By Henderson State Sports Information
RUSSELLVILLE — Henderson State’s men’s golf team was picked second in the Great American Conference Preseason Poll Thursday afternoon. This is the second straight year HSU has come in at No. 2 in the preseason conference rankings.
The top half of the preseason rankings remain unchanged from a year ago as Arkansas Tech came in at No. 1 this season with 64 total votes and eight first-place votes while HSU garnered 57 votes and one first-place nod. Rounding out the rest of the Top-5 are Southwestern Oklahoma St. (49), Southern Arkansas (40), and Harding (39).
Last season, the Reddies fit their preseason ranking after coming in second at the GAC Championship behind conference champion and eventual national champion Arkansas Tech. After winning the conference championship five straight years from 2014-18, the HSU men have found themselves runners-up the past two seasons.
Henderson is led this year by first-year head coach Colton Cowan after a seven-year stint under former-head coach Forrest Schultz that saw five conference championships awarded to the men’s golf program.
Cowan takes over an experienced group, led by graduate student Mitchell Ford. The sixth-year Reddie was a part of two conference championships teams, having come in during the 2016-17 season.
Ford, a unanimous First-Team All-GAC and All-Central Region selection in 2021, won the first tournament of the season last year, carding a 9-under 207 at the Rattler Invitational. The Little Rock, Arkansas, native followed that up with a third-place finish at The Natural State Classic.
Sophomore Josh McNulty joined Ford on the 2021 All-GAC team, earning Honorable Mention recognition. McNulty won The Natural State Classic while accumulating two other Top-5 finishes last season. Henderson will have to replace McNulty’s fellow Honorable Mention recipient, Grayson Jones.
The Reddies add two new freshmen to this year’s seasoned squad in Alex Hadden out of Eminence, Kentucky, and Simon McBride of Paragould, Arkansas.
Henderson State gets the 2021-22 season kicked off with the Washburn Invitational in Topeka, Kansas, Sept. 13-14 before hitting the NSU Classic in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Sept. 20-21.
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