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From their drivers to irons, the QU men’s golf squad’s season is in full- swing as they began their “non-traditional season” last Saturday.
Head coach Todd Howes expects big things from his players this upcoming season. “The ultimate goal is to win the NEC championship,” he said.
Entering his third full season as golf coach, Howes has helped the program progress each year. In his first two seasons the team finished ninth in the NEC championship, but showed much improvement finishing fifth this past May.
His coaching style plays an important role in the team’s performance. Howes tries to keep his players on “an even keel” by emphasizing the details of individual golf courses they will be competing on.
“I just try to keep their expectations and abilities up,” said Howes.
If he, along with his players, continue to strive to be the best then “hopefully we’ll knock on the door this season,” said Howes.
He expects his players to answer that call, since they have worked very hard this summer improving and keeping their games fresh. Sophomore Steve Velardi won the Connecticut State Golf Association Amateur Title back in July. Also, Velardi, along with teammate Craig Cyr earned Second-Team All-New England. Cyr finished 11th overall in the NEC championships this past year.
“Craig can take it too the next level this year because he had a great spring and fall last year,” said Howes.
He says Velardi’s and Cyr’s outstanding play comes from their love of the game, especially on a competitive level.
“They can go out and just grind and grind,” said Howes. “They are two of my best players.”
With a solid group of players to work with, Coach Howes is confident the program has taken a huge step in the right direction. As far as receiving notoriety goes, Quinnipiac is currently competing with golf programs, such as UConn, Central Connecticut, URI and Yale. Howes’ hope is that Quinnipiac’s program can be up to par with these New England schools.
“I want our program to be one of the much respected teams in New England,” said Howes.
Besides coaching, Howes was just selected to sit on the New England Regional Advisory Committee.
“It’s a nice honor,” said Howes. “It says a lot for the program and hopefully I can help to raise the bar for New England golf.”
A lot has been said in regards to the golf team’s performance. However, with a lot of high expectations from the team many more accomplishments can be reached this upcoming season.