By Greg Gulas
Temperatures the past several days have been anything but golf-like, yet head coach Tony Joy’s spirits are anything but dampened.
“It’s always nice to talk golf in January,” Joy told the Curbstone Coaches on Monday. “I’m almost certain that everyone is hoping for a few more birdies and lower scores as that is what our team is going to be working on and hoping to accomplish over the next six-to-eight weeks while practicing indoors at our WATTS Training Center.”
Curbstone also honored this year’s Division III state golf champion Jared Wilson of Columbiana High and his coach, Jeff Jackson.
“Coach Jackson helped me grow, as both a golfer and person and I was lucky to have him as my coach the past four years,” said Wilson, who will play for Wake Forest.
Jackson called Wilson the epitome of the connotation student-athlete.
“Jared is a hard worker, both in the classroom and on the course,” Jackson said.
Joy said that coming off a less than stellar 2017 campaign, it was important that “our fall season showed immediate improvement.”
Improvement came in the way of a successful recruiting class.
“Cole Hughes and Kevin Scherr are both standout junior players from Pennsylvania and along with local standout Ken Keller of Cardinal Mooney, became starters who made an immediate impact in the fall,” Joy said.
Hughes, Scherr and Keller joined returning seniors Justin Hallapy (Hubbard) and Dominic Carano (Canfield), juniors Jason McQuown (Poland) and Evan Standohar (Girard), and red-shirt freshman J.R. Stark of Charleston, S.C..
It’s a team that Joy feels can make some noise this spring.
“This team is ready to give favorites Cleveland State and Oakland University a run at the Horizon League tournament championship in April,” Joy said. “The league just continues to get better.”
Joy will utilize new and specialized equipment in order to help ready his team for the outdoors.
“We’re hitting balls into the nets and working on putting at our indoor green so we’re very fortunate to have such a great facility in the WATTS,” Joy said. “This year, the purchase of a TrackMan swing monitor will be a great help.
“This $30,000 golf swing computer can tell you just about anything you need to know about the flight of the ball when it leaves your club head. It allows each player to analyze his own golf swing and learn to practice in order to improve their ball flight, which ultimately leads to lower scores.”
Joy’s program has been one of YSU’s tops academically. In the fall, they posted a 3.59 (based on a 4.00 grading scale) cumulative grade point average.
“Tops during my coaching tenure,” Joy said. “We really have a lot to be proud of when it comes to their academic successes.”
Carano led the way with a 3.94, Standohar had a 3.74, Hallapy earned a 3.54 and Jason McQuown earned a 3.26. Scherr’s perfect 4.00, Hughes’ 3.76 and Keller’s 3.63 were stellar during their initial college semester.
Replacing Carano and Hallapy after the season won’t be easy, but an excellent recruiting class just made his task a little easier.
“We added local standouts Brian Terlesky and Bryan Kordupel from Boardman High School,” Joy said. “Both are impact players.
“Coaching this program over the past 34 years has always been an honor for me,” Joy said. “I get to work with these special student-athletes, help prepare them and then watch them compete at the highest level in college golf.”
YSU’s first event will be March 9-10 in Boulder City, Nev., then a tournament hosted by South Dakota State.