Four-Time Defending Champion Rutgers-Camden Remains on Top in 2016-17 NEAC Men’s Golf Preseason Poll

Four-time defending champion Rutgers-Camden remains atop the NEAC in the 2016-17 coaches' preseason poll.
Four-time defending champion Rutgers-Camden remains atop the NEAC in the 2016-17 coaches' preseason poll.

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The four-time defending North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men’s golf champion Rutgers University-Camden Scarlet Raptors will once again remain at the top of the conference, according to the results of the 2016-17 coaches’ preseason poll. 

The Scarlet Raptors, who are an associate member of the conference, garnered all eight possible first-place votes to top the poll with 64 total points.  Rutgers-Camden is coming off one of its best seasons in program history, winning the NEAC title for the sixth time in eight years before placing in the top 25 during the NCAA Championships.  Head coach Bob Cardea, who claimed his fifth NEAC Coach of the Year honor last season, will have all seven of his top golfers returning, including senior Kevin Sarlo (Burlington, N.J.), who is coming off a tremendous season. 

Sarlo was a five-time NEAC Golfer of the Week selection and two-time ECAC Golfer of the Month honoree before landing on the NEAC All-Conference First Team after placing second individually at the NEAC Championships.  From there, Sarlo also became the first Rutgers-Camden golfer to ever make the cut at the NCAA Championships, finishing tied for 31st nationally in the 210-golfer event.  Sarlo will be joined by fellow seniors Zach Arsenault (Medford Lakes, N.J.), Pete DeStefano (Collingswood, N.J.) and Ryan Dick (Collingswood, N.J.) along with sophomore Cory Meyer (Bordentown, N.J.), all of which earned All-Conference honors.  Dick also claimed NEAC Rookie of the Year honors after being the top first-year finisher at the conference championships for the Scarlet Raptors, who will begin their season at the Moravian College Invitational on Monday, September 12. 

SUNY Cobleskill tallied the remaining first-place vote and placed second with 51 total points.  The Fighting Tigers will see all three of their All-Conference selections return from last season, including senior Ian Wilson (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.).  A three-time NEAC Golfer of the Week honoree who also earned ECAC Golfer of the Month honors last season, Wilson was named the 2015-16 NEAC Golfer of the Year after topping the 41-golfer field at the conference championships with a two-day score of 147 (75-72).  That was Wilson’s sixth individual medalist performance of the season, which also landed him on the NEAC All-Conference First Team for the third straight year.  Sophomore Connor McCarthy (Cobleskill, N.Y.), a Second Team selection, and junior Lou Colella (Blackwood, N.J.), a Third Team honoree, also return for the Fighting Tigers, who finished as the runner-up at the 2015-16 NEAC Championships. 

Morrisville State College placed third after totaling 43 points.  The Mustangs will head into the season being led by senior Brandon Davis (Fayetteville, N.Y.), who garnered All-Conference Third Team honors after placing in the top 12 at the conference championships.  The Mustangs will also see the return of junior Layne Martin (Findlay, Ohio) and sophomores Brad Hefner (Bilings, Mt.) and Jesse Pflaumer (Elba, N.Y.), as the group helped Morrisville placed third overall at the NEAC Championships last season. 

Penn State Abington ranked fourth overall with 41 points.  Although they lost graduating senior Mike Lam (Langhorne, Pa.), a former NEAC Golfer of the Year and a 2015-16 All-Conference First Team honoree, the Nittany Lions will have another veteran to look to with the return of senior Stephen Levchenco (Philadelphia, Pa.).  Penn State Berks rounded out the top-five of the rankings with 38 points.  Berks will lean on the sophomore trio of Matt Thompson (Collegeville, Pa.), Thomas Wolf (Pottstown, Pa.) and Joe Roth (Schwenksville, Pa.) to lead its young squad this season.    

The full 2016-17 men’s golf preseason poll results can be found below:

Rank Institution (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1 Rutgers University-Camden (8) 64
2 SUNY Cobleskill (1) 51
3 Morrisville State College 
43
4 Penn State Abington
41
5 Penn State Berks  38
6 Keuka College
32
7 Penn College
29
8 Bryn Athyn College 16
9 Wilson College 10

 

The 2016-17 NEAC Men’s Golf Championships will be hosted by Bryn Athyn College at the Philmont Country Club on April 22-23, 2017, where all nine teams will compete for a shot at the conference title.  Be sure to also follow the results from the regular season by using the free NEAC mobile app, Front Row, which can be downloaded here

The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC men’s golf coaches, with each coach ranking out all teams but their own using a staggered points system (eight points for a first-place vote, seven points for second, etc.).  No self-voting was allowed.  This is the second year the NEAC has held preseason polls and they will now become a staple of all 18 conference-sponsored sports moving forward. 

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University - Abington, Pennsylvania State University - Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Penn State Altoona (M Volleyball) and Rutgers University - Camden (M Golf).  The North Eastern Athletic Conference has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s and women’s tennis.