As Valparaiso’s men takes to the links for the 2010 fall golf season, the core of the Crusader roster has a year of collegiate experience under their belt and will now look to move up the leaderboard at the various tournaments.
Head coach Mike Higdon returns six players from last year’s squad, which was Valpo’s first men’s golf team since 1992. He has also added a pair of freshmen to the roster, and will send the Crusaders to six events this fall.
Austin Gaugert led Valpo in 2009-2010 averaging 77.2 in his rookie season. He won the dual match with Chicago State and had a season-low round of 67, the best by any Crusader last year. Brad Winters, who joined the team mid-fall of last season, averaged 78.9 for the nine events in which he played. He led Valpo in a pair of events last season.
Josh Kalita, the only Crusader to compete in all 30 rounds a year ago, also averaged 78.9 for Valpo in his rookie season. He finished the year with a pair of top-five finishes as well. Adam Gray averaged 80.0 for his inaugural season and is also back for his sophomore year. He turned in his best round of 2009-2010 last season at the Horizon League Championships, firing a 76 in the final round.
Andy Webb also played in every tournament for the Crusaders as a rookie, finishing the year with an 80.1 stroke average. He turned in his best performance of the season at the Horizon League Championships last year, leading Valpo with a 27th place finish overall. Andrew Beischel is the only other returner on this year’s squad. He played in seven events as a freshman, averaging 81.3.
A pair of freshmen joined the program as well, and will look to make an immediate impact on the team. Kyle Henning was a three-time Third Team All-State selection in Wisconsin, and was named the Greater Metro Conference Player of the Year for Brookfield East High School as a junior. Thomas Wettstein led Xavier High School to the 2008 Wisconsin state championship, and was a three-time Honorable Mention All-State selection as well.
Valpo has six events lined up for the upcoming fall, beginning Sept. 11-12 in East Lansing, Mich. in a tournament hosted by Michigan State. Valpo will also head to Bowling Green for the second straight season before facing Green Bay and Chicago State in a triangular match in Hammond, Ind. Three straight weeks of invitationals line October as the Crusaders head to Butler, Tennessee-Martin, and Dayton to round out the fall slate.