WLU men’s golf prepares for regional tournament

By Freddie Fitzsimmons, Contributing Writer
The West Liberty men’s golf team will wrap up the 2017-2018 season starting today with the NCAA Super Regional Championship, held at Glade Springs Resort May 7-10 in Daniels, W. Va. The Hilltoppers, under the direction of head coach Mike Ricci, finished the season fifth in the Atlantic Region. 

“Regionals feature the best teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Predicting outcomes is practically impossible when you bring elite teams together to compete,” said Ricci. 
In the fall season, the Hilltoppers played in five tournaments, two at Glade Springs Resort in the Glade Springs Invite and the MEC Championship. The other tournaments were the Hal Hansen Invitational in Dubois, Pa. the Wally Edge Championship in Canaan Valley, W. Va, and the MEC Conference Championship in Roanoke, W. Va.  In these tournaments, the Hilltoppers received two first place, one runner up, and two sixth place finishes. 
“The fall season went well with two wins. We did experience some inconsistencies but overall I was pleased with the play of our athletes,” said Ricci.  
The spring season has played out differently. The Hilltoppers have played in four tournaments leading up to the regional, and in most, the weather has played a major role. In all four of the tournaments, the weather has caused day two to be cancelled. “Mother Nature was the winner this spring with three of six possible rounds snowed out,” said Ricci. 
The 18 hole tournaments have been the Mister Bee Invitational in Cambridge, Ohio, the Oglebay Intercollegiate in Wheeling, W. Va., the MEC Spring Classic in Charleston, W. Va. and the Cecil C Spadafora Invitational in Indiana, Pa. In the 18 hole tournaments, Ricci’s Hilltoppers have a second, fifth, sixth, and eighth place finishes. 
Individually, the team has accomplished many awards. Five of the Hilltoppers received all MEC conference awards, a team record. The awards were given out after the MEC Spring Classic. First team all-conference and MEC conference player of the year was awarded to senior Mike Rogers. “Winning conference player of the year was a dream come true,” said Rogers. 
Joining Rogers on first team all-conference was sophomore Sean Trapp
Senior Cory Hoshor received second team all-conference, giving him four consecutive years of all-conference awards. “It means a lot because it shows that the hard work has paid off consistently throughout the four years,” said Hoshor. 
Honorable Mention awards were given out to senior Joey Cilone and freshman Caleb Moore
Photo Credit: Freddie Fitzsimmons