Golf teams led by newfound youth

Nate Powalie, Sports Columnist

There is a youth movement occurring for the Ashland University Golf team.

While the men’s team has struck a fair balance between underclassmen and upperclassmen, the women’s group has fully embraced the youth movement, with Sophia Lowe and Paige Shealy being the only two seniors on a team composed of mainly freshmen and sophomores.

For men’s coach Dennis North, the youth on the program is a thrill to prepare for.

“I’m excited about the freshmen that we brought in for the men’s and women’s team,” North said. “We have created a culture of hard work and these freshmen fit perfectly with our vision. Both teams have been able to get playing experience for a lot of freshmen. Our plan is to get better every day and the future is very bright for both programs.”

The freshmen on the men’s squad have someone to look up to with a balance of juniors and seniors for competition. Junior Andrew Kolar is excited to be a leader for the youngsters on the team.

“It’s nice to be recognized as one of the leaders on the team,” Kolar said. “I’ve played a lot of tournaments over my career, so I bring a lot of experience to the table. I’m looking forward to leading the team in a larger role this season.”

Meanwhile, on the women’s team, a majority of the golfers are underclassmen. Naturally, many might wonder if inexperience and nerves could affect their performance.

However, the girls at the Ohio Dominican Champions of Women’s Golf tournament in September felt comfortable hitting the links.

“I wasn’t very nervous at all in my first college tournament at Ohio Dominican,” freshman Emma Conway said. “Any fear I had was masked by the excitement that I was finally doing what I had worked towards the past 8 years, to play college golf.”

In her first college tournament appearance, Conway recorded an 81-80 over the two days for a 161 card, finishing in a tie for eleventh place.

Conway is being seen as a young star on the women’s group, and she does feel the nerves ahead of her first collegiate season.

“It is definitely a lot of pressure but so exciting that what I have worked for so long finally became reality,” Conway said. “I have many goals for my next four years here, but I just try every day to be the best possible golfer I can be and improve every day.”

Conway, who is from St. Petersburg, Fla., is making a name for herself with the Eagles after being a top player at Seminole Osceola High School.

Led by their new ‘Fountain of Youth,’ both the men’s and women’s golf teams, expect big results to come in the near future.

Freshman Emma Conway admires a swing at the Ohio Dominican Champions of Women’s Golf tournament. (AU ATHLETICS)