From all outward appearances, golf seems to be a sport that is largely individualistic. For the Weber State University men’s golf team, appearances are most definitely deceiving.
With this season’s smaller-than-average team size of only six members, and with one of the most difficult student-athlete travel schedules that sees them spending a lot of time traveling together, it is no surprise that they refer to themselves as more of a brotherhood than a team.
The season so far has been one of excitement for the Wildcats. The team had not brought home a tournament win since 2011, but that all changed in September when the Wildcats went to Omaha, Nebraska and brought home a tournament win in a sudden-death playoff over the home team University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks. That most recent tournament victory is no small matter for the Wildcats and it serves to help them remember what they are capable of.
“The kids are working hard, and I’m really excited about the rest of the season,” said head coach Scott Erling. “Everyone on our team has contributed to our success.”
The current season hasn’t been without its trials. In the years since Erling has taken over the head coaching responsibilities, the Wildcats have seen their fair share of highs and lows, and like many good teams who experience those trials together it has only served to bring them closer together. Junior Luke Crapo was in Brazil serving a two-year LDS mission when Erling took over for previous head coach Dave Kearl. The transition between coaches was challenging, but rewarding for Crapo.
“It was a tough transition at first,” Crapo said. “But I’m super glad that I stuck it out and stuck around.”
The outlook for the remainder of the season is high for the team, according to Erling
“We’ve gotten better every tournament, and everything is going in the right direction,” he said.
The Wildcats are reaching the rare space in athletics where not only is the play on the course heading in the right direction, but the relationships within the team may be even better. The reoccurring theme running throughout the season is one of unity and improvement and, according to senior Michael Johnson, the lasting takeaway from this season is the bonds between the team members
“That’s the part you’ll remember forever, the relationships you make,” Johnson said.
The next tournament for the Wildcats takes place April 6-7 at the Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona.