Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Elms College men's golf team was picked to finish third in the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Men's Golf Coaches' Preseason Poll, released by the league office Thursday. The Blazers received 26 total points, finishing one point behind second-place Springfield College.
The Blazers are bringing back all five golfers who started in the 2016 NECC Championship, where Elms finished third overall. Junior Chris Soderberg (Northampton, Mass.) returns after a fifth-place finish at the NECC Championship, earning First Team All-NECC honors, along with seniors Mike Fleury (West Springfield, Mass.) and Brian Cowles (East Longmeadow, Mass.).
The Blazers open the 2017 season at the Bill Detrick Invitational at Indian Hill Country Club in Newington, Connecticut on September 9 & 10.
Babson College slated to win their fourth straight NECC Men's Golf title. The Beavers collected all six first place votes by the league head coaches to earn 36 points.
Babson returns all of their starters from 2016 including the NECC Player and Rookie of the Year, Chris Bornhorst. Also returning to their lineup is the 2015 NECC Player and Rookie of the Year Riley Whitham. The Beavers will hope to continue their success in conference play with 11 members returning as well as a promising class of newcomers.
Finishing in second in the coaches' poll is Springfield College who landed a second place finish at the NECC Championship in 2016. The Pride return their entire lineup from the 2016 season led by three All-NECC Second team members, sophomores Mike Strong and Doug Shane, as well as senior Travis Price.
Elms College took third in the polls after a strong 2016 season. The Blazers return their full lineup from last season, all of whom finished in the top 15 at the NECC Championship. The top finish for the Blazers was by junior Chris Soderberg who earned All-NECC First Team honors.
Mitchell College earned a fourth place finish with 15 points. The Mariners return their top three golfers from a season ago and will look to their strong newcomers to elevate them in the conference.
Becker landed fifth in the polls with a total of 12 points. New member of the NECC, Dean College closed out the polls in sixth with 10 total points. The Bulldogs look forward to continuing to improve as they join the conference and the NCAA.
Most NECC teams will begin their seasons with tournament play on Saturday, September 9th. The NECC Championship will be held on September 30th and October 1st at Wachusett Country Club.
2017 NECC Men's Golf Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. Babson - 36 (6)
2. Springfield - 27
3. Elms - 26
4. Mitchell - 15
5. Becker - 12
6. Dean - 10
Source: (NECC Athletics)