By Matthew Barnes, Contributing Writer

The men’s and women’s golf teams kicked off their seasons on Sept. 18-19 competing in the Bluegrass Mid-South Classic.

The men’s team placed sixth out of eleven teams, led by senior Matt McCurry, who placed second overall by shooting a 72 and a 70. Junior Ben Campbell placed second best on the team, shooting 71 and 78 for the tournament.

“Matt played very well considering we had a nine hour round coupled with two rain delays. Adversely, my play was awful the second day,” Campbell said. “As a team, we need to focus on putting together good consistent rounds and really eliminating lackluster shots.”

The girl’s team also placed sixth for the tournament, led by freshman Hannah McCrabb, who shot an 84 and 81. The squad was in eighth after the first day, but jumped two spots on the second.

“That tournament was encouraging for our team as a whole. The majority of us turned in scores that we were not completely thrilled with, though we still jumped up two places in the standings after the second day and we competed well against some pretty good teams. If we can all, as a team, sharpen our short games, we should be able to turn in good and consistent scores every time,” junior Sydney Moran said.

Head coach Joseph Barr’s take-away from how both teams played was very positive, and he thought the result was not indicative of the talent they have nor how they played.

“It was a very tough field and we played some solid golf. The men’s team is really turning a corner. We have a ton of talent but just need our fourth and fifth players to step up. The women’s team is extremely young and inexperienced. This is a rebuilding year, but we have a lot of potential and talent,” Barr said.

The next big tournament for the teams is the River States Fall Preview on Oct. 9-10. Both teams participate every year, and it is a helpful gauge to show how the Eagles stack up against the rest of the conference.

“This tournament is extremely important. We have not had great team performances starting this year out, but this could really give us the kick in the tail we need. This tournament is also the site of our conference tournament this spring, so our new guys will focus on getting to know the course. The important factor in doing well will be putting together good rounds over the 54-hole tournament,” Campbell said.

Moran is hoping to see the women all play well together. “At the end of the day, because it is a preview, the scores ultimately don’t matter. But by performing well, we are simply sending a message to the other teams that we are worthy competition.”

There’s no question, solid outings from each team could be a huge statement. Barr is very confident in his golfer’s ability to make some noise in the River States Conference.

“The men are the best team in our conference and if they play to their ability, we will win. The girls are very young, but we have the ability to turn some heads,” Barr said.