The Moraine Valley Community College golf season typically starts with plenty of unknowns, and the Cyclones are bringing some new faces and enthusiasm for what’s to come.
After finishing in second in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and seventh at the NJCAA Region 4 Championship, the biggest change this season is that the region tournament was moved from October to the spring. After finishing the regular season, the Cyclones have to maintain their momentum throughout the winter to compete again in late April.
“It’s almost the same schedule just spread out. I think it’ll be good for them to have just one match per week, but it’ll be interesting to see how this all works out,” said Head Coach Matt Lovelace, in his eighth season leading the program.
Lovelace is excited to have seven golfers on the team, four of whom are talented newcomers, with the three sophomores having worked on their game all summer. Ben King (Lincoln-Way Central) was an All-Conference golfer last season, averaging a 79. “He has more confidence coming into the season after a year of college under his belt and should be a strong team leader,” Lovelace said. Dan Davila (Argo) and David Prim (Oak Forest) also are back this year after putting in plenty of practice in the offseason.
Freshman Ryan Flynders (Hinsdale South) played baseball most of his life and only started golf three years ago. “He was bitten by the bug. He plays golf every day and has taken to the game,” Lovelace said. Nolan Pickert (Lincoln-Way Central) is a friend of King’s from high school, where the talented duo played golf. King told him what to expect at the next level. Kyle Kuchel (Sandburg) is a big, strong athlete who should do well this year. Joey O’Brien (Lincoln-Way West) is the final newcomer who has been eager to compete for Moraine Valley since high school and is excited to finally get on the links as a Cyclone.
On paper, the Cyclones look ready for success; however, the unknowns of how the other colleges match up is always a factor in the season. Either way, this team is ready to go.
“There’s always a chance to win the conference. And now we have to prepare over the winter for regionals. The guys will get more practice and should improve,” Lovelace said. “I always look forward to the season, seeing where they start and get better. I hope we win conference, but the goal is always to have fun and get better. These guys really want to be here. I think they’ll all do well. It should be a good season.”
The Cyclones open their season at the Highland 36 Invitational on Friday, Aug. 25.
For updates on Cyclones Athletics, visit mvcyclones.com.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.