The golf team has had quite a successful season after winning the 2012 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference golf championship for the sixth consecutive year.
“As freshmen we wanted to have a good year,” freshman Trenton Twamley said. “It wouldn’t be fun being on a team to end the streak.”
Junior Derek Zachman was named SCIAC Male Athlete of the Week for his efforts and leadership at the SCIAC 36 Hole Championship Tournament at the Diamond Valley Golf Club in Hemet on April 22-23.
Zachman also won the Lee Fulmer Award, given to the SCIAC player of the year.
“It’s a cherry on top for the week,” Zachman said. “My individual effort was definitely a side note. I’m proud of the guys and how hard they worked. This is more of a team effort than just myself.”
He becomes the fifth ULV golfer in the past six seasons to earn the SCIAC Player of the Year.
He led his team into victory after shooting a 69 Sunday and a 72 Monday.
Zachman’s final score was 141 while his teammates did not follow too far behind.
Freshman Kelby Scharmann shot an even 73 both days while Nick Ericson shot 72 on Sunday and 74 on Monday.
The Leopards came out on top with an overall score of 582. Cal Lutheran came in second with 589 and Redlands in third with a team score of 594.
This season’s team is fairly new with only three returning players.
However, what may seem like a setback proved to be a favorable undertaking for the team that is now preparing for the national championship this month.
“I’m really pleased with this season,” head coach Eric Riehle said. “I lost five seniors (from last year’s squad) and one guy turned professional.”
Most would think a young team would need time and more than one season of practice to accomplish what this season’s team has done yet they had their own motivation to make it successful.
Despite the motivation that came from the freshmen, each returning player also had a drive to maintain what last year’s team left.
“My philosophy is to try to provide a good program for my guys,” Riehle said.
Riehle, in his fourth season at ULV, ultimately focuses on staying motivated and finding tournaments that will allow his athletes to go against good, strong competition.
“He stresses for us to realize we’re going to face challenges out there, but we have to grind through it,” Scharmann said.
Although it may be a struggle adjusting to a team of several new teammates, every player has successfully dealt with the challenge in a positive way.
“I think it’s remarkable that of the seven conference schools, we have the youngest team,” Riehle said. “I’m really proud of them for that and I think the future years look bright.”
With the season near its end there is still the NCAA championship to look forward to.
The championship’s stats will be covered live on golfstat.com so all Leopard fans know how they will be doing in the upcoming event.
ULV will now compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships held May 15 to 18 at the Mission Inn Resort in Orlando, Fla.
Shelby Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.