West Liberty Men’s and Women’s Golf Preview

This is Bo Orecchio from West Liberty’s men’s golf team on 9/19/2021.

Much like many fall sports on the Hilltop, there is growing anticipation that this year could be something special for both the WLU men’s and women’s golf teams.

All teams have been no stranger to how COVID-19 has played a part in how sporting events are competed and watched over the past couple of seasons. However, with not only the potential for team success to be at an all time high, individual success can come at a premium as well for the Hilltoppers.

Beginning with the Hilltopper men’s golf team, it is primarily highlighted by senior standouts Alex Easthom and Howard Peterson IV. The rest of the team is composed of underclassmen including Derek Graham, Heliao Man, Bo Orecchio, James Salvatori, Noah Seivertson, Brendan Vucelich and Cao Yixing.

Easthom has accomplished just about everything he can for the black and gold so far. During his career, he has earned three NCAA Division II All Region Selections, three All-MEC selections and has even captured the 2021 MEC Player of the Year Award. The sport management major started his career on a high note when he was named the 2018 MEC Freshman of the Year. Due to COVID, Easthom will return to the Hilltop for one last season next year. For now, he has his sights on helping the WLU men’s golf team secure a MEC Championship.

As for Peterson IV, he joined Easthom with a 2021 All-MEC selection last year. Additionally, he also earned a third place medal in last year’s MEC Championships. Majoring in marketing, Peterson IV is also known for his academic successes, as he was named to the MEC Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll in 2021.

Overall, the men’s golf team is off to a good start, placing second in three straight invitationals including the Malone Invitational, Vulcan Invitational and the Golden Eagle Invitational. Last year, WLU men finished second in the MEC Championships with 621 total points. They trailed Davis & Elkins, last year’s MEC champions, who secured 606 points. With a solid supporting cast, the Hilltoppers look to compete once again with the hopes of bringing home a championship.

As for the women’s golf team, there is also certainly much to be excited about. Although younger, the Lady Hilltoppers are led by upperclassmen Kailey Pettit and Claire Kelly. As for underclassmen, the team is highlighted by Clarissa Edgar, Anna Griffith, Samantha Large, Lakyn Parker, Alexis Ramby and Payton Sherry.

Senior Petit has had quite the career with West Liberty thus far. Highlighting her accomplishments are back to back All-MEC honors in the past two seasons. She was also named to the MEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, showing her successes while she studies exercise physiology.

Kelly is now a multi-sport athlete at WLU, and is making her collegiate golf debut. Known for her successes on the soccer field, she will now prepare to hit the links.

Early in the season, the Lady Hilltoppers have had a decent showing at the Golden Eagle Invitational, placing 11th. With the youth the team has, paired with the leadership of Pettit and Kelley, the team looks forward to making a jump to become MEC Championship contenders.

For both the men’s and women’s golf team, the MEC Championships begin Oct. 4 and last until Oct. 6 in Warren, Ohio. Make sure to support!