Category Archives: Golf

Men’s golf wins UMAC title, nationals next

pexels-photo-54123

by Beth Moller

When junior Mac Saby was just 8 years old, his dad taught him how to golf. “I liked the individual aspect of golf, and it looked like fun,” Saby explained. By the time he started high school, he decided to quit playing his other sport, baseball, to focus on solely on golf.

The men’s golf team placed first at the UMAC Conference Championship on Oct. 8. They will compete at the National Tournament in Florida next May (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

At the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Championship held Oct. 6-8, all his years of hard work on the course paid off as Saby led the way for the men’s golf team’s first-place finish. Saby was also the medalist, placing first, while teammate Caleb Johnson finished second. Saby shot a 67 on the final day of competition, which set a school record for a single round of golf.

Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach Billy Aune said, “The men had last won [a conference title] in 2003 or 2004, so it was a drought until this year. The men were able to play well over those three days and finish on top.”

“I was very proud of their consistency and am excited for the futures of many of them as they are underclassmen,” Aune added. “Not having won any titles during the year it was fun to see them get it done, and I am very happy for them.”

The previous conference titles came prior to Northwestern joining the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.

Saby said, “It was the first time for the school to win the UMAC Championship, and we won it for Coach Aune. Winning a three-day tournament was awesome. Over the course of the tournament, consistency was key.”

Saby displayed that consistency by shooting a 221 over the three days of the tournament. The team finished with a score of 925: 35 strokes ahead of their closest competitor in the 9-team competition.

The women’s golf team finished fourth at the UMAC Championship, shooting a three-day total of 1241 with Shelby Eden finishing sixth and earning All-UMAC honors. Eden carded a score of 284.

“It is a great honor to be named to the all-UMAC team,” Eden said. “I missed it by a couple of strokes last year, so I was happy I could represent Northwestern this year at the conference tournament. It was definitely a goal of mine all season. I think if all the girls keep improving, we will have a couple more all-conference players next year.”

Eden started golfing when she was 12 by attending a summer league for kids. At the summer league she won a “came to play” award for putting forth a good effort and taking the sport seriously.

She said, “I never really considered playing in college because I didn’t play in high school, but a former player from the Northwestern men’s team encouraged me to play my junior year, and I’m so thankful I got to play.”

For both Saby and Eden, family members have played important roles in their golf journeys. Saby’s sister played golf for Northwestern, and his dad encouraged him in the game.

Caleb Johnson (above) had his best day for the Eagles with a 70 against Martin Luther College. The Eagles ended their spring season at the Bethel Invitational (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

Caleb Johnson (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

Saby said, “My dad taught me the game and showed me the ropes. He bought me my first set of clubs.”

Eden said, “My step-dad, Cory, is my biggest role model in golf. He comes to as many meets as he can, takes me golfing in the summers, and is always there to talk through my round hole-by-hole when I’m done.”

In addition to their supportive families, Saby and Eden are thankful for their coach and teammates. The men’s team did not win any tournaments early in the season but have grown as a team under the leadership of Aune.

“Coach Aune has been a spiritual leader to me. He has led me closer to God and shown me how to be a leader,” Saby explained.

Eden said, “My coaches and teammates are so supportive of me and my game. They are so awesome, and we have great team chemistry.”

As the men’s team looks ahead to the national tournament in May, they will continue practicing their swings indoors at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine. Since golf is a split season, the women will prepare for spring as well.

Aune said, “We have an indoor facility we use. It has a simulator and a practice green. We will work on practicing swings, muscle memory, rhythm and tempo. When the course closes for the season, we will use the indoor facility once a week and the golfers are lifting weights on their own as well.”

Eden said, “We get a chance to play twice a year, which is really fun. I’m definitely looking forward to playing again in the spring. Hopefully the snow will melt early!”

As the teams look forward to spring, they will start playing after spring break and have several meets planned.

“We will have two events mid- to late April,” Aune said. “Since the men advanced to the national tournament in May, they will also play in one to two larger invites to prepare for the 41-team field at the national tournament.”

Behind the jersey: In love with rom-coms

pexels-photo-54123

by Shelby Eden
Assistant Sports Editor

dalton_nowickiDalton Nowicki is a junior on the men’s golf team at Northwestern. A native of Blaine, Minnesota, Nowicki is a ministry major who also enjoys playing hockey on UNW’s club team and being involved with ministry on campus.

Q: If you could be any character from a T.V. show, who would it be?
A: Jax from “Sons of Anarchy” is the coolest character in any show. He’s got some sweet tats, rides a motorcycle, has sweet hair and the ladies love him.

