Kenneth Wright, business administration senior has been playing golf for 18 years, and coming into his final collegiate tournaments, he’s set his sights high. After finishing in first place in the conference two years in a row, last year the men had to settle for second, but Wright is doing everything he can to make sure that doesn’t happen again this time.
“My goals are to hopefully play well in the championship and win and hopefully win the conference overall,” said Wright. “I felt that last year at the end of the season, we kind of started to peak. We had good hopes to have a great season this year and hopefully win a championship.”
The hardest part of the sport for Wright is staying focused. He’ll need that focus to complete his goals in the next month, but if he and his teammates continue to play how they have been, those goals seem more than achievable. The men have four of the top five spots going into the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament in Garden City April 26 and 27. Due to a cancelled home tournament, the men have no other competitions until then. Jared Paul, business senior, Raleigh Hughes, business sophomore, and Tim Jasper, business senior have consistently been placing high in tournaments all season to lead the men to receive votes in all three of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Coaches’ Polls released during the spring season.
Wright said that having four of the top five spots in the conference is a pleasant surprise, but he feels some pressure with the end of his final season approaching quickly.
“We wanna go out on top,” said Wright. “Especially with the team we have, we can achieve some pretty good goals. Someone tells you at the beginning of the season that you’re going to have four of the top five in the conference, it’s hard to believe, but I knew we had potential to do it.”
The men were first out of 14 teams at the Bethel College Spring Invitational. Jasper placed first with a 75/76 for a total of 151. Wright was second on the team in a tie for fifth with a 77/77 154. Paul shot an 81/77 158 for a tie for 13th that included Hughes with an 84/74 158 and Bobby Weidner, business sophomore, shot an 81/88 for a 169 and 57th place.
The men’s biggest opponent appears to be Bethany College, who finished 11 strokes behind SC in 3rd place at the Invitational and two strokes ahead of them in the Bethany College Invitational in early March.
The women golfers leave Sunday for the Park University Spring Invitational in Parkville, Mo. Brad Sexson, head golf coach, said there should be around 18 participating teams in the tournament.
They traveled to Desoto, Texas March 29 for the Bluebonnet Classic. Courtney Huppert, business administration sophomore, led the women with an 84/84 for a total of 168. Hupper finished 19th.
Kaydee Johnson, business administration junior, said, “It seems like we’re finally getting some good weather, so hopefully things are on the up and up.”
The women will be at Baker University April 21 before heading to Oklahome City for the regional tournament. Due to a lack of participating teams, instead of the KCAC tournament, the women compete in the regional tournament April 26.
March 31 19. Courtney Huppert, 84/84 168, 45. Kaydee Johnson, 97/98 195, 49. Laken Campbell, 110/113 223
BETHEL SPRING INVITATIONAL
March 27 1. Jasper, 76/75 151, 5. Wright, 77/77 154, 13. Paul, 81/77 158, 13. Hughes, 84/74 158, 57. Weidner, 81/88 169. Totals 1. Southwestern College, 315/303 618, 2. Seminole State, 317/310 627, 3. Bethany College, 308/321 629
UST TEXAS INTERCOLLEGIATE
March 14 34. Wright, 74/75 149
34. Jasper, 77/72 149, 43. Hughes, 74/76 150, 76. Weidner, 81/79 160, 78. Paul, 78/83 161
Totals 11. Southwestern College, 303/302 605