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Talent indicates promise for Bates co-ed golf team

LEWISTON, Maine -- The fall season looks to be a bright one for the Bates men's and women's golf teams, which has the talent to build on significant momentum from a year ago.

Bob Flynn returns as the team's head coach after serving as assistant coach since 2002. In his 11th year as the team's head coach (he led the Bobcats from 1990 through 1998, and was co-head coach in 2001), Flynn is excited about the prospects laid before this group of players.

"We'll be competitive with our competition, and we have some individuals on both teams who have the potential to be medalists," said Flynn. "I think we're strong enough to finish high at invitationals as well as the NESCAC Championships."

The Bates men's golfers lost only one primary player, Jake Cox, to graduation, leaving the Bobcats with a talented young group this year. Kurt Schuler '10 (Windham, N.H.) had an outstanding 2007 season, earning All-State honors and medaling at the Sid Farr Tournament. Mike Kelen '11 (Baltimore, Md.) showed tremendous promise last year, and captain Jeremy Rogalski '09 (West Springfield, Mass.), sophomore John Canney (North Clarendon, Vt.), senior Tom Bowden (Falmouth, Maine), senior Mark DelGiudice (Bedford, N.H.), Keegan Runnals (Wolfeboro, N.H.) and newcomer Sam Kaplan '09 (Katonah, N.Y.) are all in the mix. Among first-year players, Lee Smith (Lexington, Mass.) should become a regular top scorer quickly.

The women's golfers will miss last year's top player, Whitney Roller '10 (Haverford, Pa.), who is studying abroad this semester. But senior captain Elizabeth Wilcox (South Glastonbury, Conn.), who medaled in a match against the Bowdoin women last year, leads a solid group that includes sophomore Christine McCall (Lowell, Mass.), who improved in leaps and bounds last year, junior Jillian Fogarty (Rye, N.Y.) and sophomore Libby King (South Portland, Maine). The team will be augmented by talented first-years Mimi Neal (Danvers, Mass.) and Brigid Dunn (Milford, Ohio).

"We'd like to be in the top five in the NESCAC for both men's and women's, top three at the men's state championship, and we'd like to repeat as CBB champs for both the men and women," said Flynn.

After rain forced the postponement of the Thomas Terrier Classic on Sept. 9, the Bobcats will begin play this weekend. The women play in the Brunswick Invitational on Saturday at The Highlands Golf Course in Topsham, while the men compete in the two-day Bowdoin Invitational at Brunswick G.C. Saturday and Sunday.