SCC Golf placed 16th at national tournament


Chad Greene / ChadCRG Images

The 2014-15 SCC men’s golf team, from left: Chad Manes, Clayton Peterson, Ronan Higgins, Leighton Thomas, and Lane Gascoigne.

Matt Hagemeier, Sports Reporter

It was just another typical season for the SCC golfers.

Head Coach Bill Campbell’s team qualified for the NJCAA national tournament for the 11th year in row.

Southeast finished tied for 16th place with a 1252 team total, and 100 over-par, in the tournament held May 19-22, in Scottsboro, Ala.

Head Coach Bill Campbell said a lack of team depth contributed to the final ranking. In fact, the coach had to recruit former baseball player Nick Hargis to help fill an open roster spot. Hargis hurt his arm last year and decided to give baseball up and try golf.

“I was proud of the way Nick Hargis competed,” Campbell said. “He is a great competitor, and he is really upbeat and a team energizer… I’m really glad he went on the trip with us.”

Southeast’s top golfer in the tournament was freshman Clayton Peterson, who tied for fifth with a 282 total and a six under par.

Campbell said Peterson’s performance was fun to watch.

“His irons were precise all tournament,” Campbell added. “He gave himself a lot of birdie opportunities, and he cashed in on quite a few.”

Peterson was a standout at Lincoln Southeast High School last year, and he was the Class A state runner-up in 2014.

Clayton’s biggest strength is his consistency,” Campbell said. “He repeats his swing time after time with really good results.”

The coach said freshman Leighton Thomas also played well at the tournament (306 total, 18+ par), but Thomas and his teammates had to make an adjustment playing on Bermuda grass. Southeast mainly plays on Bent grass.

“(Thomas) did not get the feel and roll of the greens down, and it’s tough to make the switch. It’s always hard for northern schools down there,” Campbell said.

The team did not do as well as they hoped for in Scottsboro, but Campbell is optimistic that the Storm can get back to there again next year with the help of some reinforcements.

“We have some really good recruits coming in next year, and I look for a resurgence of our depth and team play. We just got caught a little shorthanded at the end of the year and it hurt us,” he said.