T-Birds golf ranked No. 1 in the nation as season begins

By: Joe Jacquez

Last season, the MCC Men’s Golf Team finished second at nationals to Walters State. This season, the T-Birds are ranked

co No.1 with Walters State in the Golf Coaches Association of America Preseason Poll.

Speaking to head coach John Guerrero, that is the only motivation

that this team needs to get squad with only four freshman. This year’s freshman class will definitely challenge the returning sophomores which will make for some interesting qualifiers for upcoming tournaments,” Guerrero said.

He knows by being around them on a daily basis that this year’s team in particular is going to be special:

“This group is going to Incoming freshman TJ Kathrineberg had a stellar summer playing at Junior Worlds in

San Diego, California and also representing Team Arizona in Junior

Americas Cup in Canada,” Guerrero said. “Also looking for incoming transfer Brandon Carlson

to add stability and leadership to our squad this year.” Despite his great

being ranked co No.1 in the preseason poll, Coach Guerrero says his team doesn’t really pay attention to it, but it is definitely a huge honor:

“Its an honor to be recognized by our competitive coaches/ players as co No. 1 in preseason poll. We also know that was based

on last years showing at nationals and has nothing to do with this back there this year, and take the next step:

“We finished 2nd in the nation last year and that leaves a bitter taste in our mouths being so close to our first Men’s national championship.”

Guerrero said he feels his team simply needs to keep working hard, and they will achieve their ultimate goal which is to win the national title:

“Practice hard every day, outwork the

competition, compete with passion. If we focus on those goals we will attain the ‘ultimate’ goal,” Guerrero said.

The T-Birds got their 2014 season underway at the ACU Firestorm Fall Invitational. They placed second, finishing 7 shots back of South Mountain. Mesa was led by Alex Trevino who placed fourth overall.

Guerrero is in his ninth season as the Men’s coach, and while he says they didn’t achieve their goals at the first event, he knows that his team will get better as time goes on. When asked about

what is different about this year compared to last year, less experience stood out which, in his mind,

is a good thing because his team is so close and competitive:

“Last year, I had an experienced sophomore

be a fun bunch to coach,” Guerrero said.

While Guerrero says that fans should watch out for all nine of his golfers, he pointed out three players with big resumes

that will be in the spotlight this season:

“But if we are talking tournament resumes … returning sophomore Austin Fletcher is a returning All-American, All-Region and 1st Team ACCAC from last year.

individual resume, Kathrineberg is not shy about what his goal is for this season:

“Personally, I just

want to help my team win nationals,” Katherineberg said.

Ultimately, Coach Guerrero believes his team’s success will come down to two key tournaments:

When asked about how his team deals

with the expectations of

year,” Guerrero said. “We have high expectations regardless of whether we are ranked No. 1 or not.

So we just focus on trying to get better everyday.”

Ultimately, this team is clearly focused on winning it all, and

is capable of bringing home Mesa Community College’s first ever national championship in Men’s golf.


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