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The focus for the College of Southern Maryland’s golf team is to reach Goosepond Colony Resort in Scottsboro, Ala., the site of the junior college national tournament.

That tournament will take place on May 21 to 24.

College of Southern Maryland golf

Head coach: Ned Spearbeck (third season)

Last year: 16-17-1, 16-12-1 MD JUCO

Athletes to watch: Eric Ryan (So.), Andrew turgeon (So., Northern), George Bowie (Fr., McDonough), Andrew Hungerford (Fr., Mcdonough), Jonathan Parsons (Fr.)

Key personnel losses: Walt Wiseman (tied for second at the MD JUCO tournament, third at Region XX competition)

Strengths: The team has more experience behind them this season and, with the addition of assistant coach Kyle Carranza, the team is set to learn from one of the best that has come through the very same program. Carranza also played for Spearbeck and represented CSM well as an All-American and All-JUCO player.

Spearbeck is also the head golf professional at Hawthorne Country Club in La Plata and has more than 30 years of experience to share with his team.

The weather hasn’t allowed the team to see the greens as much lately, but they’ve been introduced to technological devices that will assist them with their putting.

Weaknesses: Spearbeck elected not to list any weaknesses.

Coach’s comments: “I hope that someone goes down and wins the national championship and signs on with a four-year school.”

Key matches: March 21 at Cumberland Country Club; April 25 MD JUCO championship at Ruggles Golf Course, Aberdeen; May 3-5 Region XX Tournament at Hagerstown; May 21-24 National tournament at Goosepond Colony Resort, Scottsboro, Ala.

TAMMY SHOWALTER

Right now, the Hawks are eager to get outside and see this rainy, chilly weather leave the region. The team’s home course is Breton Bay Country Club in Leonardtown, where they hosted a tournament yesterday.

Head golf coach Ned Spearbeck welcomes former CSM player Kyle Carranza, a 2010-2011 All-JUCO and All-American player, to assist him with the team this season.

“I’d just basically like to give the kids some of my experiences throughout the college athletic process,” Carranza said, “a positive attitude. I was fortunate enough to be able to be successful, so I’d like to pass that on to the players that are on the team now.”

Carranza, who learned first from his father, professional golfer Joe Carranza, sees CSM coming into its own now.

“We started this process back about two or three months ago. I’ve seen a lot of positive process,” Carranza said, “and I think we have a strong team this year. I’d like to see all of them reach the national tournament level, so that’s what we’re striving for. Breton Bay has been exceptional with helping us out with a home golf course.”

Kyle Carranza said he was happy with his choice to go the junior college route, especially in today’s economy.

“It’s a great chance for them to save some money and then hopefully transfer out.” he said.

Spearbeck, who is also the head coach at McDonough High School, has been reunited with another former player in George Bowie.

Bowie knows what it means to compete. He and his team came back after being down by 17 strokes to win the Class 2A-1A state title in 2011, defeating Marriotts Ridge of Howard County by three strokes.

“George played with Cas Dickerson at McDonough and Cas has since been recruited to Towson,” Spearbeck said. “Now, George, a lot of people don’t know this but he actually had a lower scoring average than Cas did, but Cas was our captain and best player, so I think George has an extremely bright future.”

Bowie said he’s looking forward to traveling and getting the chance to play on different courses. He’s also learning a lot from Carranza.

“I’m trying to hit more greens and fairways and get myself better opportunities,” Bowie said. “Kyle is addressing the degree of our putter with us. He went to a seminar with Michael Breed, a celebrity golf teacher and he told him to have us work on having our putter on a negative angle.”

Eric Ryan took a couple years off and Spearbeck said he’s come back more mature and focused. Ryan said he’s wanting a bit of redemption this year.

“I played two to three years ago, and we didn’t qualify as a team and I missed it by one stroke individually,” Ryan said, “so mostly, I’m looking forward to being able to play in Alabama. The year afterwards, I didn’t really play as much, but I started to miss it more and more. At this point, I’m as prepared as I’m going to get.”

Andrew Turgeon said he’s been playing golf for about 10 years. He’s focused on what he needs to do and capitalizing on every opportunity to stay on or near a golf course. He works at Old South Country Club in Lothian and plays at least four times a week. He’s looking for revenge on the Cumberland course where he left a few things unsettled last season.

“I’m looking forward to going back to the regional tournament and playing a little better and seeing if the team can make a trip to mationals,” Turgeon said. “Our number one, Walt [Wiseman] went to nationals last year, but as a team, we didn’t place. This year I think I’m a little calmer and have a cooler attitude about things, not getting mad at myself over bad shots. Coach helps us to stay positive and not get upset over a bad hole, but to get back to the grind and start working on making some pars.”

Spearbeck said Turgeon has improved drastically since last year.

“He’s certainly good at the competitive aspect and getting himself ready,” Spearbeck said. “I know the type of character he is and his competitiveness. I think that extra year of experience is really going to help him.”

Freshman Jonathan Parsons played his first competitive rounds of golf last year, but his nervousness won’t be a problem for him at all.

“I notice that I play a little bit better when I’m nervous,” Parsons said, “so I’m looking forward to seeing how I handle that. Coach tells us to practice how we play and to go through our pre-shot routine every time. Coach stays positive. If it’s cold or rainy, he says he gets off of the bus already in the lead.”

tshowalter@somdnews.com