SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 13, 2015) — The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's golf team will begin its 2015 spring season on Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Claud Jacobs Invitational in Victoria, Texas. The squad is a rejuvenated one for second year Head Coach Alan Baxter. Two golfers from a season ago return for the Saints and seven new members complete the 2015 roster.
Baxter said, "We have a very young team this year. We're probably the youngest team in our conference and in any of the tournaments that we will compete in."
Last year Xu was named to the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) All-Conference team after a fourth place individual finish in the tournament.
"I'm looking for Tommy to build on his success from a year ago," Baxter said. "He's my only senior so hopefully he will provide some leadership to the younger guys."
Ramirez enters his second year with the Saints.
"Although Omar played for me last year, he's still very young. He's only a sophomore, but he's working hard and he's getting better," Baxter said.
The new faces for the Saints include three freshmen, three sophomores and one junior.
Ian Berrigan (FR/Helotes, Texas) is a 6'3" former standout at O'Connor High School. "I'm very excited to have Ian on the squad. He has a chance to win several golf tournaments before he leaves OLLU."
Francisco Gonzalez is a 5'7" former standout at Memorial High School. "Frankie is a natural born leader and he works harder than anybody I know. No one outworks him. It's also very humbling for me that a former marine came to school and showed interest in playing for me."
Rafael Jauregui (FR/Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico) is a 6'3" golfer from Mexico. "I have a lot of respect for Rafa. He's come to a new country to go to school and play golf, which is a challenge in itself. He's shown signs of brilliancy and if he stays consistent he will do great things for us."
Jeremy Gordon (SO/San Antonio, Texas) is a 6'0" golf transfer from Texas State University and a former standout at Clark High School in San Antonio. "Jeremy has a lot of potential. He's played collegiate golf before, but sat out a whole year. He just needs to knock off that rust and once it comes off he's going to do great."
Merrick Ramos (SO/Helotes, Texas) is a 5'9" transfer from Ranger College. "Merrick is a great athlete. He used to be a standout soccer player in high school and now he's decided to focus on golf. He's just a good athlete with a lot of potential and he's very enthusiastic."
Christopher Schriedel (SO/Helotes, Texas) is a 6'3" transfer from Midland Junior College. "Chris has the experience of playing in multiple college level tournaments. It's very humbling that he chose OLLU to play the rest of his college career."
Jake Boggus (JR/Converse, Texas) is a 5'11" junior transfer from Midland College. "We're lucky to have Jake. He's a natural born leader and he's got a very positive attitude."
"We have a lot of potential to do great things," Baxter said. "I'm very pleased with my lineup."
The Saints will participate in five competitions this season before going into the conference tournament. They start on Sunday in Victoria, Texas in the Claud Jacobs Invitational hosted by the University of Houston-Victoria. The successive competitions will be the San Antonio Shootout hosted by Oklahoma City University at TPC San Antonio, the Litz Memorial Tournament hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word at the Republic Golf Course, the St. Mary's University Invitational at the Republic Golf Course, the NAIA Invitational hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course.
Baxter said, "We don't have any easy tournaments. We want to compete against the best. If we take defeats we will take them and improve for next time. We've chosen the hardest schedule possible."
At the Claud Jacobs, OLLU will go up against seven teams ranked in the NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Poll — No. 2 Wayland Baptist University, No. 5 Oklahoma City University, No. 8 California State University-San Marcos, No. 9 Texas Wesleyan University, No. 15 Cardinal Stritch University, No. 18 The Master's College, and No. 23 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
In conference, the Saints have been picked to finish behind Wayland Baptist University, Oklahoma City University, Texas Wesleyan University, Oklahoma Baptist University, University of Texas at Brownsville, and the University of St. Thomas, but Baxter is not worried about the picks.
"We've beaten UTB, UHV and UST before. Rankings mean nothing to me. We just have to worry about ourselves. We have to improve every week. If this team stays together we're going to shock a lot of people," he said.
Baxter concluded, "My main goal is to make sure my guys do well in school and have a positive college experience at OLLU. We're going to go out and play hard and I expect to improve from tournament to tournament and I hope to see that when conference comes around."
The Saints will tee-off at 8 a.m. on Sunday for the first two rounds of the Claud Jacobs Invitational. The final round will take place on Monday, Feb. 16.