YOUNG OPENS 20TH SEASON AS BLUE DRAGON GOLF COACH MONDAY

Head coach Chris Young (behind) begins his 20th season with the Blue Dragon men's golf team on Monday. Charlie Crockett returns after being named the 2019 Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year last season.
Head coach Chris Young (behind) begins his 20th season with the Blue Dragon men's golf team on Monday. Charlie Crockett returns after being named the 2019 Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year last season.
Information Box

BLUE DRAGON MEN'S GOLF

Ryan Palmer Foundation Invitational

When: Monday-Tuesday, September 9-10, 2019
Where: Tascosa Golf Club, Amarillo, TX
Format: 54 holes (36 holes Monday, 18 holes Tuesday)
Twitter: @bluedragonsport

By Steve Carpenter
Hutchinson CC Sports Information Director

To say the first 19 seasons of Hutchinson Community College men's golf have been successful would be an understatement.

Over that span, Young has produced:
+ 19 consecutive NJCAA Tournament appearances;
+ 8 Jayhawk Conference team championships;
+ 7 Region VI team championships;
+ 2 District III team championship;
+ 8 NJCAA All-Americans;
+ 6 Ping/NJCAA All-Americans;
+ 6 Jayhawk Conference individual league champions;
+ 6 Region VI individual champions;
+ 2 District III individual champion;
+ 7 NJCAA Tournament Top 10 national placings;
+ 1 Phil Michelson National Freshman of the Year Winner;
+ 1 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Finalist.

Now the longest current-tenured head coach in the Blue Dragon Athletic Department, Young begins his 20th season with the Blue Dragon men's golf team on Monday with the 54-hole Ryan Palmer Invitational hosted by West Texas A&M University at the Tascosa Golf Club in Amarillo, Texas. The Blue Dragons play 36 holes on Monday and close out with 18 holes on Tuesday.

"I'm looking forward to this season," Young said. "Of the three kids all coming back, all three are going to play Division I golf somewhere and I'm excited about the four young kids coming in."

The 2019-20 Blue Dragons begin the season ranked tied for 10th in the Bushnell/Golfweek preseason NJCAA Rankings. The Dragons, who are the defending Jayhawk Conference and Region VI team champion, are the only KJCCC team in the preseason Top 10. Dodge City is receiving votes. Hutchinson finished 12th at the NJCAA Championships last season.

Young will have a seven-player roster with three players returning from last year.

The top returning player is Charlie Crockett, who recently committed to Wichita State University.

Crockett had an exceptional season in 2018-19, earning first-team PING All-America honors after sweeping Jayhawk Conference, Region VI and District III individual championships. Herbert was 19th in the NJCAA in scoring average at 72.90

Also back are sophomores Peyton Austin and Nathan McCulloch.

Austin, a Derby High School product, was a first-team All-Jayhawk Conference performer who finished third in the 2019 individual league standings. Austin finished 79th in the NJCAA Championship as a freshman. Austin's freshman scoring average was 76.25.

McCullouch averaged 76.93 last season. He finished 93rd in national tournament last season. McCullouch was a second-team all-conference player.

Joining the three sophomores are freshmen Kyle Klopper, Tradgon McCrae, Nolan Sughroue and Tyler Trudo.

The Blue Dragons will play another challenging fall schedule where they will see several top NAIA programs as well as several NCAA Division I and Division II teams.

"We won't see a lot of junior college teams in the fall," Young said. "I like to get our kids in front of coaches who will recruit them, so we will play in NCAA and NAIA tournaments in the fall. It helps our strength of schedule."

After this weekend, the Blue Dragons will play at Division II Missouri Southern, Newman University and Park University before closing out the fall season at the NJCAA National Preview.

Information Box

BUSHNELL/GOLFWEEK NJCAA PRESEASON TOP 10

  Points 2019 NJCAA Finish
1. Midland (2)
2. Central Alabama (4)
3. Indian Hills
4. New Mexico JC 
5. Eastern Florida State
6. Iowa Western
7. Odessa
8. Calhoun
9. Ranger 
T10. Hutchinson
T10. Wallace State
52
51
48
39
28
24
20
18
16
11
11
3
Champion
Runner-up
4
T7
T7
T9
5
6
12
T9
Others Receiving Votes: McLennan, 9; Dodge City, 3.