Led by defending national champion Sonoma State, five California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s golf teams open the 2009-10 season ranked in the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Division II Top 25 poll that was released earlier this month.
The Seawolves, who defeated CCAA rival Cal State San Bernardino in a one-hole playoff to capture the 2009 national championship, begin the year ranked No. 5 after receiving seven first-place votes and totaling 317 points.
Georgia College is the top-ranked team and is followed by Barry, Columbus State and Lynn.
Joining Sonoma State in the Top 10 is Cal State San Bernardino, which is ranked ninth. Cal State Stanislaus is 12th, Chico State No. 15 and Cal State Monterey Bay is tied for 24th.
Sonoma State head coach Val Verhunce brings an experienced team into this season, highlighted by All-CCAA junior Patrick Bauer.
Cal State San Bernardino is led by senior Gene Webster, Jr., who enjoyed a solid summer that included advancing to the round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Golf Championships in Norman, Okla.
Sophomore Teddy Schrier, who won a U.S. Amateur sectional qualifying event this past summer, is the top returning player at Cal State Stanislaus.
Chico State returns the CCAA Most Valuable Player (Lucas Delgado), Freshman of the Year (Kyle Souza) and Newcomer of the Year (Brandon Harkins) from a year ago.
Oskar Nystrom leads Cal State Monterey Bay into the season after concluding the 2008-09 campaign with a 75.17 stroke average in 10 events.
Cal State Monterey Bay will be the first CCAA team to get its season underway when it travels to Lacey, Wash. to compete in the Saint Martin’s Invitational beginning Friday.
Sonoma State will open defense of its first-ever national title on Monday, Sept. 28, when it travels to Noblesville, Ill. for the NCAA Preview Tournament.
Cal State Stanislaus, Chico State, Cal State Monterey Bay and UC San Diego will also be in action on Monday when they comprise part of the field at the Western Washington Invitational in Bellingham, Wash.
2009-10 Golf Coaches Association of America Preseason Poll
(First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Georgia College (5)
2. Barry (4)
3. Columbus State (1)
4. Lynn (1)
5. Sonoma State (7)
6. North Alabama
7. Florida Southern
8. Central Oklahoma
9. Cal State San Bernardino
11. Nova Southeastern
12. Cal State Stanislaus
14. West Florida
15. Chico State
16. Clayton State
T17. Ferris State
19. Grand Canyon
20. Valdosta State
21. St. Edward’s
22. Northeastern State
23. CU-Colorado Springs
T24. Cal State Monterey Bay