Published: April 7, 2016
The University’s men’s golf team is showing early signs of success in the opening weeks of the spring season.
Their combined record for the fall and spring season is nine wins and two losses, with one loss in the fall to King’s College and one loss to Wilkes University in the spring.
During their opening conference match of the spring season on March 30 at Huntsville Golf Club in Dallas, Pennsylvania, the team beat King’s College and lost by two strokes to Wilkes University. Wilkes shot 337; Scranton shot 339 and King’s shot 351.
Kyle Hayes, a first-year, shot 82, which was the lowest overall score of the tri-match and Andrew Milisits, also a first-year, shot 84, which was tied for third overall. Senior Eric Montella shot 86 and Kevin Nardella, a junior on the team, shot an 87.
Coach Ed Karpovich, a life-long North Eastern Pennsylvania resident and a graduate of The University, is the longest tenured head coach for any University sports team. He is in his 34th year as head coach.
“You don’t do anything for 34 years unless you are enjoying it. The more the years have gone on, the more I have enjoyed coaching because of the kids on the golf team.” Karpovich said.
Karpovich is known for his fairness on the course and giving every player a chance to succeed and represent The University. “I would never be afraid to put any one of my players in the starting line-up.”
For Karpovich, it is not just about winning. “Sure, everybody loves to win, but my main goal and my main focus in coaching college golf is to build friendships and camaraderie.” Karpovich shared some personal stories about how the bonds made on The University’s golf team have sustained throughout past players’ lifetimes. He said it is not uncommon for him to be invited to a former player’s wedding and see another former player as the best man.
“It isn’t a childhood friend, it isn’t a high school friend. I went to a wedding of a former player from Connecticut and the best man was from Virginia. They didn’t know each other, until they came to Scranton,” Karpovich said.
He said The University’s golf team is not a team; it is a family. “When we see each other, we don’t give each other handshakes, we give each other hugs.” This extends to the multiple generations that Karpovich has coached. He said it is not uncommon for a son to attend The University and play on the golf team because his father had such a memorable and enjoyable experience on the team.
First-year, Andrew Milisits, is new to the golf team this year.
“I was nervous coming into a completely new environment on such a high level of play, but all my teammates, especially the upperclassmen, made me feel completely welcomed and a part of the team right away,” Milisits said.
Milisits also mentioned that the team has a very bright future, and he and the rest of the team hope that they can continue the tradition of winning and camaraderie set forth by Karpovich and the senior class.
The University team will tee-off against conference rivals Wilkes and King’s again on April 6 at their home course, Glenmaura National Golf Club, located in Moosic.
On Thursday the team will face Keystone College and Marywood University in a conference match at Glenmaura.
The team ends its season April 26 at Keystone College.
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