SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. – This spring a new era in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College athletics will begin, as the first ever male student-athletes at SMWC will put on the SMWC logo and compete in intercollegiate athletics.
This March, a process that began in September 2015 with the hiring of head coach Abe Nasser and was followed by the signing of the first five male student-athletes in school history, will culminate in the first ever men's sporting event that SMWC will be a part of.
The men's golf program will come to life on March 11 and 12 when it plays in the Franklin College Intercollegiate at The Donald Ross Course in French Lick, Ind. When the men's golf team tees off in French Lick, it will be the culmination of a process and the beginning of a new era. The process being The Woods transforming into a coed institution with male student-athletes to now the era of intercollegiate competition that includes men at SMWC.
The program hired coach Nasser in September of 2015 and charged him with not only recruiting the first male student-athletes in the history of the department, but some of the first male undergraduate students period. Nasser got the job done, and in March the first five male student-athletes at SMWC will step out onto The Donald Ross Golf Course and step into the SMWC history books forever.
All freshman, the first to sign on with the Pomeroys was Jaret Morlan from Terre Haute North just 20 days after the announcement of his high school coach being named to the helm of the SMWC program. Then, Blake Bennett from Northview joined on in November, as did Justin Wilson from Terre Haute South, to give the program three of a needed five to compete as a team. A month later, Nasser signed Samuel Grimes from Northview and Braxton McIntyre from Terre Haute South to give the program its first five and bring to life the dream that the Pomeroys would have a men's athletic team competing in 2017.
Part of what makes this first team so special is that all five student-athletes call the Wabash Valley home, which perfectly reflects the school's desire to serve the Wabash Valley. Here we are, now two years after the coed decision, and five men from the Wabash Valley are attending a school that just a few years ago they couldn't have as undergraduate student-athletes. Not only are they attending, but they are actively involved in its promotion, as they look to play on five different golf courses this spring in three different states.
After the first outing at The Donald Ross Golf Course, SMWC will head to Louisville, Ky., to play in the Lawrence Tech Invitational at Heritage Hills Golf Course on March 18 and 19. From there, the Pomeroys will close out their first month of play in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Mount St. Joseph Invitational taking place at Aston Oaks Golf Course. The final month of the inaugural season will keep the Pomeroys in Indiana with the Rose-Hulman Invitational at Hulman Links in Terre Haute and the Huntington University Invitational in Fort Wayne at Brookwood Golf Course.
While history will be made in French Lick, Ind., on March 11 and 12, it will only be the beginning. The beginning of a season and the beginning of an era.