Karpovich and Meyer end incredible golf legacy

FRANCESCO CAMPESE
Staff Writer

photo courtesy of scranton athletics (FROM LEFT) Head Coach Ed Karpovich, senior Erik Meyer, sophomore Kevin Nardella and juniors Eric Montella and Ryan Brown pose for a photo April 13 at the Glenmaura National Collegiate Invitational. Karpovich and Meyer had an outstanding four years together as coach and player.

photo courtesy of scranton athletics
(FROM LEFT) Head Coach Ed Karpovich, senior Erik Meyer, sophomore Kevin Nardella and juniors Eric Montella and Ryan Brown pose for a photo April 13 at the Glenmaura National Collegiate Invitational. Karpovich and Meyer had an outstanding four years together as coach and player.

With the win against Summit University, formerly Baptist Bible College, The University’s men’s golf team finishes its regular season 14-6.

As the season wraps up, head coach Ed Karpovich finishes his 33rd season as head coach. Karpovich, a graduate of the class of 1976, played on the team during his years at Scranton and has coached since 1982, giving him the longest tenure amongst active head coaches at The University.

Karpovich has become a staple at The University and has coached multiple generations of players. He has also been an ambassador for the sport, joining with former King’s College head coach Tom Davis in 1999 to found the Glenmaura National Collegiate Invitational, an annual event that attracts some of the top Division III talent throughout the country.

Over the past five years, The University has won the tournament three times and come in second the other two years.

Karpovich and the team have had great success over the past few years, going undefeated in 2011 and 2013 in dual match competition. Since 2010, when the Royals joined the Empire 8 conference championships, it has been constantly improving its record up until this season. The team went from fourth of eight teams in 2011 and 2012 to second place in 2013 and 2014. The team finished in third place this season.

But it is not great records or championship finishes that Karpovich cares most about; he is a strong advocate of the camaraderie, friendship and sportsmanship he sees in his team.

“I have had a lot of great memories with the team. The championship win in 1988 was very exciting, but I do not spell success with wins and losses. I look at the camaraderie and friendships that the team forms with each other,” Karpovich said. “I am most proud of the fact that when players leave Scranton, they have made friends through the team that they may not have ever made without the team. It is not rare for me to go to a player’s wedding to see the best man be a fellow teammate.”

The close of the season also brings about the end of Erik Meyer’s golf career for the Royals. Meyer joined the team in the spring semester of his first year and has been a major player on the team ever since.

In his first year he only played in two matches, shooting a team-low 72 against King’s College and a 75 in the last match of the season against Marywood University.

Meyer’s first full season brought about even more success as he led the team with the lowest strokes-per-round average at 77.41 strokes. Later that year, he also broke the school record for lowest in-season score with a five-under-par 67 against Baptist Bible College. The previous record stood at 68.

“It was just a really special round for me, everything just came together. I didn’t have to force anything. Looking back, it was just a really special round for me,” Meyer said.

In his junior year, Meyer continued to improve and decreased his average strokes per round from 77.41 to 75.31, once again holding the lowest average on the team. His lowest round of 70 came against Marywood at the Royals’ home course at Glenmaura National Golf Club.

This season once again brought about much success for the veteran, who holds the lowest average on the team for the third straight year. Meyer’s lowest scoring round came in a tri-match earlier this fall as he finished first in the match, shooting a one-under-par 70.

“Looking back, the experience made me realize that golf was not the most important thing in my life. It made me put my perspectives in order. I learned a lot from my coach and I could never imagine playing for anyone else,” Meyer said. “I used to be a bit of a hothead, but once I came to play at The University, coach calmed me down.

He helped me enjoy the game more. He told me that if you do not like what you are doing, then why even play the game?”

While the end of every season brings about bittersweet moments for seniors, Karpovich’s view of the team as a family comes to fruition.

“It is sad to see players leave, but it happens. We are more than a team. When we see each other, we greet ourselves not with a handshake, but with a hug, because we are family,” Karpovich said.

Both Karpovich and Meyer have had a huge impact on the golf program that will remain long after they leave the team.

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