Digger golfers ready for opener

The Montana Tech Invitational starts the 2012-13 Frontier Conference golf season. Action starts on Monday at the Butte Country Club.

There are three events this fall in Frontier Conference action. After the Tech Invitational, the teams travel to MSU-Billings Invitational on Sept. 20-21 and Great Falls Invitational Oct. 1-2.

The Tech golf team is coached by Mike Hitchcock who is entering is third season. Both teams finished seventh at last year’s conference championship in Missoula.

The Oredigger men’s team returns four golfers from last season and has three new players. The women’s team picks up one new golfer.

“We added four new members to the team this year and I think that it will help bring a lot more competitiveness and drive for the players to get better and do well in tournaments,” said head coach Mike Hitchcock.

Returning for the men’s team is Zach Maassen who led the team in scoring average. The junior from Whitefish had his best finish at Green Meadow Country Club at the Carroll invitational last fall. Junior Dustin Kaste returns for another year. Last season he recorded the low round for the men’s team at the conference championship.

Also returning to the links that will contribute to the team is Alec Shull and Lee Paulson.

“I like that we will have many veterans on the team this year that should help to bring a lot of stability to the program.”

Sophomore Lee Paulson is coming off his first full season of college golf and will round out the top three returners for the Orediggers.

The team picks up three new golfers in Sean Ryan, Derek Colberg and Casey Diaz. Ryan is an accomplished golfer from Great Falls Central. He was a three year all-state golfer and medaled each year at the state tournament.

“On the men’s side, I will be looking at Zach and Dustin to lead the team and continue their good play, and also for there to be great competition for the last two varsity spots between Lee and the new incoming members.”

On the women’s team, senior Alex Hareland starts her fourth season with the Diggers. Hareland is a Butte High product and will compete for the top spot on the women’s team. Seniors Shelby Fortune and Bethany MacCauley round out the other two seniors on the squad.

Sophomore Danielle McCully starts her second full season. She started her entire freshman campaign.

Newcomer Ashleilgh Ogolin could make contributions early on in her college career. She graduated Butte High in 2010 and won the 2009 AA State Tournament.

“I am looking to Danielle, Alex, and Shelby to lead the girls team with their experience and I also expect great things from Beth and Ashleigh. “

“As for season expectations, I believe we will improve from our finishes this last spring, and I expect for the men especially to make a run at it come next spring.”

– Montana Tech Sports Information