Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 11, 2016

Par Four
PAR FOUR Senior Tyler Huyvaert takes a swing on a beautiful day for golf. Photo by Savannah Riley.

Golf Teams Tee Off in Warm Weather

Zach Newcomer

Manchester men’s and women’s golf teams are gearing up for their upcoming spring seasons. The men are aiming for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships in May, while the women are facing upcoming invitationals in April.

During the fall, the men’s team completed their invitational season, garnering two top three finishes in only four competitions. Sophomore Spencer Jackson from Greenwood, Ind., returns with the best average score from the fall with a 78.33, edging out senior Dylan Burns (Hamilton, Ind.) who collected an 83.33. On the women’s side, sophomore Kaitlin Powers, Indianapolis, Ind., returns with the leading mark of 93.30, for the young Spartans. 

Heading for HCAC play this spring, the Black and Gold are looking to be led by the only two upper classmen on the squad, Burns and fellow senior Tyler Huyvaert (South Bend, Ind.). “The seniors understand that in order to get better, everyone has to work together,” said head men’s and women’s coach Tara Boone. “In order to end on a strong note, they know that each practice means something and they instill that in everyone,” she said. The Lady Spartans finished fourth place in the HCAC, with Powers receiving an 11th place finish.

For the women’s team, MU faces a very young and small squad for the upcoming spring schedule. Four golfers will take to the tee this season, two sophomores and two first-years. Coach Boone is figuring out who will be the leaders this year on the course. “I’ve put my two sophomores in charge of a lot,” she said. “I want to see if I give them a task, they’re able to make sure everyone completes it.” The Spartans will begin their slate of invitational in April and participate in three invites at University of St. Francis, Franklin College and Manchester.

The teams have been practicing weekly to get better on the course and do well against the opposing schools this season. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday the teams have work-outs to build up strength and conditioning, while each Tuesday and Thursday is spent in Fort Wayne, hitting at Bobick’s Golf Headquarters. The team has learned a lot since last fall and learned to make changes from their mistakes and not repeat them in the future. “We all got better and stronger as a team and we definitely saw improvement over the year before,” Jackson said. “We have a lot of potential and we’re hoping to see that this spring.”

While in the midst of the offseason, the Spartans lost a member of their family. Coach Boone’s father, Douglas Boone, passed away. Her father attended nearly every tournament MU participated in. She was unsure if she should keep coaching due to losing him, when he was the one who first taught her and showed her golf. However, she decided to stay due to the support from her student-athletes. “They were there for me and my family and that meant a lot,” Boone said. “That alone showed me how great these student-athletes are and I knew then that I had to keep coaching.”