Justin Hallapy, the lone senior on this year's team, brings a wealth of experience having played in 24 tournaments and 64 rounds over his first three seasons. The Hubbard, Ohio, native averaged 78.7 strokes per round and had a low round of 72 at the NKU Fall Collegiate Classic last season. He finished tied for 16th at the Dayton Flyer Invitational and 36th at the Horizon League Championships a year ago. The senior will be relied heavily upon this season by Coach Tony Joy.
Junior Jason McQuown will come into 2017-18 with high expectations after a very solid 2016-17 campaign. He competed in all 12 tournaments and was the only YSU golfer to see action in every round on the year. The Poland, Ohio, native was YSU's top finisher in four tournaments including the Horizon League Championships where he came in 24th. He had a three-round total of 219 at the NKU Fall Collegiate Classic with a low round of 70 in the third round to finish 12th while also carding a ninth-place finish at the RMU Colonial Invitational.
Juniors Evan Standohar and Dominic Carano will likely have increased roles for the Penguins this upcoming season. Standohar has played in 12 tournaments and 31 rounds over this first two seasons, shooting a low round of 72 at the Cleveland State Invitational a year ago. Carano has competed in nine tournaments and 25 rounds over this first two years and was the Penguins' top finisher in the first two events of 2016-17. At the Cleveland State Invitational, the Girard, Ohio, native carded a three-round 222 with a low score of 70 during the second round to place 28th.
Promising Group of Freshmen
Head Coach Tony Joy has recruited an extremely talented and promising group of freshmen who have a chance to contribute right away. Redshirt freshman Justin Stark was the South Carolina Independent School Association Region 3A Golfer of the Year as a junior in 2015. He was also an SCISA all-state selection, averaging 37.5 strokes per nine holes and 77 per 18. Stark also won the region tournament and had a top-five finish at the Charleston Esposito Invitational, shooting rounds of 76 and 73.
Cardinal Mooney graduate Ken Keller has been one of the most talented and accomplished local players over the last several years in the greater Youngstown area. As a sophomore in 2014, he helped lead the Cardinals to the Ohio Division II State Championships. Keller had a two-round total of 157 (78-79) to finish sixth while his team placed 10th. He also earned second-team all-state honors that season. This past summer he finished second in the Ohio Junior Championship with a two-round 145 (73-72).
C.J. Hughes of Indiana, Pa., was a standout at Indiana Area High School. As a junior in 2015, he was 17th at the WPIAL AAA Boys Championships held at Southpointe Golf Club. He was a three-time sectional champion and was second at the 2016 Class AAA Section 1 event with a round of 68 at the Glengarry Golf Links. Hughes also set the Indiana Area High School nine-hole scoring average record recently held by Matt Holuta, a junior at Rutgers, with an average of 35.5 strokes.
Kevin Scherr of Nazareth, Pa., competed in 31 junior, men's amateur and high school tournaments with a 0.0 USGA Handicap Index. As team captain, he helped lead Nazareth High School to an undefeated regular season and first-place at the PIAA 3A Team East Regional, District XI and EPC Championships. Scherr earned first-team all-state, All-District XI and All-EPC honors this past fall. The Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame presented him with the Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year Award in 2015 & 2016.
The Penguins have also added Nick Willis of Newark Catholic High School in Newark, Ohio. He recently led the Green Wave to Ohio Division III Sectional and District Championships as well as the state tournament this past fall. Willis shot a 74 and earned medalist honors at the sectional tournament then finished as the medalist runner-up with a 75 at the district tournament.
Joy Enters 34th Season as Head Coach
Head Coach Tony Joy will be in his 34th year with the program in 2017-18. Joy, the 2014 Horizon League Coach of the Year, has had an impressive run as the head coach of the program. He has produced 20 first-team and six second-team all-conference selections during his tenure. He has also coached three conference champions-Ryan Stocke in 2010, Nate Komsa in 2004 and Jim Perry in 1994.
In 2015-16, Joy helped Brandon Pluchinsky become YSU's first Horizon League Golfer of the Year. The South Range product became the first Penguin in 22 years to be named a conference golfer of the year. He set a school record for single-season average in 2015-16 at 72.4 and the career scoring average at 74.3 strokes per round.
Joy, a former standout golfer at Youngstown State, took over in the fall of 1983 and has been in charge of the Penguins ever since. Until his Horizon League honor in April of 2014, he had never been recognized as conference coach of the year during his distinguished career. It was a much overdue honor for one of the longest tenured coaches in YSU history. Joy was inducted in the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
For updates throughout the fall season follow the YSU Men's Golf Program on Twitter @YSUMensGolf
The Cleveland State Invitational on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 at the Barrington Golf Club in Aurora, Ohio will be the closest event to home the Penguins will play in the fall.