Wolf Pack men’s golf selected sixth in SSAC Coaches’ Preseason Poll
(Montgomery, Ala.) Garnering 41 total votes, the Loyola University New Orleans men’s golf team was picked to finish sixth in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) this year, according to the 2017-18 SSAC Men’s Golf Coaches’ Preseason Poll that was released earlier today by the league office.
After claiming the 2016-17 SSAC Championship by an astounding 32 strokes, Dalton State is the unanimous favorite heading into the 2017-18 season. Led by conference medalist and 2016-17 Jack Nicklaus NAIA National Player of the Year S.M. Lee, the Roadrunners claimed all nine first-place votes (81 total) in the poll to grab the top spot by 10 votes over second place Faulkner. William Carey’s 60 votes landed the Crusaders in third place while Martin Methodist and Mobile each garnered 49 votes to tie for fourth.
Loyola had one of its most impressive seasons ever in 2016-17, capped off by a historic run in the SSAC Championship. The Wolf Pack started the tournament by breaking the record for lowest 18-round score in program history (297) before besting that number the following day with a 287 to put the team in fourth entering the final day of action. Loyola managed to shoot a 301 on day three to land them in sixth place and give the team its lowest tournament score in history (885) – besting the squad’s previous best championship score by 29 strokes.
After becoming the first Wolf Pack men’s golfer in program history to be named to the SSAC All-Conference Team, Philip Nijoka (JR/Houston, Texas) ended his outstanding sophomore campaign by logging the highest finish by a Wolf Pack men’s golfer at the SSAC Championship (T5) en route to becoming the program’s first ever individual to earn SSAC Championship All-Tournament Team honors.
Head coach Drew Goff brings back his entire top five from last season as Philip Nijoka, Mark Nijoka (JR/Houston, Texas), Ryan Hicks (JR/Santa Monica, Ca.), Jose Perez (JR/Pichincha, Ecuador ) and Jack Dickson (SO/Oldsmar, Fla.) all return in 2017-18. Junior Andrew Schneller (JR/Stuart, Fla.) will also be coming back this season along with sophomores Cameron Condara (SO/Houston, Texas) and Will Hunter (SO/Peachtree City, Ga.), while freshman BJ Lynch (FR/St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) will be making his debut in the maroon and gold.
The Wolf Pack will start the season in St. Simons Island, Georgia for the Coastal Georgia Invitational on Sept. 10-11. Loyola will then make the trek to Atlanta the following week to participate in the SCAD Atlanta Invitational (Sept. 18-19) at the Oaks Golf Club. The Wolf Pack’s only event in October will be the NAIA Battle of the Bayou at TPC Louisiana on Oct. 9-10 before the team hosts the Maroon and Gold Cup on Nov. 12-13 to close out the fall season.
2017-18 SSAC Men’s Golf Preseason Poll
No. School Votes (1st Place Votes)
1 Dalton State (Ga.) 81 (9)
2 Faulkner (Ala.) 71
3 William Carey (Miss.) 60
T-4 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 49
T-4 Mobile (Ala.) 49
6 Loyola (La.) 41
7 Blue Mountain (Miss.) 24
8 Brewton-Parker (Ga.) 20
9 Bethel (Tenn.) 10
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