Q: What is your idea of a perfect Bon Appétit meal?
A: I wouldn’t classify this as a perfect meal, but my go-to is noodles with Alfredo sauce, two chicken breasts, A1 sauce on the side, a salad and, of course, some type of ice cream dessert.

Q: What is the most embarrassing moment of your golf career?
A: My most embarrassing golf moment would for sure have to be at practice last year when I hit a house, and the guy was standing in his yard watching the whole thing… .

Q: Do you believe in Ring by Spring?
A: Totally believe in it. Students shouldn’t be able to graduate without being engaged.

Q: Would you vote for Pedro?
A: No, I probably wouldn’t. Pedro was pretty cool, but I think Napoleon would make a much better class president.

Q: What are your favorite chick flicks that you could watch over and over?
A: Well my top three are “The Vow”, “Safe Haven”, “Safe Haven”. So out of those three, I have to go with “The Vow”. Channing Tatum is a pretty good actor.

Q: How does it feel to play golf for the team with the longest name in the UMAC?
A: It feels great. The University of Northwestern- St. Paul Eagles is the best team to play for in the UMAC without a doubt! I think we should put the full name on all of the teams’ jerseys and apparel.

UNW golfers display leadership, success on the course

rp_primary_Caleb_Johnson

by Beth Moller

The men’s golf team is having the best season they have had in Coach Billy Aune’s 22 years of leading them. They started the season off with a win over North Central College on Sep. 1 and haven’t looked back. Good leaders are the key to any sports team, especially in the often frustrating and mentally demanding game of golf. Mac Saby and Meghan Mundahl are juniors on the men’s and women’s golf teams and are remaining focused on the season as well as encouraging and leading their teammates.

Saby is one of the captains for the men’s golf team. As a captain, he has the opportunity to be a leader on the team and impact teammates.

“Time management and getting the most out of the game are ways I show leadership to the other guys on the team,” said Saby. “It is my first time being a captain and it is nice taking over [as a captain] and seeing what I can improve on.”

Aune said, “[Saby] has been an organizer for me. He has also been a voice for the younger players since they often feel they can talk to him. He has done a very good job taking on the responsibility of the role and asks questions that the younger players often don’t ask.”

On the women’s side, Mundahl said she is focused on being there to give advice and show the ropes of the course to the newer teammates.

She said, “The team tries to remind each other that the shot is over you can’t go back.”

Mac Saby (above) serves as one of the captains on this season’s men’s golf squad. The junior has lead the Eagles to victory on and off the course this season (photo courtesy of Russ and Kathy Nelson).

Mac Saby (above) serves as one of the captains on this season’s men’s golf squad. The junior has lead the Eagles to victory on and off the course this season (photo courtesy of Russ and Kathy Nelson).

This year, the women are enjoying having a full team, after having only four golfers last year. In a competition, five golfers play but only the top four scores count toward the overall team score.

Mundahl said, “There’s not as much pressure on all of us to shoot well. If one of us doesn’t shoot well, the other four pick us up. There is also more team atmosphere we actually feel like a team this year.”

While the women’s team has a smaller roster, the men’s program is flourishing with 13 golfers this season.

“More guys on the men’s team means there is more of a variety of players,” Saby said. “It brings out the most in the guys. Golf is a game of who’s hot and who’s cold. More guys means it is more competitive. They have to worry about the people in front of them and behind them as well as the other team.”

In addition to building relationships and encouraging each other on the golf course, the men’s and women’s teams also strive to grow in their relationship with Christ by having team prayer partners.

Saby said, “We share one-on-one about what’s going on at UNW and in our lives and our walk with Jesus. It has really changed how I’ve gotten to know people.”

Mundahl added, “We spend time together as a team and talk about life. The prayer partners and road trips are good times for bonding as a team.”

On the course, UNW’s golfers have an opportunity to share about their faith as well.

Saby said, “We spend about five hours with other players while we are on the golf course, and we can take the opportunity to tell them about Jesus Christ and really let them know how we feel about it.”

The golf teams are motivated to compete as Jesus Christ would want them to compete. Northwestern’s athletic tagline, “Compete with Purpose,” is on their golf bags, and they also focus on the acronym HELP.

Aune said, “HELP stands for humility, excellence, love and passion. Golf is a very humbling game. Humility is a constant battle. Players need to be confident but humble. For excellence, every shot requires focus. We also want to love each other, loving the team and what we’re about. And everyone has a passion. They have to always want to do their best. Golf is a great life lessons sport that encourages integrity.”

