Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s golfers will open the 2012-13 split-season schedule September 24-25 in the Northeastern State Golf Classic at Emerald Falls Country Club in Broken Arrow. The NE Classic is a hornet’s nest of 18 teams, including two national qualifiers and seven regional qualifiers. There will also be four or five Great American Conference teams.
Coach Don Hudson said the team’s goals are winning the conference championship and making it to the regional tournament.
Hudson is beginning his fourth year with the Savage Storm and has put together a roster of 14 with three seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen.
Two of the freshmen are Durant High School products. Jackson Stuteville signed early with Southeastern and Seth Wheeler is a walk-on looking for playing time.
Hudson said, “This team has the most experience we’ve had with six returning lettermen and three transfers.
“We’re in a different region this year with teams from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association and other teams up north. We will be facing some good programs.
“We finished in the middle of the pack last season, 103 of 214. We were in the mix, but we have to get into the top third to go on into the postseason and that’s just not easy to do at this level of competition.
“We made progress last year and we’re hoping to improve this year.”
GAC golf plays a true split season with five tournaments in the fall and five in the spring. Each tournament counts toward national and regional rankings. Starting with the first tournament, head-to-head competition with other NCAA Division II schools will decide SE’s chances to reach the regional shootout in May.
Hudson coached football and basketball before moving into administration.
“This is my fourth year,” Hudson said. “I’ve learned a lot and gained some valuable experience. I think we have a good mix on the roster with experience and youth. We’re pretty solid with our top three and we’re looking for a strong four and five to go with them.”
Practice started this week for the Storm golfers and the baptism of fire is coming up quickly with the first shootout in Broken Arrow.
Savage Storm Golf 2012-13 Roster
Seniors: Carson Daniel, Eufaula, Okla, (Seminole State); Christopher George, Sydney, Australia (Tyler Community College); Jay Ray, Fort Worth, Texas (Schreiner College).
Juniors: Greyden Blevins, Tyler, Texas (McLennan CC); Rick Hairgrove, Lenexa, Kan. (Johnson County); Jeff Hunter, Thunder Bay, Ontario (Southwest Baptist); Robert Perry, Fort Worth, Texas (New Mexico Military Institute).
Sophomores: Mason Horner, Argyle, Texas (Dallas Baptist); Joey Schroeder, Lewisville, Texas (Lewisville High School).
Freshmen: Sean Adams, Corvallis, Ore. (Corvallis High School); Matt McIntosh, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead High School); Jackson Stuteville, Durant, Okla. (Durant High School); Seth Wheeler, Durant, Okla. (Durant High School); Will Wood, Fort Worth, Texas (Keller Central High School).
Returning lettermen are Daniel, George, Hunter, Perry and Schroeder. Former Storm golfer Nathan Harris is serving as student coach.
Savage Storm Golf 2012 Schedule:
Northeastern State Golf Classic
Emerald Falls Country Club
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course
Harding Bison Fall Golf Classic
Greystone Country Club
Bruce Williams Memorial Invitational
St. Mary’s (Texas) University
Dominion Country Club
San Antonio, Texas
The Classic at the Tribute
The Tribute Golf Club
The Storm will run into several Lone Star Conference teams in the Bruce Williams Memorial and hit a mixture of GAC and Lone Star teams in The Classic at the Tribute.
George, Hunter and Perry form the nucleus of the team and Hudson tried to recruit to them. George is the most experienced player on the team and turned in the best performance in last year’s conference tournament.
Juniors Hunter and Perry were second-team All-GAC players a year ago and both are expected to play well and provide experience and leadership.
Blevins should step in immediately and join Hairgrove in adding depth and making a bid for the top five.
Horner was recruited as a freshman, spent a season at Dallas Baptist and could be very good.
Hudson said, “I enjoy these guys. We recruit outstanding young men. Quality is important. That’s what we want and I believe that’s what we have on this team.”