By Christina Sainovich
The Youngstown State University men’s golf team closed out the fall portion of the season with a second place finish at the Towson Fall Invitational in Grasonville, Maryland, which is its best performance as a team of the season.
The team had some ups and downs but finished out strong. A trio of juniors consisting of C.J. Hughes, Ken Keller and Kevin Scherr lead the Penguins through the season.
Penguins coach Tony Joy was impressed with the core of his team, what they have and what they can accomplish.
“Kevin [Scherr] had a great fall. … He’s become a very special player here at Youngstown State,” Joy said. “Basically the three juniors that have been playing for three or four years, with C.J. Hughes and Ken Keller and obviously with Kevin [Scherr], the sky’s the limit.”
For Scherr, the best part of the season was a win at the Health Plan Mountaineer Invitational in Bridgeport, West Virginia.
“For me it would have to be coming away with a victory, not only at a small event but an event hosted by a Big 12 school,” Scherr said. “There was a lot of ranked players there. So to come out of there with a victory feels good.”
Not only did the experienced players make an impact on the green, freshman Cole Christman was in the lineup throughout the season, contributing to the team’s success.
Hughes had mixed emotions about the fall slate but noted some bright spots.
“We did good. I think we were expecting a little more, but it wasn’t terrible,” he said. “We had some freshman who really produced; Cole Christman played really well. We are pretty deep. We have a lot of players that can really play.”
Joy said injuries also hindered the athletes this fall.
“There were some ups and downs,” Joy said. “Zack Ford, who transferred last year from East Tennessee, had a really good spring for us last year, had some back injuries over the summer and never really got back to where we need him. So that was a little disappointing.”
During the offseason, Keller said he will be working on staying focused.
“I’m just going to try to be more consistent, not to make as many mental mistakes as I did in the fall,” Keller said. “Try to help the team out and contribute to the team’s success.”
Hughes said they have to work better as a team, rather than individually.
“We’ve got to play better as a team,” Hughes said. “We’re struggling with that last score, just trying to tie it all together and get a victory.”
While the fall brought mixed emotions and results, the team has its sights set on one thing in the spring. The Horizon League Championship is the driving force for the team moving forward.
“[Our goal is] the conference championship,” Scherr said. “We were really hoping last year we were going to get it done, but this year we’re going to go in fighting.”