The 2012-2013 Spring Hill College men's and women's golf teams will see a change this year as Shane Allen has taken the reins as the head coach of the Badgers' ladies program allowing Steve Hodges to focus solely on the men's squad. Both Badger golf coaches will lead teams that feature numerous experienced veterans.
On the men's team, the Badgers will be paced by seniors Nathan Ceille of Hales Corner, Wis., Joseph Webster of Trussville, Ala., Scott Shields of Atlanta, Ga., and Chris Cartmill of Chesterfield, Mo. each of whom have four years of varsity experience. Last season, Ceille appeared in six tournaments with a 2nd place finish at the University of Mobile while Webster turned in cards at all eight Badger events on the year with three Top 10 finishes. Shields and Cartmill have both teed off in five events over the past three seasons.
Sophomore Jordan Portal of Miami, Fla., and junior Daniel McCrea from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will also be major factors for Spring Hill in 2012-2013 as both enjoyed excellent fall semesters on the links. Portal appeared in all eight SHC events of last season with two Top 10 finishes as McCrea as already made his mark with impressive appearances in the 2012 fall campaign.
Adding to the depth of the SHC men's squad this year will be sophomore Robert Bo Cox of Gardendale, Ala., along with juniors Spencer Lane from St. Louis, Mo., Rickie Lee of Bayou LaBatre, Ala., and Philip Dugan of Lake Forest, Ill. Cox made the cut for seven tournaments in his freshman season while Lane has five matches under his belt in two seasons at SHC. Lee has appeared in two events in each of his first two seasons on The Hill and Dugan has shot in nine total events including a 3rd place finish at the MGCCC/Holiday Inn Fall Invitational as a sophomore.
For the ladies' squad that is ranked No. 25 in the NAIA Preseason Poll, Allen takes over a team that is heavily dominated by underclassmen, but rich in experience. With no seniors on the roster, the junior class will need to be team leaders, but this should not be an issue for the four Badger juniors of Avery Kyle from Plano, Texas, Katie Callahan of Prairie Village, Kan., Audrey Dombrowski of St. Louis, Mo. and Shelley Husband of Pass Christian, Miss. Kyle is a two-time Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) All-Conference selection and has been the top SHC finisher in all 18 events of her two seasons at Spring Hill. Callahan has appeared in 14 events in two seasons with a 3rd place finish at the University of Mobile as a sophomore. Dombrowski has the experience of 17 matches in two seasons while Husband has shot in eight events since 2010.
The two sophomores Rachel Failla of New Orleans, La., and Stephanie Lee of Mobile were influential players in 2011-12 and look to continue their good fortunes this year. Failla appeared in all eight Badger events of her freshman season and Lee was in four tournaments as a freshman.
Talented freshmen Joanna Holt of Pensacola, Fla., Eva Mareno of Grand Bay, Ala., and Alexandria Ryals of Mobile are all excellent additions to the Badgers' depth and will see significant time on the course as they gain experience at the collegiate level.
The Badger men open the 2013 spring season at the Faulkner State Community College Invitational at Rock Creek Golf Club in Daphne, Ala., on Saturday while the ladies start the semester on Sunday at the Ann Rhoads Invitational on the Robert Trent Jones at Oxmoor Valley course in Birmingham, Ala.