By Jim Riggs
The Jamestown Community College golf team is scheduled to open its season on Friday and everything will be new.
The Jamestown Community College golf team will open its season on Friday with its own invitational at Chautauqua Golf Club. From left are coach Ryan Jones, Jose Alicea, Christian Pickert, Chad VanEvery, Cory Rodgers, Aaron Samuelson and Dylan Taylor. Jake Domes was absent.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
Not only will there be a roster of new golfers, but there will also be a new coach.
Brett Mucheck coached the Jayhawks for the last two seasons. In 2012 his team finished second at the NJCAA Division III National Tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club and last year they were third. Helping the Jayhawks obtain that position in 2013 were sophomores Drew Chaddock, who finished as a first-team All-American, and Jake Yartz, who was a second-team All-American after taking first-team honors the previous year.
Because of work commitments, Mucheck had to give up the JCC coaching position and his replacement is Ryan Jones, who took over during the winter.
Jones, a 2002 Pine Valley Central School graduate, is no stranger to JCC golf. He was a member of the Jayhawks team in 2005 as a sophomore and shot at the nationals.
In 2011, he was an assistant coach for JCC when Ben Lindquist was the head coach.
"I've been in and around golf my entire life," Jones said.
After he graduated from JCC, Jones went to golf management school Florida. Then he was the assistant pro at Moon Brook Country Club for five years.
Last season's JCC team had only two freshmen, but they did not return. So Jones had to scramble to form a roster and had some help.
"I'm really good friends with Andrew Bird, who played on the team last year,'' Jones said. ''He kind of turned me on to some of the guys who played in high school and weren't playing any more."
Jones was able to come up with eight golfers. They are all freshmen in golfing eligibility, but only three are true freshmen. They are Cory Rodgers and Chad VanEvery, both Southwestern graduates, and Aaron Samuelson, a Jamestown graduate.
The sophomores are Christian Pickert from Cuba-Rushford, Tyler Marsh from Panama, Jake Domes from Cattaraugus-Little Valley and Dylan Taylor and Jose Alecia, both from Jamestown.
So it will be a completely new team for a new season. And it would be difficult to match last season.
"The team that Brett had last year was the dream team,'' Jones said about the Jayhawks, who led every round of the nationals except the last. ''You had five guys who could go low any day."
He doesn't know a lot about his golfers since there hasn't been much chance to get out and play thanks to our extended winter. But the Jayhawks have managed to get together a little bit.
"Cory (Rodgers) is a really good putter,'' Jones said. ''That's the strong part of his game. He's going to surprise a lot of people. He can make par from anywhere."
He added, "Chad (VanEvery) isn't a very big guy, but Chad hits it a long ways. There's a lot of power there."
When looking at his roster, Jones said, "They all have their own abilities as to what they can and can't do."
They are all new to JCC golf and Jones is new to coaching. Does he prefer that situation?
"Yes,'' he answered. ''It is because everyone has different philosophies and coaching styles, so for me I'll be able to start fresh with these guys."
And he will have some valuable help from Bird.
"He's like unofficially my assistant," Jones said. "There's no better person for these guys to be around."
That's because he is less than one year removed from playing for the Jayhawks and also playing in the national tournament, where he shot 76-79-80 in last year's rain-shortened event.
The national tournament is always something JCC golfers think about because they have been in it every year since 2000 as the host team.
"That's my big draw," Jones said about recruiting.
An NCAA Division I men's basketball coach can't guarantee a recruit he will be playing in the NCAA Tournament, but the Jayhawks golf coach can point out to recruits that they will be playing in the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.
This year it is June 3-6.
"The whole season for us, that's all it comes down to is nationals,'' Jones said. ''It's all preparation for that week."
But first comes the regular season which beginss on Friday at noon at Chautauqua Golf Club when the Jayhawks play host to the JCC Invitational.
2014 JCC GOLF SCHEDULE
April 11 - JCC Invitational at Chautauqua Golf Club, noon
April 12 - at Niagara County CC Invitational
April 26 - at Broome CC Invitational
April 27 - at Tompkins-Cortland CC Invitational
May 2 - at Monroe CC Invitational
May 3 - at Genesee CC Invitational
May 12-13 - at Region 3 Division III Tournament
June 3-6 - NJCAA Division III National Tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club