By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s and women’s golf teams tee it up to start the fall season Sunday and Monday as the Hardrockers travel to North Dakota for the Dickinson State Meet. The 36-hole event will take place at Heart River Golf Course on Sunday with 18 holes and finish up at Pheasant County Golf Course Monday with a second round of 18.
The SDM men’s squad lost four players from the 2006-07 season. Gone from the SDM men’s team are Hank Tanner, Luke Johnson, Brad Schaak and Quentin Patterson. Patterson rallied during the spring potion of the golf schedule, finishing strong earning a spot in the Top 10 DAC standings for a trip to the Region III meet. Patterson will return to the team as he is spending the 2007-08 season completing co-op work for school.
Returning to the Hardrocker men’s team are Brandon Eisenbraun (sophomore from Yankton) and Brian Davis (junior from Lead).
Eisenbraun did fairly well last season and is expected to contribute again this time out.
“He’s the one with the most experience,” Glenn added.
Davis will also step up. After playing as the No. 6 golfer a year ago, he has an opportunity to contribute as a Top 5 player for the SDM squad.
New to the group this year are Sam Hermanson (Rapid City Stevens), Bryce Taylor (Box Elder) and Ricky Clausen (Sturgis).
Hardrocker junior Brian Davis watches his drive down the No. 10 fairway last season during the SDM golf meet at Meadowbrook golf course. Photo by Brad Blume
“Sam is expected to be our No. 1 guy. He played the best in our tournament qualifiers, “Glenn said. “He came here originally to play football. Ricky finished fourth individually (at the Class AA state meet) last year.”
With just five players on the varsity roster for the Hardrocker men and the fact that they are a tad young this year, makes it difficult to predict how the season will go.
“I think we will be pretty comparable to years past,” Glenn said. �������We have three solid guys and we will see who will step up to be our fourth and fifth guys.”
Looking at the conference, Dickinson is favored to repeat as DAC champs this season and Minot should also challenge for the conference crown as well.
For the women, the Lady Rockers lost a quality golfer in Lisa Steever. She has completed her eligibility and can no longer compete for South Dakota Mines.
Steever placed toward the top of the leaderboard in every competition she competed in last year. She finished third in the Dakota Athletic Conference standings and earned herself a trip to the Region III Meet last spring.
“Lisa will be missed (as a player),” said Hardrocker head coach Eric Glenn. “But she will be helping the team out this year (in a coaching aspect).”
The ‘Rockers will still be able to roster a full team this season, returning Jade Herman (senior from Mission), Stephanie Leber (junior from Dell Rapids), Jodi Kaup (junior from Black Hawk) and Kjada Stevens (senior from Benson, Minn.).
New to the squad is Ayla Brausen, a freshman from Roscoe .Brausen has been team MVP four consecutive times as well as qualified for the state tournament four times in her high school career.
Much like the men’s team, the Lady Hardrockers will look to improve as the season wears on.
“We won���t have anybody of Lisa’s (skill level), but I think overall from top to bottom we will be better,” Glenn said of his women’s team.
The Dickinson Blue Hawks are also favored in the DAC race with Jamestown and Black Hills State in the hunt as well.
Overall, the SDM men’s and women’s are looking for steady improvement. They will play in three tournament during the fall portion of the schedule, all in North Dakota, and then come back in the spring to finish up in Rapid City and Spearfish.
“We will take one tournament at a time to see where we are at,” Glenn said. “We are a pretty young team. There are a lot of question marks out there that we will have to answer after the first tournament. We have had some decent scores posted this preseason in our qualifiers and we will just see how we do in competition now.”
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