Golf aiming for conference title

by Ben Frotscher

Simpson’s men’s and women’s golf teams both look to be highlysuccessful this season, but when it comes to who will be in thestarting line-up, that may be a different question.

The men’s golf squad is returning five letterwinners from lastyears’ team that finished fifth in the Iowa conference.

Second year head coach Larry Shoop has high expectations forthis year’s team.

“Our goal is to win the conference, but that is also anexpectation,” Shoop said.

If the Storm are going to compete for the conference title,which would be a first since 1970, they will have to go up againstthe likes of 2003 conference champion Wartburg, Loras and Central,who has won 21 out of the past 25 conference championships.

The conference championship may not be until April, but the teamwill be able to gain valuable experience in the next few months ofthe fall season.

“We have some kids in the Simpson program that can play somegood golf,” Shoop said.

The strength of the Simpson program will come from senior MikeMartin, who will be bringing veteran leadership to a team that isotherwise fairly young with eight freshman and sophomores. Martinis the reigning 2003 Iowa conference MVP after capturing topindividual honors at the conference tournament.

With 14 golfers on the squad, Shoop hopes he can find the rightcombination to build a solid team not only for the fall season, butwhen the conference championship arrives.

“I expect us to be there right in the hunt,” Shoop said.

The Simpson women’s golf team is also looking to find thatperfect combination this season after coming off their 14thnational tournament appearance in the past 15 years.

The Storm are brining back two key golfers in senior JanelleClaiborne and junior Steph Schenfeld, but women’s golf coach BobDarrah said that nobody has really jumped to the head of the packon his team.

“We haven’t had anybody take charge yet, but it’s kind of hardto tell right now, this early in the season,” Darrah said.

Darrah said that part of the difficulty has been having such ayoung squad with seven out of the10 women being sophomores andfreshman.

The women’s team will be looking to get back on track with aconference championship this season. The Storm have won conferencechampionships in eight of the past 12 years, but Buena Vista hastaken away three of the past four from the Storm. Besides theBeavers, Darrah also expects Wartburg to be right up there thisseason.

“We lost to Wartburg on Friday by five, but came back and won onSaturday by one,” Darrah said.

Darrah said he expects the team to eventually come around thisseason and with their incredible balance, hopes for a conferencechampionship this year.

“We’re there,” Darrah said. “It’s just a matter of playingwell.”