After stellar freshman seasons, a pair of Maumelle golfers were recently honored by their college conference.
Ryan Spurlock, now at Arkansas Tech, graduated from Maumelle High School and was named the Freshman of the Year by the Great American Conference, while Taylor Loeb, who prepped at Mount Saint Mary and is from Maumelle, was the female Freshman of the Year in the conference for her rookie season at Henderson State.
In addition to being named Freshman of the Year, Loeb finished in a tie for fifth place at the conference tournament in Hot Springs and was named the All-Tournament team after shooting a final round 79 and a 54-hole total of 230.
As a team, Henderson State finished second to Arkansas Tech and the Reddies received an at-large bid to the NCAA Central Super Regional in Sioux Falls, S.D.
That tournament starts on Monday, May 8.
“I have not been to South Dakota,” Loeb said, “and I'm a little nervous about the weather.”
The forecast, at least for now, is calling for highs in the 70s.
“My last day of class is Thursday,” Loeb said. “Then we fly out on Friday, and the tournament starts on Monday.”
Loeb thinks Henderson State has a really good shot at making the national tournament later this month.
“We played a preview tournament in Springfield [Missouri] and it was against the exact same field we'll see in South Dakota and came in second,” Loeb said. The top three teams make the national tournament. “So we can make the nationals.”
Loeb is the only freshman from Henderson State set to make the trip.
She said being named the conference's freshman of the year was, “really special. I got the same award as a freshman in high school and to get something like that again, it just makes you feel good.”
For Spurlock, it is, “awesome.”
“It is awesome,” Spurlock said of being honored. “It is a really good honor to get.”
Spurlock became the third Tech golfer to receive the GAC Freshman of the Year Award. Spurlock is averaging a 74.27 average score per round and has turned in four top 10 finishes, and in addition to being named the top freshman, he was also named honorable mention all-conference.
While his last college final is this Friday, Spurlock's freshman year isn't over as Arkansas Tech was selected as one of 20 teams that will compete at the NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Super Regional being played at the Awarii Dunes Golf Course in Axtell, Neb. that starts, Monday, May 8.
“We played [that course] before,” Spurlock said. “It was a preview tournament in the Fall and I shot a 73-72 and tied for 8th.”