The challenge for Hope's golfers will be great in 2008 as the Flying Dutchmen seek to maintain their dominance of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Coach Bob Ebels' Flying Dutchmen have won five consecutive and eight of the last nine MIAA championships. However, four seniors have graduated off the 2007 champion team.
This year's team returns five letterwinners. Senior co-captains Donald Kring of Williamsburg, Mich. (Traverse City St. Francis HS), and Donald Scholten of Grand Rapids, Mich. (Grand Rapids Christian HS) have the most experience. Last fall Kring played in six of eight league tournaments averaging 78 strokes while Scholten played in two with an average of 75 strokes. Scholten was medalist in the prestigious Red Poling Classic while Kring joined the graduating senior at the NCAA championships last spring.
Other returning letterwinners include sophomore Chris Ansel of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland East HS), junior Josh Jelenek of Laingsburg, Mich. (Laingsburg HS), senior Dan Oumedian of Jenison, Mich. (Jenison HS), and junior Steven Strock of Grandville, Mich. (Grandville HS).
Each MIAA team hosts a conference tournament. Hope's turn will be Monday, Sept. 29, at the Wuskowhan Players Club. The MIAA champion will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA championships the spring of 2009.
The 2007-08 Flying Dutchmen were named to the MIAA Team GPA Honor Roll for a second consecutive year. The team had the highest cumulative GPA (3.475) among all MIAA men's teams. Four returning players were named to the 07-08 MIAA Academic Honor Roll -- Josh Jelenek, Don Kring, Dan Oumedian, Don Scholten.