Two Man Team: Hesston Golf Update

By Kalen Haynes – Horizon News & Features Editor

Sophomore Ryan Vernon represents the Larks. Photo by Larry Bartel, HC Marketing & Communications

The Hesston College men’s golf team has faced a few challenges this season. Due to some major injuries, the golf team has been limited to two players this spring. Sophomore Chandler Roberts is out for the season after having surgery on his wrist. Freshman Collin Williams has also faced knee and back problems this spring. The team is now comprised of sophomores Ryan Vernon and Sam Sowers.

Coach Chris Frantz is still enthusiastic.

“We’ve been knocked back a bit, but still expect the best from the guys we have,” Frantz said.

Roberts looks to take a medical redshirt and continue next year with the Larks, as a third-year sophomore.The Larks golfers are entering tournament play, and are still very optimistic and encouraged about the next step in their season.

“Even though it’s just Sam and I, we’ve made serious strides since last year, and I know we will make up the ground from our teammates injuries,” said Vernon.

Vernon says the small team can still improve Hesston golf. In fact, Vernon and Sowers led the team in tournaments at Evangel University (Springfield, Missouri) and Kansas Wesleyan (Salina, Kansas) last month.

“I believe that with just two golfers, we’re still making strides and bettering ourselves as golfers,” says Vernon. “Even though golf is an individual sport, from last year to this year we’ve made great growth for the program, and as golfers.

Playing as individuals in a tournament brings its advantages as well. Vernon says that the added pressure to succeed is gone, and now they can play their best game.

“Even though there’s just two of us, we still believe we can still be competitive, and play well,” Vernon said. “There is no pressure to push for a team score since we are playing as individuals, everything gets easier.”

The injuries may have a silver lining for Sowers as he is able to work towards playing better golf this spring. Sowers is excited about the opportunity to focus on his game this spring and compete at the best level possible.

“It gives us more one on one time to fix our swings and improve our scores,” Sowers said. “In tournaments, you have to be able to multitask and be able to talk with golfers and review shots. This gives us better ways to improve scores and play overall better golf.”

The Larks have the NJCAA tournament in Newton Kansas starts tomorrow in Newton.

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