Golden Eagles picked to finish ninth in NSIC preseason poll

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Connor Humble was selected as the NSIC Player to Watch for the Minnesota Crookston men's golf team.

The Minnesota Crookston men's golf team was picked to finish ninth in the NSIC Preseason Coaches' Poll released Wednesday.

The Golden Eagles received 22 points in the poll. Coaches ranked each team 1-9 (coaches could not rank their own teams) to create the poll.

"The thing that excites me about this year's team is to see the progress we have made," coach Brad Heppner said in a release. "These guys have all worked real hard throughout the past summer and fall to get better. It should be a fun spring season."

UMC returns its core group from last season, including its five top scorers by 18-hole average. Connor Humble (Sr.) posted a team-best 76.7 average in 2019-20, Ben Trostad (Jr.) averaged 78.3 and Keegan Poppenberg (So.) averaged 79.2. Brian Bekkala (Sr.), Dillon Sannes (Sr.), Matt Moroz (So.) and Spencer Harvey (Sr.) all competed last season as well.

Boede Gueza and Spencer Dahlquist are the Golden Eagles' two newcomers this season. They're joined by Cade Peterson, who redshirted as a freshman last year.

Humble, who placed in the top 20 at the NSIC Tournament his freshman and sophomore seasons, was named Minnesota Crookston's NSIC Player to Watch.

"Connor Humble is great on the course and in the classroom," Heppner said. "He is a true leader and works extremely hard. He has improved his scoring average every year he has been at the University of Minnesota Crookston."

Winona State was picked to finish first, receiving five first-place votes and 73 points. Concordia-St. Paul, Sioux Falls, Bemidji State and Minnesota State also garnered first-place votes.

Sioux Falls senior JJ Cooney, a three-time All-NSIC selection, was named the Preseason Golfer of the Year.

The Golden Eagles are scheduled to open their season at the Washburn University Invite in Topeka, Kan. March 22-23. They have three other competitions scheduled: the NSIC Pre-Conference Meet in Kansas City March 29-30, at the University of Central Missouri April 5-6, and the NSIC Championship April 16-18.

The NSIC Championship is a three-round tournament that will take place at Shoal Creek Golf Course in Kansas City.

NSIC PRESEASON MEN'S GOLF COACHES' POLL

  • 1. Winona State (5) - 73 points
  • 2. Concordia-St. Paul (1) - 62 points
  • 3. Sioux Falls (1) - 60 points
  • 4. Bemidji State (2) - 58 points
  • 5. Minnesota State (1) - 51 points
  • 6. Upper Iowa - 43 points
  • 7. Minot State - 35 points
  • 8. Augustana - 31 points
  • 9. Minnesota Crookston - 22 points
  • 10. University of Mary - 15 points

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