HAWK GOLF ENTERS FALL SEASON WITH NEW COACH AND NEW EXPECTATIONS
Sept. 19, 2012
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore golf team will kick off its 2012-13 campaign on Monday, Sept. 24, when the Hawks begin play at the Rehoboth Beach Invitational in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The squad is looking to build off of its impressive finish to last season, where the Hawks placed 11th at the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.
The upcoming season will mark the first for Head Coach Marshall Cropper, who was announced as the new coach on Aug. 21. He inherits a squad that has had impressive results on both the course and in the classroom the past few years. In each of the past two seasons, UMES was named a Golf Coaches Association of America All-Academic Team, one of just 37 Division I schools to earn the honor during that span.
The Hawks return nine players from last year's squad, including juniors Gregory Raad (Bel Air, Md.) and Michael Veverka (Brunswick, Md.). UMES will begin the season without a senior as the team features six juniors and a trio of sophomores. The team also welcomes two new freshmen in Jon Seward (Fort Washington, Md.) and Bryan Martin.
The team will be led by Raad and Veverka, who were the top performers for UMES last season. Veverka was the top UMES performer at the 2011 MEAC Championships when he placed 11th with a three-day score of 237. The Brunswick, Md., native shot the ninth-best round of any golfer at the tournament on the last day and concluded the round with a 78. Raad led UMES to an 11th place finish at the Donald Ross Invitational after he used two rounds of 79 on day one to finish in the tournament's top-60.
The team will also look to juniors Paul Cecil (Severn, Md.), Kijontray McClay (Los Angeles, Calif.), Sedrick Bailey (Baltimore, Md.) and Christopher Toney (La Plata, Md.) for support. Cecil shot the third most rounds on the team last season (18) and shot a season-low 75 at the Hall of Fame Golf Invitational last September. McClay began the MEAC Showcase on fire as he shot a 78 and 80 on the first two rounds to help propel UMES to a fifth-place finish at the event.
After the team competes in the Rehoboth Beach Invitational, UMES will travel to Atlanta, Ga., to compete in the Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Invitational on Sept. 27. The Hawks will spend four days at the event, before they head north to Pittsburgh, Pa., to engage in action at the Holiday Inn Colonial Classic. The tournament, which is hosted by Robert Morris University, will begin on Oct. 7 and will last for three days.
UMES will take nearly a month off before the Hawks conclude the fall portion of their schedule. UMES will make the trek down to Savannah, Ga., during the second week of November to participate in the Tiger Classic.
The spring schedule for UMES has yet to be announced.
Although the program is just three years old, tremendous strides have been made. The core group of six juniors has paved the way for the program and will continue to do it again this season. The team will certainly look to build on the success that they enjoyed at the end of last season.
UMES will rely on the experience of its six juniors, but will also need solid results from its sophomore and freshman classes to surpass the results from its previous two years.