Golf squads look to climb GPAC ladder in 2012-13
Men at a glance:
2011 GPAC Finish: 8th
Head Coach: Brett Muller (2nd year)
Key Returner: Shawn Rodehorst
Key Losses: Matt Dauss, Caleb Davison, Lee Johanson, Patrick Meyer, Logan Waggy
Letterwinners lost/returning: 5/1
Women at a glance:
2011 GPAC Finish: 9th
Head Coach: Brett Muller (2nd year)
Key Returners: Mackenzie Deutschman, Chelsea Peck
Key Losses: None
Letterwinners lost/returning: 0/5
2011 GPAC All-Conference: Mackenzie Deutschman, Chelsea Peck
Stark contrasts in roster makeup define the most significant difference between the Bulldog men’s and women’s golf squads coming into the 2012-13 season. The women return all five letterwinners, including their two brightest stars, while the men will reload after the loss of seven seniors.
Head coach Brett Muller’s women’s team is constructed around a pair of seniors in 2011-12 GPAC All-Conference performers Chelsea Peck (Lincoln, Neb.) and Mackenzie Deutschman (North Platte, Neb.). The pair figures to be one of the top duos in the conference this season after Peck claimed ninth and Deutschman 15th at the 2011-12 GPAC Championships. Peck (90.6 average in 11 rounds) and Deutschman (93.2 average in 11 rounds) finished Nos. 1 and 2 for Concordia at every meet last season.
“We should move up in the conference, hopefully finish in the top four or five in the conference this year,” Muller said. “I think that’s kind of the girls’ goal. Last year we had Mackenzie, Chelsea and Madison (Phillips), and then the others were basically three freshmen that golfed on varsity. So all of those freshmen kind of got thrown into the fire and had to be ready to go right away. They did a good job.”
In order to improve upon their 9th-place showing at the GPAC championships last season, the Bulldogs will need Peck and Deutschman to be even better. Considering their natural abilities and the time each invests in fine-tuning their games, Muller has every reason to believe that will happen.
“Chelsea is just a pure golfer,” Muller said. “She’s got a great swing. She’s not very big. She doesn’t hit it very far, but she’s a great competitor and she probably has one of the best short games in the conference. That really saves her in the tournaments because she can’t get to the par 5’s in two or even three like everyone else can. But she can still make pars just because of her short game.”
As far as Deutschman, her work ethic may be her most admirable attribute as it relates to her golf game.
“The biggest thing with Mackenzie is she puts in a ton of time,” Muller said. “As soon as she gets out of class she’s out on the course and normally one of the last ones to leave practice. She’s always putting in the extra time.”
Sophomores Melissa McIntosh (103.2 average) and Jenelle Hallaert and Phillips (103.5 average), another senior, also return after each playing in 10 or more meets last season. The veteran squad will get competition for varsity spots from freshmen Gretyl Bremmer (Grand Island, Neb.) and Kristin Remm (Doniphan, Neb.).
A host of freshmen will have the opportunity to join sophomore Shawn Rodehorst (Kearney, Neb.) in the lineup on the men’s side. Of the five Bulldog golfers that saw regular action on the varsity squad last season, four depart, including Caleb Davison (led Concordia with a 78.9 season average).
Captain Logan Waggy (81.3 average) also graduated from a team that finished eighth at the GPAC Championships.
“Last year was somewhat disappointing with those seven seniors,” Muller said. “We kind of had hoped for bigger things. We got off to a pretty good start in the fall and just kind of tapered off in the spring.”
Rodehorst (79.9 average) will look to push Concordia up near the top half of the conference in 2012-13 after leading the Bulldogs with a 20th place finish at last season’s GPAC Championships. While only a freshman last year, Rodehorst never showed it. The Kearney native is at home on the golf course, a place of work for his father who is an assistant superintendent at a local course.
“He had a great year. He came in right away and earned a varsity spot,” Muller said. “He played three-man most of the year last year, so he was a great addition to the team.
“We knew he had the potential to do it right away. It’s kind of a big jump from high school golf to college golf. Not everybody’s ready for that. He came out and established himself right away that he was ready for that. He’s definitely one of the guys we can count on.”
Senior Nick Milberger and juniors Sam DeFreece and Andy Nevius are the remaining holdovers with varsity experience. The trio combined for seven appearances in varsity action in 2011-12.
The youth movement on the men’s side is headlined by the addition of five freshmen. Newcomers Sam Simonson (Saint Libory, Neb.) and Garrett Suchanek (Grand Island, Neb.) stand out due to their experiences under pressure at the high school level. Muller hopes the pair’s advancement to the Class D Nebraska State Tournament as high school seniors pays immediate dividends.
The men begin their fall season Sept. 6-7 at the Siouxland Invite, which will be played in both Orange City, Iowa, and Sioux Center, Iowa. The women tee off Friday at the Midland Invite in Fremont, Neb.
Fall Season Preview Schedule
29 August 2012