Blog 233, 9/10/12 - Vikings Coach Hoping for Big Season

Vikings coach Steve Card.
Western Washington University head golf coach Steve Card says his hopes for the Vikings this season are as 'high as I can remember'. When you consider the 20-year veteran has guided teams that included Tim Feenstra, Sean Packer, Josh Immordino, Jake Koppenberg, Xavier Dailly and a total of 23 All-Americans, it's a pretty bold statement. And he adds;  "This team has the potential to have a monumental year."
Part of the reason for Card's conviction is that he has lost only one member from last season's team which made it to the Division II National Championship for the first time since 2007 and which finished one place out of the matchplay section in ninth place.
Kent's Nick Varelia who, at the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season, was named an honorable mention GCAA All-American, the GNAC Player of the Year, and a West Region all-star, will no doubt be sorely missed. But his place in the team is likely to be taken by Mukilteo's Mark Strickland who proved what a talent he is during the summer winning the Everett Amateur, finishing second at both the Seattle and Snohomish Amateurs, and tieing for fifth at the WSGA State Amateur Championship at Eagles Pride GC where he was tied for the lead through 36 holes with UW's Chris Williams.
Strickland 's more experienced teammates had similarly strong off-seasons, further fueling Card's expectations. Senior Dylan Goodwin, who finished last season with a 72.5 stroke average, won the Snohomish title and was the top-placed amateur at the Northwest Open finishing sixth. Sandy Vaughan, also a senior, won the Seattle Amateur, and Jake Webb, a redshirt senior from Issaquah who sat out his third year at Western to focus on his studies, won last week's Bellingham Amateur at Lake Padden with a 54-hole total of six-under 210. And junior Craig Crawford from Stanwood, won the Division I Gross at Lake Padden on two-under 214 thanks mainly to a second round 66.
Senior Evan Needham and redshirt freshman Jack Kelly will be part of the squad that also includes Kyle Schrader, a transfer from Biola University in Greater Los Angeles, and freshmen Brennan Emory from Mt. Vernon, last season's Skagit Valley Herald boys golfer of the year, and Kyle Lindor from Woodinville who was the King County 4A champion last fall.
With returning team members in such impressive form and freshmen with solid credentials, it's no wonder Coach Card is so optimisitic.
Roster here. Schedule here. 

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