The coronavirus pandemic has affected many aspects of people’s lives and sports are no exception.
With the Ohio Valley Conference’s postponement of fall sports to the spring, followers of Governors athletics were left to wonder how their favorite Austin Peay team has been affected and what to look forward to next semester when teams are tentatively able to compete. This week, fans will be updated on the effects that COVID-19 has played on the APSU men’s and women’s golf teams.
Last spring, the OVC decided to cancel all athletic competitions on March 16, in turn canceling the final three regular season tournaments for men’s golf as well as any postseason opportunities. Roughly five months later, the team learned that they would have to have to wait yet another semester before returning to the green with the cancellation of all fall competition.
Under head coach Robbie Wilson, APSU’s men’s golf will be returning a similar looking team that found success last spring. Led by seniors Michael Busse, Austin Lancaster, Alex Vegh, Chase Korte and Garrett Whitfield, the team is poised for a strong spring.
With the fall season postponed, students – along with players – are left to wonder what could have been. While an official fall schedule was never released, there are a few tournaments the Govs may have participated in, one being the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate hosted at Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, Tennessee.
The Governors tend to do well at their home tournament, taking the top spot in the event nine times and placing second last fall.
Other contests that have been a staple to men’s golf throughout the years are the J.T. Poston Invitational in Sapphire Valley, N.C. and the Pinetree Intercollegiate in Kennesaw, Ga. Players such as Busse and Lancaster have found regular success in Kennesaw, while Korte tends to shine in Sapphire Valley.
Women’s golf, under the leadership of second-year head coach Jessica Combs, also looks to use the postponed fall season to put her team in the best position possible in 2021.
The team will be returning its core in Meghann Stamps, Taylor Dedmen, and Shelby Darnell. Darnell, Stamps and Dedmen impressed last year, earning All-OVC honors for their play with the Govs. The trio will be joined by other veterans on the roster such as seniors Riley Cooper and Andrea Presilla.
Similar to the men’s team, a fall schedule was never announced for the organization, but from an analysis of previous seasons there are tournaments the team might have played, and succeeded, in.
Last season the Governors played in their 21st annual F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate, placing second following four individual top-10 performances. The team also plays well when traveling to conference foe, Morehead State. Last time the Governors traveled to northeast Kentucky, Stamps, Dedmen and Darnell all finished with top-10 performances.
While the ongoing pandemic may have changed the landscape for fall sports, it has not changed the fact that student-athletes are still hard at work perfecting their craft in preparation for the upcoming spring season. After having the latter part of their 2019 spring season canceled and the entire fall season postponed, fans of the team can expect for APSU men’s and women’s golf to be on a mission to make up for lost time in 2021.