Ephs look to repeat as NESCAC Champs

Dylan Dethier ’14 and the seniors look to return to Nationals.
Dylan Dethier ’14 and the seniors look to return to Nationals.

This spring, men’s golf looks to repeat as NESCAC Champions and improve upon their T-28th place finish at the NCAA Div. III Championships last season. After an up-and-down fall season, the Ephs, bolstered by senior leadership and the experience of five co-captains, have high expectations for 2014.

During the fall season, the men failed to produce results similar to last spring’s stellar campaign, which included four consistent first-place finishes for the men and a trip to Nationals. At Nationals one year ago, despite a disappointing team finish in which the Ephs failed to make the cut after two days of play, Cody Semmelrock ’14 continued as an individual and finished 32nd nationally.

This fall, the men had a mixed-bag of finishes ranging from a disappointing fifth-place finish at Bowdoin to open the fall season to a convincing first-place finish in their home Williams Invitational. To end the fall season, in the all-important NESCAC Qualifier in which the top four teams advance to the spring championship tournament, the men squeaked by a tight field to capture the fourth and final qualifying spot. “The fall fell a bit short of everyone’s expectations,” co-captain Jake Abrahams ’14 said.

The Ephs are exceptionally deep and will look to senior co-captains Semmelrock, Abrahams, Ross Bowen ’14, Dylan Dethier ’14 and Matt McCarron ’14 to carry the load for the team. Jake Goldenring ’15 and rookie Grant Raffel ’17 also look to contribute after solid fall seasons. In addition, Nate McCue ’15, Jonathan Dely ’15, Max Elgart ’16 and Tony Liu ’16 will fight for spots in the starting lineup.

A talented group of underclassmen also looks to improve and challenge the upperclassmen to improve their game including Fall Williams Invitational Individual Champion, Ross Hoffman ’17.

“We have a core group of five seniors who are hoping to go out with a strong season, but there are certainly no guarantees in the lineup,” Dethier said. “We can field multiple full teams of solid players with the guys on our roster.”

The men had a busy off-season that included upping their workout and training regiment and introducing new golf-specific core and stretching exercises.

“This offseason we have worked hard to keep in shape and will hope to use our Florida trip to get ready for a sprint of a spring season,” said Abrahams. “Expectations wise, we definitely want to match our result from last year and return to the national tournament.” Dethier echoed this sentiment, adding, “Our goal for the spring season is pretty simple: win every tournament we enter.”

The men look to continue to get back into form during their annual spring break training trip to Port St. Lucia, Fla. After an intense two weeks of training, the team will travel to Rhode Island for the Rhody Invitational against Div. I competition from April 5 to 6. The month of April will be very busy for the Ephs, who follow the Rhody Invitational with trips to the Manhattanville/NYU Invite, the NESCAC Spring Opener and the Little Three Championships. Williams will conclude its regular season with the NESCAC Championships with the winner qualifying for Nationals.

“We’ll have a good chance to find our games over spring break in Florida and are looking forward to having a shot at making it back to Nationals,” Dethier said.