BLUEFIELD, Va. —
By JIM NELSON
for the Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — For the past five years, several Bluefield State College golfers have taken part in the Pocahontas Men's Amateur golf championship at Fincastle On The Mountain, and the experience has helped the Big Blues sustain their ascent as a quality NCAA Division II golf team.
Bluefield State golf coach Terry Brown calls the Pocahontas a “springboard” that prepares the BSC golfers for success in their collegiate tournament schedule.
“The Pocahontas challenges our golfers to be at the top of their game,” Brown explained. “They are competing against some outstanding golfers from throughout the region, in addition to several NCAA Division I golfers who are in the Pocahontas field.”
Brown observed that, following his team's participation in the 2012 Pocahontas, the Big Blues won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Southern Regional championship and finished first in the Roanoke Invitational, ultimately taking seventh place in a 20 team field at the NCAA Super Regionals in the spring.
“There's an excellent tournament environment at the Pocahontas,” Brown continued. “Our golfers are working on their games throughout the summer, but they are not always able to play in the same summer tournaments.
“The Pocahontas takes place just before the start of our fall semester and it helps get our guys back into the flow of things. t's like a capstone course that measures what they've learned, how hard they've worked over the summer.”
Last year, eight BSC golfers took part in the Pocahontas and Brown anticipates that a similarly number will compete in the event this year.
“We'll also have some members of last year's team who will return and play, too,” he noted. One of those will be Nick Dent, who finished in a third place tie with another BSC alumnus, Donnie Hankins, in the 2012 Pocahontas. At the conclusion of the 2013 season, Dent was selected to the NCAA Division II PING All-Atlantic Region team.
Six-time Pocahontas Champion Kevin Leatherwood and perennial top 10 finisher Rick Fricke are also among former Big Blues who are regularly in contention at the Pocahontas.
“Because of its timing, the caliber of the competition, and the atmosphere, the Pocahontas is a great measuring stick for our golfers,” Brown summarized. “We appreciate the opportunity it provides and I really believe it has been instrumental in our team's success in recent years.”
The 44th annual Pocahontas Men's Amateur, sponsored by First Century Bank, will begin play on Friday, Aug. 9 at the par-70 Fincastle course.
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
By JIM NELSON
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