By RICHARD TERRELL
Senior Staff Writer
The North Central golf team has proved that they can compete with teams like Northwestern, University of Minnesota Morris and Martin Luther. The team is the first in North Central history to win the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championship.
“Winning the UMAC has been a goal of mine since I took over the head coaching role,” said Head Coach Todd Monger. “To make that become a reality in just three years is a little surreal, but at the beginning of the season we believed we had a championship team and in the final round we proved it.”
At the beginning of the season the golf team encountered some obstacles.
“One of the biggest obstacles we have faced to this point is the knowledge that golf even exists at North Central. We have had a very difficult time getting recognized, having the community know we are here, and that our golf program is competitive,” Monger commented.
Team captains Jordan Herzog, a Senior Pastoral Studies Major, and Junior Dean Goodwin, a Sports Management Major, has turned this season around with their leadership and dedication to better the golf program.
“Dean and Jordan were great leaders on the team,” Junior Pastoral Studies Major Jon-Michael Sherman said. “Their competitive spirits lead us to work hard and persevere through the season.”
This season was a learning experience for not only the players but the coaches too.
“I felt like I had something to prove this year and that it was my last chance to do it. I felt more pressure as a senior, but I also felt like I had the experience to do it,” said captain Jordan Herzog. “One thing I learned from being on the golf team was perseverance.”
Coach Monger added, “I have learned that if my players know I believe in them, love them and want them to be the greatest men in Christ they can be both on and off the course, that these same men will bring a championship home because I believe that they can do it. I have also learned as a coach to never stop walking with your players. No matter what the other coaches are doing, no matter if you win or lose; the journey as a coach is found in the small displays of support.”
The players enjoyed playing on this championship team. Freshman Sports Management Major Ben Thorson commented regarding the season, “The season was a complete success and a shock to the UMAC. A lot of teams wrote us off from the start but after winning the UMAC preview (our second event of the year) we established ourselves as a serious threat.”
In the midst of the team winning the UMAC, Goodwin was qualified to play in the NCCAA Championship.
“Going to nationals was an amazing experience! It really was a privilege for me to be able to go to Florida,” said Goodwin regarding his opportunity to compete in the championship tournament.
Coach Todd Monger was also awarded with the UMAC Coach of the Year award, which is first in North Central history.
“It is a great honor, but this program is not about me. It is about the team,” said Coach Monger.
Coach Todd Monger (above) was recently named the UMAC Coach of the Year.