Beavers Selected to Finish Sixth in Pre-Championship Poll

Beavers Selected to Finish Sixth in Pre-Championship Poll

UMaine-Farmington's golf team has been selected to finish sixth in the 2019 North Atlantic Conference Pre-Championship Poll. Husson University earned five first-place votes and 75 total points in a poll of head coaches ahead of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) 2019 Men's Golf Championship. SUNY Delhi picked up three first-place votes and 72 points for a close second-place prediction. Castleton University landed in third with the remaining first-place vote and 55 points in the pre-championship poll.

SUNY Canton racked up 50 points and fourth-place, while Thomas College collected 42 points and is predicted to finish in the middle of the pack.

UMaine-Farmington (35 points), Maine Maritime Academy (34 points), and Northern Vermont University-Johnson (32 points) are tightly packed in the sixth, seventh and eighth places, respectively. UMaine-Presque Isle completed the poll with 10 points. 

The 2019 NAC Men's Golf Championship takes place on October 12th and 13th at the Waterville Country Club in Oakland, Maine. Tee times are scheduled to begin at 9:30 am each day, and fans may follow the live action here.

2019 NAC Golf Championship Preview

1. HUSSON -  75 points (5 first-place votes)

Returning one golfer from their NAC Championship squad in 2018, the Husson men's golf team is eager to meet the challenge of sending a young team into the mix. Junior veteran Eric Dugas (Pittsfield, Maine) will compete in his third NAC Championship, joined by several new faces. The Eagles collected several NAC Rookie of the Week honors this season between two promising first-year student-athletes, Chris Kauppila (Newburgh, Maine) and Cade Charron (Topsham, Maine). Sixth-year head coach Mike Dugas is excited about the high-level of competition this year as Husson seeks to defend their title. 

 
   

2. SUNY DELHI - 72 points (3 first-place votes)

SUNY Delhi has competed in several two-day tournaments this fall in preparation for their second NAC Championship in 2019. The Broncos won their season opener versus Apprentice and Mid Atlantic Christian, placed second at SUNY Oswego, and third at the Utica Invitational. Brandon Palmer (Norfolk, N.Y.) won the SUNY Delhi Invitational while Danny Christy (Canton, N.Y.) won the Utica Invitational. Christy was the 2018 NAC Men's Golf Player of the Year and Championship Medalist with a four-over-par 148 (75, 73), and led a day-two comeback that put the Broncos in second place with a 622 (318, 304). Four Broncos recently earned USCAA All-American honors en route to second-place national finish as a team.

 
   

3. CASTLETON - 55 points (1 first-place vote)

Castleton had a strong regular season, winning a pair of tournaments and boasting the individual medalist three times. Fifth-year head coach Brian Hill helped the Spartans to a season-opening win at the NVU-Johnson Invitational, where Nicholas Ojala (Pittsford, Vt.) earned individual medalist honors. Castleton then claimed first-place at its own Invitational, where Ojala, the 2018 NAC Men's Golf Rookie of the Year, again topped the field. Jacob Erwin (Port Dover, Ont.) grabbed individual medalist honors of his own at the MCLA Invitational just two days after the home Invitational in which he finished third.

 
   

4. SUNY CANTON - 50 points

The Roos enter the NAC Championship playing some of their best golf of the season, having recently won the Paul Smith's College Invitational with a season-low team score of 307. Sophomore Josh Marshall (Syracuse, N.Y.) finished as the runner-up with a two-over par 74, while senior Matthew Russell (Cranberry Lake, N.Y.) and junior Azzat Almasri (Liverpool, N.Y.) tied for third with rounds of 75. Russell leads the Roos with an 80.1 scoring average in 10 rounds, while Marshall is right on his heels with an 80.8 average score. First-year Nolan Codd (Niagra Falls, N.Y.) has had an impressive rookie season with an average score of 82.0.

 
   

5. THOMAS - 42 points

Thomas head coach Don Roberts leads his team into their second NAC Championship appearance. First-year Kent Johnson (Carmel, Maine) was the low man in three tournaments this season, and fellow first-year Aaron Pion (Waterville, Maine) earned the first NAC Men's Golf Rookie of the Week honors for Thomas since 2007. Seniors Zachary Gagne (Augusta, Maine) and Caleb Roy (Lyman, Maine), and junior Evan Parsons (Woolwich, Maine) round out the Thomas squad. The Terriers hope to use their home course advantage in improving on last year's finish.

 
   

6. UMAINE-FARMINGTON - 35 points

Veteran head coach Robert Timmins and the squad prepare to hit the links after finishing third in the 2018 NAC Championship. The best team performance this season came at the Beaver's home invitational, played on the 2019 NAC Championship course. Seniors Matt Pelletier (South Portland, Maine) and Justin Rodrigue (Augusta, Maine), and junior Charles DeHass (Winthrop, Maine) have competition experience that will provide leadership for a young and developing team.

 
   

7. MAINE MARITIME ACADEMY - 34 points

Head Coach Noah Tapley leads the Mariners into the NAC Championship in his sixth season. Chance Whittemore (Skowhegan, Maine) returns for his senior season, after leading Maine Maritime to a ninth-place finish at the 2018 NAC Championship, where his tenth-place individual finish earned Second Team All-Conference honors. The Mariners have had a competitive fall preparing for the NAC Championships and look to improve on their finish from a year ago.

 
   

8. NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY-JOHNSON - 32 points

The Northern Vermont University-Johnson men's golf team returns two key golfers from the 2018 campaign, senior Austin Walters (Grantham, N.H.) and sophomore Kaden Swett (Brownington, Vt.). Walters finished second overall in the NVU-Johnson Invitational and tied for third in the Castleton Invitational this fall. Behind Walters and Swett are two returners and one newcomer that aim to make an impact at the North Atlantic Conference Championship.

 
   

9. UMAINE-PRESQUE ISLE - 10 points

Gavin Kane enters his first NAC Championship as the UMaine-Presque Isle head men's golf coach. What the young Owls team lacks in experience, they make up for in dedication. Three rookies in Payton Jones (Green Cove Springs, Fla.), Timmy Burns (Green Cove Springs, Fla.), and Collin Racine (Rutland, Vt.) have shown real promise this fall. Returners Jordan Hanscom (Lincoln, ME) and Christian Mumley (Guilford, ME) have led the young team to some of the best team scores in years and plan to carry the momentum into the NAC Championship.