Nationally ranked Buccaneers aiming for nationals in 2020
New head coach David Johnson is looking forward to leading the inaugural Blinn College men’s golf team and the Buccaneers are off to a good start as they enter the 2020 season as the 18th-ranked team in the nation.
“We look to be really competitive this season and our goal is to get to nationals,” Johnson said. “We are excited to start the spring season with a national ranking and that is a testament to how well the kids played this fall. They really exceeded my expectations in the first semester of the program.”
The Buccaneers earned as national ranking in the NJCAA after concluding the fall season with two second-place team finishes and a first-place individual finish.
Jerrion Dukes (Houston), Travis Edwards (Cypress), and Casey Harman (Bastrop) are the three sophomores on the team this season.
Dukes transferred from Prairie View A&M University, where he earned a Southwestern Athletic Conference team championship. Edwards is a transfer from Texas Southern University, where he earned All-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors, and Harman is a transfer from Ranger College.
Dukes has the lowest scoring average on the team and placed in the top 20 in the four tournaments he played in this year. Edwards played in the top five in all the fall tournaments and picked up a fifth-place finish. Harmon played in the top five in one tournament this fall.
Freshmen Riley Simmons (Cypress), John Baker (Georgetown), Bryce Penn (Brenham), and Isaiah Brevick (Argyle) also made significant contributions to the team this fall.
Simmons played in the top five in every tournament and finished in the top 20 in two, including a fourth-place finish. Baker won the University of Houston-Victory Fall Classic and set the individual and Blinn men’s golf program low round record with a 5-under 66. Penn, who was captain of the Cypress Falls High School golf team, had two top-10 finishes this fall. Brevick earned all-district and all-region honors at Argyle High School.
Freshmen Eric Breeding (Humble) and Justin Dees (Atascocita), who played together at Atascocita High School, showed vast improvement over the fall and are contenders for a top-five spot this spring.
Freshman Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright, Scotland), who joined the team mid-year, is expected to make a big impact. He was captain of the Loretto School golf team and named the Player of the Year all four years of high school. Among winning several tournaments, including the Kirkcudbright Men’s Club championship in 2017 and 2019, he is ranked 339th in the European Golf U21 Division.
Freshmen Justin Benton (Riviera), Chandler Brooks (Alvarado), Barrett Cangelosi (Sugar Land), Joel Cooley (Houston), Connor Himly (Brenham), Bryce Honeck (Tomball), Alex Kelly (McKinney), Michael Strout (Grand Prairie), and Josh Ventola (Columbus, Ohio) will contribute to the team this season.
Benton earned a district golf championship at Riviera High School, Brooks earned all-district honors at Mansfield High School, Cangelosi was named the Fort Bend County Player of the Year in 2017, and Cooley was captain of the Memorial High School varsity golf team.
Himly played on the Brenham High School golf team, Honeck had a sixth-place finish in the state tournament in 2018, Kelly played golf and tennis at McKinney Boyd High School, Strout earned all-district honors at Mansfield Lake Ridge High School and finished the district tournament in second in 2019, and Ventola earned all-district honors at Denton Guyer High School.
“I have been impressed with the overall quality of play and this team is above average for a first-year program, so I am excited to see what happens this spring,” Johnson said. “I am really proud of how they represent Blinn and give their best effort in the classroom, in the community, and on the course.”
The men’s and women’s golf teams will open the season at the University of Houston-Victoria Claude Jacobs Invitational on Feb. 15-17.
(COURTESY: Tara Dreyer, Blinn Information)