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Warriors That Golf

Lycoming College has a golf team. Yes. We still get a few strange looks. Whether it is walking across campus with our clubs. Or when we pull up to a McDonalds in our matching outfits. This is my second stint with the Warriors. I mentored the team from 2001 to 2016. I got out of the business due to my midlife crisis. The job opened back up, and I was very interested. I retired from hoops a few years ago. It left me with a void. Coaching and interacting with youngsters are still very important. Sign me up. This is my 18th season, and I believe I am eligible for the West Branch Hall of Fame.

Coaching Division 3 golf is simply fantastic. There are so many perks and very few distractions. No drama with this team, and there are zero expectations. No disgruntled parents. No behind-the-scenes experts. No pressure. This is the best part-time gig in North America. I love all the guys on my roster. Everyone is so different. Would I like them to make more putts? Absolutely. But they are great kids, and I enjoy the camaraderie. I enjoy the interactions on the course and, especially, in the van. These guys are stupendous.

I still marvel at the game, but I play very little. I will tee it up in a few scrambles and perhaps an occasional better ball of partners. Golf takes time. It is an expensive sport. I would rather fish. But now that I am spending more time with my boys. I am starting to get the itch. I actually played some holes just for fun the other day. Say what? Yes. I carried my bag. We are so blessed to play and practice at Williamsport Country Club. They are so nice.

The early spring hasn’t been ideal, but we have already carded several rounds. The Warriors had a decent showing at Lebanon Valley. We finished in the top 15 — no need to ask out of how many teams.

The boys and I traveled to Penn State University for a two-day event with some of the best. Incredible tournament, and we got to play both the White and Blue Courses. Our guys golfed well on Friday. Freshman Phenom Will Eberz shot an 8 over par 79 to help us post a first-round score of 343. Our best tally in 17 years. Yes. I am not kidding. Our SID keeps track. We had two others shoot in the 80s. Frosh Mikey Fry from Muncy carded an 84, and my man, Sophomore Dylan Seck, posted an 88. Great stuff.

Day 2 was a different story. Perhaps we should have stayed home. The cold wind and rains prevailed. The golf course won. I am super proud of Will. He posted a second-round 80 to finish 34th overall in a rather large field. Impressive golf. You wouldn’t believe the scores. Franklin and Marshall were 6 over par as a team. Dude? Please remember that we are playing the back tees under some brutal conditions — 450-yard par 4s into the wind.

Ian Plankenhorn is now a senior. My man is also an all-conference placekicker. The Montoursville native had a great season with the football team. My man is still winning awards. He even flew out to Nevada for an XFL tryout. Ian outperformed several D1 kickers. Laces out. Ian golfed well at PSU. He will be that wildcard for us down the stretch.

Austin Loe and I go way back. The 6’7 outside sniper retired from playing hoops. Austin is raw, but I enjoy having him around. He is currently in the G League. But his time is coming.

Dylan Seck is a sophomore from Sayre, PA. He is young and super talented. Dylan is in the scholars’ program and is EMT certified. Yes. When most kids are playing SEGA, he is out there saving lives. What an impressive young lad. His resume is quite splendid. I love Dylan’s persona. He is quite the storyteller. Dylan keeps us in the loop and keeps us safe if there is a mishap. The trunk of his car is outstanding. Dylan has a set of clubs, a fancy med kit, and a $3K defibrillator. You can’t make it up. I am hoping there is room for a photo.

Kyle Davis is a strong sophomore from up north. He is relatively new to golf. Kyle has a great smile, and he loves the outdoors. Kyle is getting better with each round. Oh, he almost killed someone with an errant tee ball. It’s cool. The young man from Swarthmore ducked.

Will and Mikey make me look good. The two freshmen were actually my recruits. Will Eberz is from Stroudsburg. He is already a very solid player. Eberz has a chance to be Lycoming’s best ever. Mikey Fry played a little basketball at Muncy. He has only played for a few years, but he is super. Mikey is a grinder. He is self-taught, and the kid is already something. Ross Eyer, like Ian, plays some football. Ross is one of the most decorated athletes from the area. A three-sport star at Muncy. I am thankful that he listened to Mom and came to Lycoming. He is doing quite well on the gridiron. The tall and lanky frosh had 16 catches and, 196 yards and two touchdowns. Ross is another newbie to golf. He hits it a long way, and I dig his style. All of my guys are fantastic students. They make me look good.

Next up is a trip to Huntsville. Another beautiful golf course. Brr. The forecast is calling for 40 degrees with some flurries. My guys will give it their best. They always do. I will bundle up and offer some advice. My guys usually pass. I am still cool, but man, I am getting older. The van rides are hysterical. I enjoy the friendly banter. I really love getting to know more about my boys each outing. Exceptional kids. From all walks of life. They are my little brothers that I never had. They lost plenty of #warriorgolf balls. We may not be a contender, but we are having some major fun. Thanks to my players for keeping me young. Go Warriors. Cheers.