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January 18, 2002

USI Men's Golf Spring Outlook

The University of Southern Indiana men’s golf not only began a new year back in September, but a new era in the history of the program.

For the first time in four seasons, Mark Franklin and Matt Scheessele will not be on the golf course for the Screaming Eagles. Franklin and Scheessele combined for two National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar awards, six All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors, and Franklin’s GLVC Freshman of the Year award. The pair also led USI to three appearances in the NCAA Division II North Regional.

USI Head Coach Jim Brown’s Eagles have to find their back to the fairway after a difficult fall. The best finish for the inconsistent Eagles was a fourth at the Kentucky Wesleyan Invitational. USI also placed fifth at the Saint Joseph’s Invitational and only placed ninth at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.

Blossoming as a leader on the squad this fall was junior Andy Skodinski (New Ross, Indiana). Skodinski averaged 76.9 per 18 holes, including a low of 74 in the final round of the GLVC Tournament.

Challenging Skodinski for the top spot on the team are sophomore Tim Garner (Martinsville, Indiana), who averaged 78.8, and junior Brett Smith (Jasper, Indiana), who had a 79.1 average. Brett Smith had his best round of the fall at the USI Fall Invitational, shooting a 71. Garner also posted his best round at USI’s only home tournament with a 75.

Also showing flashes of brilliance on the golf course during the falls was sophomore Zach Smith (Evansville, Indiana). Zach Smith, who averaged 79.7, led USI with a 76 at the Mubea Fall Classic hosted by Northern Kentucky University in September.

For the Eagles to pick-up ground and make a run at qualifying for the NCAA Division II Tournament, Coach Brown and the Eagles will have to have contributions from each spot in the line-up. While Skodinski, Garner, Brett Smith, and Zach Smith are solid at one through four, the Eagles will be looking for contributions or to challenge the top four from juniors Charlie Lane (Bicknell, Indiana) and Ryan Overby (Providence, Kentucky) sophomores Chad Horrell (Evansville, Indiana) and Nathan Wolfe (Henderson, Kentucky) or freshmen Mike Heider (Anderson, Indiana) and B.J. Pierce (Georgetown, Indiana).

Lane and Horrell led the Eagles in the Saint Joseph’s Invitational, each shooting a 77. Overby had one of USI’s best rounds of the fall, shooting a 75 at the USI Fall Invitational.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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