The Dalton State men’s golf team will soon join men’s and women’s cross country and women’s volleyball as the Roadrunners continue to roll out the school’s inauguaral four-year athletic program.
Coach Ben Rickett’s men will travel to St. Simons Island, GA to tee off the season Monday and Tuesday in the two-day College of Coastal Georgia Fall Classic. The games will be held at the popular Sea Island Golf Club Retreat Course.
“I am very excited about the start of the season,” said Rickett. “The energy and enthusiasm have been great at practice during the four weeks we have had together.”
“When starting anything, you have to begin somewhere and it is a process,” Rickett added. “We are well underway with ours, trying to get better everyday. It is now time to put our preparation into tournament play.”
Dalton State golf has what should be a solid first year golf team.
Making the trip to the Georgia coast:
Tyler Mitchell, a 5’ 10” 190 lbs. senior, is from Chatsworth, GA. Mitchell is a 2008 graduate of Murray County High School.
The Dalton State senior was recently the low amateur at the Tilted Kilt Georgia Open at the Legends Course at Chateau Elon near Brazelton, GA.
Levi Nix, a 6’1” 145 lbs. sophomore, is a native of Lafayette, GA. He was home schooled. Nix played one year of golf at Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA.
Nix was the second golfer to sign with the Roadrunners. He is a Chattanooga District Golf Association champion, a qualifier for the National Christian College Athletic Association tournament in Panama City, FL, was on the Division III all region team, and has won eight tournaments.
Chase Jones, a 6’ 3” 190 lbs. redshirt sophomore from Chatsworth, GA was Dalton State’s first golf signee.
The Murray County High graduate played golf for Darton College in Albany for one year. He also attended West Georgia College in Carrollton, but chose to not play golf for the Wolves.
Anthony D’Angelo, a 6’ 3” 200 lbs. sophomore, is a multi-talented athlete from Gulfport, MS. and Long Beach High. D’Angelo began his college career as a quarterback at Hinds Community College in the fall of 2012 before transferring to his hometown Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
He comes from an athletic family. His father and older brother each played football at Southern Mississippi and his mother was a basketball player at Tulane University.
Tommy Rimel, a 6’1” 160 lbs. freshman from Roswell, GA, was a senior leader on his Roswell High School team that finished fourth in the state 6A Golf Tournament. Rimel also shot a 68 to lead the Hornets to victory in the Region Tournament.
The host College of Coastal Georgia Mariners are led by Chase Miller, a senior from Dalton. The four-year letterman and two-time all state at Dalton High School averaged 73.31 strokes last season.
Miller finished fifth in the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament last season and was on the all-tournament team. He was also on the NAIA Ping All-Region team.
The College of Coastal Georgia men’s team finished the 2012-2013 season ranked #15 in the NAIA postseason poll.
Other varsity men’s teams competing are Brewton-Parker College from Mount Vernon, GA; Eckerd College from St. Petersburg, FL; and Lee University from Cleveland, TN – ranked #6 in the final NAIA 2012-2013 postseason poll.
Also in the field are Point University from West Point, GA.; Reinhardt University from Waleska, GA; St. Andrews University from Laurinburg, NC, Thomas University from Thomasville, GA, Truett-McConnell College from Cleveland, GA, and the University of South Carolina Beaufort team that finished 2012-2013 ranked at #20 in the NAIA.
Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh is excited to see men’s golf get underway.
”We expect to be very strong in golf given the fact that this area is known for the sport,” said Waugh. “We also feel lucky enough to have some of the best facilities in the country at The Farm, Dalton Golf & Country Club, and Nob North Golf Course.”
“Nothing happens overnight, but I know our golf program is in good hands to be nationally competitive,” said Waugh.
Women’s golf coaches Jim McGrew and Marsha Whitener were hired in late spring. The resulting late start slowed the recruiting process.
“Women’s golf is a very difficult sport to find high school athletes,” Waugh said. “Given the limited time that our coaches had to recruit this year, we have decided to redshirt this year’s signees.”
Waugh said Lady Roadrunner golfers should start strong next season.
“We do not want to rush into competition just to say we have a team,” said Waugh. “We want to be competitive from the get go. With the current women getting a year of practice along with some good early verbal commitments for 2014, I am confident women’s golf here has a great future.”
All Roadrunner men’s golf competition will be two-day, Monday/Tuesday events. The fall schedule has:
September 16 and 17 – Coastal Georgia Fall Invitational, hosted by the College of Coastal Georgia, at Sea Island Golf Cub’s Retreat Course, St. Simons Island, GA.
September 23 and 24 – The 20th Annual Webber Invitational, hosted by Webber International University, will be held at Lake Wales Country Club, Lake Wales, FL.
September 30 and October 1 – The Chic-Fil-A Collegiate Invitational, hosted by Berry College, will be at Coosa Country Club and Stonebridge Golf Club in Rome, GA.
October 7 and 8 – The Skyhawk Fall Classic, hosted by UT Martin, will wrap up the fall schedule at Paris Landing State Park in Buchanan, TN.