2012-13 WWU Men's Golf Preview
Sept. 10, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - With graduation claiming just one of Western Washington University's five-man squad that placed ninth at the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships last spring, head coach Steve Card is optimistic that the Vikings can make a second straight national appearance.
"This team has the potential to have a monumental year," said Card (20th year), who was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the fifth straight season. "With an experienced squad, and coming off the summer we've had, my expectations for this team are as high as I can remember."
WWU was picked No.9 in the Golf World/Nike Golf Golf Coaches Association of America NCAA II Preseason Coaches' Top 25 Poll.
The Vikings, coming off their first trip to nationals following a four-year absence, are led by senior Dylan Goodwin (Mukilteo/Kamiak), who received third-team Golf Coaches Association of America PING All-America honors for the second straight year. He has led WWU in scoring each of those seasons, averaging 72.5 strokes in 2011-12.
Also back from last season's squad which placed fourth among 20 teams at the Central/West Regional, won a fifth straight GNAC crown and ranked eighth in the final GCAA poll, are junior Craig Crawford (Stanwood/Highland Christian), the GNAC medalist; junior Sandy Vaughan (Jr., Seattle/O'Dea) and senior Jake Webb (Issaquah/Skyline).
Crawford, Goodwin and Webb were all first-team GNAC all-stars. During the off-season, Goodwin took the Snohomish Amateur title, Vaughan won the Seattle Amateur and Webb claimed overall low gross honors at the Bellingham Amateur. Goodwin also was the top amateur and placed sixth overall at the Northwest Open.
The Vikings' major graduation loss was Nick Varelia, an honorable mention GCAA All-American and 2012-13 GNAC Player of the Year. He and Goodwin earned West Region all-star honors, Goodwin for the second time.
Expected to fill Varelia's shoes is sophomore Mark Strickland (Mukilteo/Kamiak), who won the Everett Amateur during the summer while placing second at both the Seattle and Snohomish Amateurs.
A top transfer is Kyle Schrader (So., Olympia/Tumwater) from Biola University.
A couple of talented freshmen are Brennan Emory (Mount Vernon), the Skagit Valley Herald boys golfer of the year, and Kyle Lindor (Woodinville), who was the KingCo 4A champion last fall. Lindor is expected to redshirt this season.
WWU opens the fall portion of its schedule on Sept. 17-18, competing in the University of Indianapolis Invitational at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Club.
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