As Mundahl and Saby look ahead to the remainder of the season, there are a few things they are focusing on. Mundahl is recovering from a shoulder injury and has recently started to feel back to normal. She hopes to crack down on her golf game as her shoulder improves.

She added, “Some of the team goals are to have everyone shoot their best, not get too down on themselves,and have a good pick-each-other-up mentality.”

Saby said, “My personal goals are to not get angry at myself on the golf course, improve on each shot and shoot the best I can. Our team goals are to play our best and hopefully come out as UMAC champions.”

Golf teams close out spring seasons

by Jocelyn Moses

Golf is unlike most sports offered at the University of Northwestern. Many of the other sports have a specified seasons of competition and off seasons for training; however, the men’s and women’s golf team competes during their main fall season, yet still trains and competes during their off season.

So far during their off season this spring both the men and women have competed in two competitions. Their most resent meet was against Martin Luther College. The men beat Martin Luther for the second time this spring. Much of their success that day was due to the success of freshman Caleb Johnson who finished with a career best of 70, which was nine strokes ahead of the next best golfer. Johnson bettered his score by four strokes that day and now has recorded UNW’s top two cards overall.

Caleb Johnson (above) had his best day for the Eagles with a 70 against Martin Luther College. The Eagles ended their spring season at the Bethel Invitational (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

Caleb Johnson (above) had his best day for the Eagles with a 70 against Martin Luther College. The Eagles ended their spring season at the Bethel Invitational (photo courtesy of unweagles.com).

On the women’s side, the ladies dominated the event against Martin Luther College with three of the four golfers scoring in the mid 90s and taking the top three spots. The lady Eagles were led by junior Naomi Black with a score of 94 and earning her first place. Black was followed by her teammates who all scored high enough to rank in the top five of the competition. When asked about her experience with golf overall, Mundahl stated, “Being on the golf team has been a great blessing for me. Everyone gets along super well and we encourage each other when we have a bad shot or a hard day at a tournament. We only have two tournaments for spring season in order to help send Superior to Nationals. Everyone shot very well at our match again MLC, so we were really happy about that.”

Although the team is in the off season, their effort and love for the sport has not diminished, but increased. Junior Jaylen Heinz stated, “Northwestern golf is a place where I am continually challenged to get better personally as a golfer, but more importantly in my relationship with my teammates and ultimately God”.

Although they are scored separately at competitions the teams have loved getting closer and having one another to grow with.  As stated by Seth Johnson, “Most say golf is an individual sport, but here at UNW it is the exact opposite. The way the team encourages and supports one another is the exact opposite of individual.”

The team was happy with their successes this past fall, excited about competing in the offseason, but looking forward to their upcoming season again in the fall despite saying goodbye to some of their key seniors. As said by senior Brian Horner, “The golf team ranges from a football player with a ponytail, to a croc out of water, but when we’re together I could not have asked for a better squad.”

FCA forming on campus

FCA is a great way for athletes to connect and grow in their faith (photo by Andy Haagenson).

FCA is a great way for athletes to connect and grow in their faith (photo by Andy Haagenson).

 by Allison Morehead

The University of Northwestern – St. Paul has officially created its own campus chapter of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). FCA is a nationwide organization that brings athletes together to worship and grow in their faith.

“I’m so excited for FCA to be coming to campus,” said freshman Kelsey Freitag.

FCA student leader Sara Kallhoff said, “It’s a time where student athletes can come together, talk and grow closer to the Lord through our connection of sports.”

Zach Filzen, the women’s basketball assistant coach, is working with FCA along with a student leader, Jake Knotek. Filzen and Knotek were the ones credited with the original idea of bringing FCA to UNW.

Knotek said, “He (Filzen) and I were just talking about FCA one day and realized the need and potential for it, so God put it on our hearts to go for it.  We realized that there really isn’t much unity among the Eagle athletes, and we often think we have enough spiritual fillers going on in our lives.  I know I could always use more.”

This will be the first FCA in Northwestern’s history. “I think in the past people haven’t felt a need for FCA since each sports team does their own devotionals within the team, and there are so many other ways to get involved,” explained Filzen.

Students will now have the opportunity to join a sports-related organization without the requirement of being involved in a Northwestern sport. FCA is open to anyone who is involved in a sport, or who has a love for sports.

Filzen stated, “Spread the word and come to the meeting with some friends.”

The first meeting will be held on Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ericksen Center.  There will be games, worship, small groups and a message.  Food will be provided.

For further information, students can follow the University of Northwestern – St. Paul FCA group on Twitter at @FCA_UNW or like its Facebook page.

Share

Share Button

Login