2001: College - Perennial powers continue small-school dominance
By JAY A. COFFIN
Florida Southern College will look to rebound from a disappointing year by its standards after finishing second to the University of West Florida in the NCAA Division II Championship.
The Lakeland, Fla., school has won five of the last seven championships and seven of the last 12.
“We’re highly motivated to come back this year,” Florida Southern coach Doug Gordin said. “I think it’s good to get beat every once in a while. I would like to think we should be as good if not better than last year. At least that’s what we’re hoping for.”
Florida Southern lost Alex Renard, who finished seventh in the NCAAs, but returns last year’s medalist Steve Sokol and Steve Parramore. Sokol, a senior, won a four-hole playoff for the 2001 title and Parramore, a junior, finished fourth.
West Florida (Pensacola) should provide Florida Southern its toughest competition. The Argonauts lost Stuart Manley, but return junior Kevin Warrick, who lost in the playoff to Sokol, and senior Bryan Clarke.
“Obviously our goal is to win another national title but you can’t look too far ahead and need to stay in the present,” said West Florida coach Steve Fell.
On the women’s Division II side, Rollins College (Winter Park, Fla.) will make a push to win the NCAA title after finishing second to Florida Southern for the last two years.
The Tars return sophomores Freddie Seeholzer and Jennifer Beames, both of whom finished in the top-7 at the NCAA tournament.
Florida Southern will be led by sophomores Jana Peterkova, the 2001 NCAA medalist, and Rachel Bell, 2001 runner-up.
Division III: After winning the NCAA championship five of the last six years, the last two solely in Division III, Methodist (N.C.) College women should make another strong run.
“The fall is to get to know the team,” coach Kim Kincer said. “We’ll just play on last year’s success and go from there.”
Greensboro (N.C.) College should compete with perennial power Methodist on the men’s side. The Pride return seniors Kevin O’Connell, the 2000 medalist at the NCAA championship, Kevin Angle and Adam Holowczak, who redshirted last season.
“We are very experienced this year and very deep and we should be really good,” Greensboro coach Robert Linville said. “Everyone has worked really hard this summer and we are looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
NAIA: Malone College (Canton, Ohio) and Berry College (Mt. Berry, Ga). have both finished in the top-4 the last two years and have each won a national title in the last four years. For women, the University of British Columbia has finished first (2001) or second (2000) the last two years. Oklahoma City University returns everyone from a year ago.
NJCAA: Central Alabama (Alexander City) Community College has won four of the last six men’s titles. Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College won the others (1998 and 2001). Midland (Texas) College is the three-time defending champion for women.