The Missouri State men’s golf team is set to start their spring slate this semester with tournaments starting in February.
The Bears performed well in their fall schedule, placing outside the top 10 in only one tournament, along with three top-six finishes.
Despite those three top-six finishes, the Bears ended the season somewhat on a skid, placing ninth and 14th in two of their last three tournaments to end the year.
“We had some good team and individual performances this fall but also had a couple weeks that were not ideal,” Bears head coach Neal Stafford said. “I was impressed with how the team responded to each of those scenarios so I anticipate becoming more consistent as the spring season moves along.”
Improvement and consistency are what Stafford expects from the Bears heading into the spring.
“My expectations for this group are to get better at something each day,” Stafford said. “If we do these things, there is no reason we can’t be in contention for a conference title in April.”
Stafford also noted that the team is young and exciting this year. Pairing the anticipated progression with it’s youth could lead to great success for the Bears.
Some of the young standouts on the bears roster are true freshmen Max Kreikemeier and junior transfer from Western Kentucky Crimson Callahan. Stafford had high praises for both and expects that they make some noise in the Missouri Valley Conference and possibly even break some records along the way.
“Max Kreikemeier and Crimson Callahan both had solid falls,” Stafford said. “Max is on pace for one of the best freshman single seasons in the history of the program. Both are in the race for MVC Newcomer of the Year honors at the midway point of the season.”
The youth and fresh faces are an important part of this team, but the senior leadership can’t be lost in the excitement surrounding the young players.
“We have had tremendous leadership from Lukas McCalla and Chris Obert,” Stafford said.
Obert, redshirt junior, and McCalla, senior, join Callahan as the only upperclassmen on the roster.
The Bears will host the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate tournament in the spring. The tournament will start on Friday, March 22, and end on Sunday, March 24.
“It’s always exciting to host our tournament in Springfield,” Stafford said. “We have the largest and strongest field since the inception of this event 5 years ago.”
Stafford also encourages that people attend the event, not only to see MSU golfers but to witness the talent of the other college golfers as well.