Just as the snow recedes and grass turns green, the Montana Tech Orediggers hit the links for the final tournaments of the 2013-14 Frontier Conference golf season.
“I’m very excited to start the second half of our conference season,” first-year head coach Lee LeBreche said. “I’m optimistic that we can be very competitive against some of the historically tough schools in the Frontier Conference.”
The teams were practicing for the first time this week in Butte as the courses just opened after the winter thaw.
“It has been a tough spring as far as the weather goes in southwest Montana this year,” LeBreche said. “As a matter of fact, we had our first outdoor practice of the season April 9. But again I think the kids worked hard in our off-season program and are excited to get the conference underway.”
The teams played in a shortened tournament earlier this spring in Billings at the MSU-B Invitational. The two-day tournament was cut short by high winds, but newcomer Brian Schwarzkoph had a strong performance in his first time out as an Oredigger golfer. The former Tech quarterback is finishing his collegiate athletic career on the golf course.
“Brian is a very good golfer and I am looking forward to him helping us score this spring,” LeBreche said. “He is a hard-working kid and brings some great skills to the team.”
Schwarzkoph led the Orediggers with an 82 in the single round at Pryor Creek Golf Course, finishing in 18th place.
Two more seniors, Zach Maassen and Dustin Kaste, will finish their golf career at Tech this spring. Maassen, currently 19th in the overall Frontier standings, leads the Oredigger golf team into the final two tournaments of the season. The Lewis and Clark Invitational starts Monday. The Frontier Conference Championship will be at Larchmont Golf Course in Missoula on April 27.
“Our two seniors, Zach and Dustin, bring good leadership to the team and have proven they can score well in our conference,” LeBreche said.
Montana Tech is currently in fifth place going into the spring season.
Unfortunately for the Oredigger women they lost former high school state champ Ashleigh Ogolin to graduation in December. The Butte High grad was ranked 12th in the Frontier going into spring.
The remaining members take the fifth ranked Tech team into Lewiston next week led by juniors Kiley McConnell and Danielle McCully. Two other juniors on the team, Nikki Ferradas and Alysha Underwood, make up the remaining members of the team.
“We only have four girls on the squad and most of them have been varsity players since their freshman year,” LeBreche said.
McConnell currently ranks 17th in the conference while McCully sits in 22nd.
LeBreche has been recruiting heavily over the winter. He signed his first recruit in January and has a couple more in the horizon.
“We will be announcing some exciting news about the recruiting class we will be bringing in next fall,” the coach said. “I have tried to be very aggressive with my recruiting this spring and I think the kids that we have so far committed to Tech next year will help us bring home a Frontier Championship.”
Montana Tech hosts one of the Frontier tournaments next fall. The Montana Tech Invitational is slated for Sept.7-9 at the Butte Country Club.
— Montana Tech Sports Information