Coogs look to stay humble for upcoming season
For some coaches, a preseason poll ranking can offer a huge incentive to have a successful season, but head coach Jonathan Dismuke is trying to remain humble.
The golf team was ranked the No. 17 team in the Golfweek preseason poll, just a few weeks before the Cougars’ season opener in the Northeastern Intercollegiate tournament, in which they lead after Friday, but placed third when it concluded.
“Our expectations are to get better every week. I don’t pay a lot of attention to preseason rankings,” Dismuke said. “We continue to develop throughout the year.”
The team has only five days to prepare for three days of matches in the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Burlington, Iowa, and after junior Roman Robledo pared a one-stroke victory in the season opener, the Cougars are already showing signs of leadership.
“I just want to be in contention every time I play in a tournament. Just being in the lead or within one or two strokes,” Robledo said. “You have to go out there and stick to your game plan, and things will fall into place.”
Other than the areas Dismuke and associate head coach Chis Hill need Robledo to work on in his extra time, Robledo said he doesn’t plan to change much about his performance or the teams.
“We just (need to) stick to our game plan. Go out there and, whatever we write out in our heads, stick to that plan,” Robledo said. “We play a practice round before every match, and we just need to not get ahead of ourselves. We’re doing a decent job of doing that, and I think we’re on the right track for this season.”
During the summer, all 12 players and three new recruits competed in various tournaments around the world, which has enabled leadership throughout the team.
“It’s very important. Leadership qualities and personal qualities are huge, and they go hand-in-hand,” Dismuke said. “In order to be a great golfer, you have to have leadership skills, it’s extremely important.
“Last season is behind us; we’re trying to get better. We have a very deep line-up, and we’ve got a lot of guys who have seen action in tournaments. It’s important for us as a group to collectively improve,” he said.