First-Year Head Coach Credits Experience, Work Ethic of Hawks’ Young Team
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Golf team captured the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MD JUCO) title at the conference tournament in Hagerstown April 26, the team finished the regular season 12-2.
“I’m proud that the hard work on the part of all the players has paid off with some hardware,” said first year Head Coach David Russell of Swan Point. “Ultimately earning a bid to the National JUCO DII Golf Tournament is the goal, and the team has the opportunity to accomplish that by performing under pressure once again [May 5-6] at the Region XX championships.”
This is Russell’s first year as the team’s head coach. He served for two seasons as the assistant head coach. He has also served for 14 years as the head coach of golf at La Plata High School, where he has been a teacher for 19 years,
The team’s championship win is all the more impressive in that the team includes only four players, all of them freshmen, competing without the extra fifth player. Nevertheless, the players, all of whom had established themselves as reputable golfers on the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) high school golf circuit, proved they were up to the challenge. Tyler Potts, a graduate from Northern High School, represents the team as captain and is joined by Nick Garrafalo, a graduate from Huntingtown High School, Mark Burgess, a graduate from McDonough High School, and William Garrett, a graduate from Huntingtown.
“All of these guys have played at a high level and qualified for the high school state championships in various years,” Russell said, adding that the players also put in the necessary work to prepare for this season’s play. “This year it helped that most of the players are tournament-tested and put in the necessary time on the course during practice.” The team has been led this season in scoring average by Garrett, who was the 2016 SMAC most outstanding golfer.
The Hawks’ coaching staff includes Assistant Coach Layne Ponder, whom Russell credited as being another reason for the team’s outstanding season. “He is a legend on the Maryland Amateur golf circuit and will lend advice for both myself and the players on and off the golf course as a mentor,” Russell said of Ponder.
For information about CSM golf, visit http://athletics.csmd.edu/sports/mgolf/index.