Mocs Ranked 14th in Preseason GCAA Division II Coaches' Poll
ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida Southern opens the 2014-15 men's golf season standing tied for 14th in the Preseason GCAA (Golf Coaches Association of America) Division II Top 25 Poll that was released on Thursday.
FSC, who ended last season first among teams receiving votes in the final Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll, is one of seven Sunshine State Conference teams ranked in the this year's preseason poll and one five league schools ranked in the Top 15 of the poll voted on by Division II coaches.
In the preseason, the Moccasins, who lost three of its top five golfers from a year ago, including two-time Division II National Champion Tim Crouch, earned 157 points to stand tied at No. 14 with fellow SSC rival, Florida Tech. The Mocs and Panthers are four points in front of No. 16 Cal State-Stanislaus (153 points) and Flagler (153 points) and 15 points behind No. 13 St. Edwards (172 points). Last season, the Mocs finished 12th at the NCAA D-II South/Southeast Super Regional and sent Crouch to the 2014 NCAA D-II National Championships as an individual after he took home medalist honors at the super regional. At NCAA Nationals, Crouch defended his national title he won as a junior as he carded an even-par 213 for 54 holes at the Meadows at Grand Valley State.
Two-time defending NCAA D-II National Champion and SSC Champion Barry headlines the preseason poll as the Buccaneers received 16 of 18 first place votes and 438 points to open the season at No. 1. Cal State-Monterey Bay, who finished as a national quarterfinalist, opens the season at No. 2 as they received 394 points and Nova Southeastern, who finished as the national runner-up a year ago, opens at No. 3 as the Sharks earned 392 points and one first place vote. Chico State and Lynn rounds out the preseason Top 5.
Along with Barry, NSU, Lynn, Florida Southern and Florida Tech, Saint Leo is ranked 24th and Rollins opens the season ranked 25th.
Central Missouri, who advanced the quarterfinals of match/medal play last season, opens the year at No. 6 and the Mules are followed by USC-Aiken (327 points) at No. 7 and West Florida (270 points) is ranked 8th. Armstrong Atlantic (240 points) opens the year at No. 9 and North Alabama (228 points) rounds the preseason Top 10 at No. 10.
The next 10 of the poll begins with Malone (223 points), who advanced to the semifinals of match/medal play last season, at No. 11 and they are followed by Columbus State (196 points) at No. 12 and St. Edward's is at No. 13. Following FSC, Florida Tech, CSU-Stanislaus and Flagler at No. 18 is Western New Mexico (132 points). Hawai'i-Hilo (127 points) opens the season at No. 19 and Georgia College (119 points) rounds out the preseason Top 20.
Indiana (Pa.) (112 points), who advanced to the quarterfinals of match/medal play last season, opens the year at No. 21 and are followed by Central Oklahoma (84 points) at No. 22 and Missouri-St. Louis (81 points) is at No. 23. Saint Leo and Rollins round out the preseason poll at Nos. 24 and 25 respectively.
Coach Doug Gordin's 2014-15 team will feature three freshmen, along with four other returning players from last season. The top returning golfer from last season is sophomore Jason Huntington (Lakeland, Fla.), who finished the 2013-14 campaign with a 77.35 scoring average in 26 rounds and nine tournaments. In addition to Huntington, sophomore Levin Hoffman (Sarstedt, Germany) played for the Mocs at both the SSC and NCAA D-II South/Southeast Super Regionals last year, while sophomore Eric Yarrows (Easthampton, Mass.) saw action in just one tournament.
Along with the four returning players from last season, Gordin added a strong class of freshmen, led by John Coultas (Valrico, Fla.) and John VanDerLaan (Southbury, Conn.). During the summer, Coultas took home the championship at this year's Florida State Boys' Junior Amateur Championship and teamed with fellow Moccasin freshman Jimmy Jones (Tampa, Fla.) to finish third at the 65th Florida State Four Ball Championship, while VanDerLaan took home the championship at this year's 85th New England Amateur Championship.
FSC will begin their fall campaign on Sept. 22-23 at the Saint Leo Invitational held at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Dade City, Fla.
Click here for the complete GCAA Division II Preseason Coaches Poll