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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Men’s golf tees season off In Tucson

The men’s golf team flew south to Tucson, Ariz. during the first week of spring break and played against Pima Community College, the highest-ranked community college golf team in the nation. Despite losing, the Pioneers recorded a solid score of 311. Co-captain Jon Cohen ’14 had a strong showing and tied for second place with a 74, one shot off the lead.

The spring break trip to Arizona is an annual opportunity for the team to prepare for the season ahead, since the snow in Grinnell limits their practice during the winter months. While in Arizona, the golfers were able to have daily practice times and play on high-quality courses.

“We had a great week in Arizona this year,” said co-captain Chris Marsho ’14. “We shot 311 as a team on a pretty long course. The mindset going into Arizona is just to get your feet wet for the season. [The Pima golfers are] much better than we are, and we actually competed pretty well with them.”

Apart from being the season opener, the Pioneers used the time in Arizona to bond with each other.

“The golf team has some events and we play together during the fall, but the spring trip to Arizona is really the time where we all come together as a team,” Marsho said. “Arizona’s a great opportunity for us to get together and really get close.”

Cohen admitted that, given the circumstances of the trip, it was hard not to get close with his teammates.

“You’re with these guys all hours of the day for seven days in a row,” he said. “You get more inside jokes out of that one week in Arizona than you do the rest of the season.”

According to head coach Brian Jaworski, the team bonding has allowed players to build a solid supporting system.

“When you build those close relationships with your team, you want to do more. Against Pima, Rockne [DeCoster ’15] did not play well,” Jaworski said. “But then he comes back the next day and fires two scores in the 70s, so there’s another example of guys not wanting to let each other down.”

The following week, the golfers headed to Monmouth, Ill. and competed at the Prairie Fire Classic. In the two-day meet, DeCoster tied for 15th place with a total score of 156, while Marsho recorded 158, tying for 20th place.

“[The meet in Arizona] had a very open course,” Nirabh Koirala ’17 said. “In Monmouth, it’s just woods. It was really hard playing that course and it was cold. I’ve never played in weather like that before, so I had a hard time there.”

Despite these struggles, Koirala, along with Thomas Marsho ’17, brother of Chris and Peter Marsho ’12, are expected to raise the team’s playing level this year. They will especially learn from the four seniors on the squad.

“Golf is a sport where you never stop learning,” Koirala said. “You’re always aiming to be a better player and that process will never end. I’m hoping to be a lot more consistent with what I score, improve on my putting. I’m looking forward to consistently helping my team score.”

Along with the seniors, the addition of assistant coach Dave Arseneault Jr. ’09 will certainly help the team.

“Coach David is another example of how this program has evolved,” Jaworski wrote in an email to the S&B. “For the first five years, I had no help. Now, I have a coach who not only knows the game, he loves recruiting, is good at it, and he just brings a lot of momentum to the squad. Personally, I enjoy his competitive nature and respect his approach to put student-athlete development as our number one priority.”

The Pioneers are also very much dedicated academics. In fact, the team decided to be idle this weekend because a player had a presentation and would have to miss class.

“We seem to be getting really good leadership,” Jaworski said. “The program really is operated by our senior players and our captains and they do a really good job of communicating what’s important to this golf team, and that starts with academics.”

The Pioneers were named Academic National Champions in 2010 and hope to accomplish the feat once again.

“We really care about academics,” Marsho said. “A goal for us is to be Academic National Champs. We were that my first year, and we haven’t been able to defend that title yet. That’s the first and most important goal” Marsho stated.

Another goal for the team includes finishing at the top of the conference.

“As a team, it would be really cool if we could finish in the top three of the conference. We haven’t done that in my time here,” Cohen said. “We’ve got guys who really want to do well and do well now.

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