With the fall season now behind them the Texas State men’s and women’s golf teams move into the offseason with a positive outlook.
The women’s squad finished the season with all top 10 finishes, three of them in the top five. Coach Mike Akers said he was satisfied with the season but his program is not done improving on the little things.
“Our national ranking is higher than it has ever been in the history of the program,” he said. “I have found that at the level that we are at, where we are nationally competitive, there is a finer line for improvement. We are talking fractions of inches, one stroke here or there, so we are getting very detailed in our evaluations in preparation for the spring.”
The Bobcats placed first at the Johnie Imes Invitational in Missouri. Akers said that is one of his top highlights of the season.
“The conditions were unfavorable and we were paired with Texas A&M for the day,” he said. “We ended up tying them that round. It made all the girls realize that we are really good and that if we can hang with A&M, then we have the talent.”
Texas State ended the season with six of eight players ranked in the top-20 in the Southland Conference, and three in the top five.
Freshmen Lejan Lewthwaite and Iman Nordin ranked third and sixth in the conference, respectively. Senior Gabby de Reuck said she was thrilled with the freshmen’s ability to contribute early.
“Overall I am pretty pleased, especially with having two freshmen,” she said. “They played really well and they helped out a lot in contributing to our wins.”
De Reuck said the team will keep working throughout the offseason because the nature of golf is unpredictable.
“With this game you can play amazing one day and then go out the next day and look like you have never touched a club in your life,” she said. “I try to do everything to the best of my ability and hope that it inspires the team to work hard too.”
Men’s coach Shane Howell said it was a good fall season and he got to see different players compete.
“We had several players get in and out of the line up and I got to evaluate a lot of the guys,” he said. “We could have played better at times, but then there were the moments that we played really well.”
The Bobcats finished the season with three top-10 finishes, one in the top five. Sophomores Juan Diego Plasencia and Stuart Smallwood ended the fall as the only two Bobcats ranked in the top-20 in the Southland Conference.
Howell said he thought it would take longer for Plasencia to get accustomed to new surroundings and was surprised by his performance.
“Juan Diego Plasencia transferred and came into a new environment, new coach and a new way of doing things,” he said. “I thought that he would have taken longer to adjust to everything but he came right in and really played great.”
Senior Alastair Jones said this season did not yield the expected results and the team is going to adjust accordingly.
“The results didn’t reflect the level of work the guys and I put in,” he said. “The talent is there. We have to get our weakness stronger during the offseason. So if one of us were to play bad at a tournament next semester, the other four of us would be there.”