WINTHROP, Mass. – Host institution Rhode Island College has been selected atop the annual coaches' poll in advance of this weekend's 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Golf Championship, it was announced by the league office on Thursday. RIC, which won five straight GNAC titles from 2011-15, received six first-place votes and 78 points in the poll overall.
The Anchormen will aim for their sixth-ever league crown this Saturday-Sunday, October 14-15, at Valley Country Club in Warwick, R.I., with an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament at stake. For the complete poll results, please see below.
Johnson & Wales University (RI) finished second in the championship poll with 65 points and one first-place vote, with defending GNAC champion Saint Joseph's College of Maine placing third with 56 points and one first-place vote. The Monks return four of five players from last year's championship quintet, as senior Brandon Labrecque (Gorham, Maine) and juniors Adam Batchelder (Portland, Maine/Cheverus), Adam Hachey (Winthrop, Maine), and Cam Letourneau (Hebron, Maine) bring plenty of tournament experience to the table this weekend. Hachey and Letourneau both earned GNAC All-Tournament Team honors a year ago and both have claimed GNAC Player of the Week accolades this fall.
2016 tournament host University of Southern Maine collected the remaining first-place vote and had 54 points, while 2015 tourney host University of Massachusetts Dartmouth rounded out the top-five with 52 points.
Suffolk University was sixth with 36 points, followed by Worcester State University with 35 points, Emmanuel College (Mass.) with 17 points and Albertus Magnus College with 12 points.
Valley Country Club is a private 18-hole, par-72 course that is truly a golfer's dream, featuring picturesque views, challenging greens, and pristine fairways. The course boasts 51 bunkers, three water holes and is surrounded by many heritage oak and maple trees. For more information, visit valleycountryclub.net.
The 36-hole GNAC Championship will get underway at 9:45 AM on both Saturday and Sunday morning from the first tee. Parents and fans in attendance are reminded not to smoke on the course, and dogs are also not allowed. You can find some of the course's best viewing areas on the sixth green, 18th green and 10th tee.
2017 GNAC Men's Golf Pre-Championship Coaches' Poll:
1. RIC (6) - 78
2. Johnson & Wales (1) - 65
3. Saint Joseph's of Maine (1) - 56
4. Southern Maine (1) - 54
5. UMass Dartmouth - 52
6. Suffolk - 36
7. Worcester State - 35
8. Emmanuel - 17
9. Albertus Magnus - 12
( ) – indicates number of first-place votes
Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.
– #TheGNAC –
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.