Men's Golf returns with great expectations

August 16, 2016 | 9:54 AM

The Highlanders came off one of the best seasons within the past 14 years.  In only the second time since 2003, the Highlanders finished in the top four in the conference tournament and placed one individual in the top 10. They finished only five shots out of third place in the 2016 spring season, and graduated one of the top classes in program history.  Tarryn Link was a two-time All-Conference golfer and was a four year varsity starter.  Alongside him, Cory Cooper, Logan Woolridge, Ryne Foster and Kyle Przykopanski were all varsity players during their time at MacMurray.

"This was a huge rebuilding year for us.  We needed to revamp quickly to replace such a core group of individuals," Coach James said.

The Highlanders return a few key players that look to come in and make a contribution.  Sophomore, Jacob Hierlmeier will be a returner with varsity experience and was the No. 2 player for most of last season.

"Jacob had a solid year, but I know he has the best yet ahead.  I look for him to be a contender for an all-conference spot this season," said Coach James.

The lone senior for this season will be Zach Koonce.  Zach has been in and out of the top five for his career at MacMurray and will look to contribute at the varsity level full-time this season.

"Zach has been a key player for us, he will have an opportunity to be more consistent and have more confidence in one of the top spots this season," Coach James said.

Seth Galloway and Keegan Potter will also be returning this 2016-17 school year.  Both individuals had valuable playing experience in their first years as Highlanders, and look to capitalize on that experience and be contributors to this season.

"Both players had bright spots last season and learned a lot. I look for them to both improve again this season and compete with the others to play in those top spots this year," said Coach James.

The rebuilding year took place quickly by adding three players with great experience and ability.  Junior transfer and Winchester, Ill. native, Caleb Burk joins the Highlanders.  He played his first two seasons at Lewis and Clark Community College and was a key contributor to their program.  Two freshman join this year's squad and look to be competing for varsity spots including Triopia High School, Cooper Mixer and Payson High School, Drew Burwinkel.  Both these individuals had successful high school careers and will be a great addition to the program.

"Our newcomers have helped us rebuild quickly.  With our returners and our newcomers we could be a team that competes at a high level in our conference," James added.

The Highlanders begin their season at the Illinois College Invite on Friday, September 9th.

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