By Justin Maskulinski, Senior Staff Writer
Creative Commons Photo
The Miami University golf team will finish its first month of classes before the 'Hawks swing clubs competitively.
The RedHawks hope to take advantage of the late start to their season.
"I think we can get off to a little faster start because we're starting a little later," head coach Zac Zedrick said. "Having just over three weeks, really, together as a team before we hit the road, I think we have an opportunity to get off to a little quicker start than we did last year."
Last year the 'Hawks opened up their season by finishing in 13th place out of 15 teams, and followed that performance up with an eighth place finish among 11 teams. After the slow start last season, the RedHawks improved their finish as every tournament passed by, and Zedrick hopes to see a similar growth in this year's team.
"This is the kind of team that is really amped up to get going," Zedrick said. "If something's not working there's a real sense of urgency to fix it. I think we have the opportunity to see something similar [to last fall's growth]."
The 'Hawks will begin their 2014-2015 campaign in Zionsville, Indiana as they compete in the Wolf Run Intercollegiate.
Senior Scott Cahill and junior Jack Sparling were both leaders for the 'Hawks during the 2013-14 season, having the low score for the Red and White a combined seven times during the year.
Zedrick hopes the offseason work put in by Cahill and Sparling will allow them to hit their stride early in the season.
"I think their play improved over the summer," Zedrick said. "If they can keep that momentum going then, yeah, we'll certainly still see them. They're going to have to obviously come in and earn their place like everyone else but the way they performed this summer showed that they're just going to keep going and keep getting better."
Sparling finished in third place in the Ohio Amateur Championship in July.
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Cahill said the RedHawks were ready for this season to start immediately after a fifth place finish at the Mid-American Conference Championship last May.
"I think we were really excited to get back right away as soon as the season finished," Cahill said. "We had such a progressive year. Everyone was very excited to come back and to continue to get better, to see how good we can get."
Cahill has high expectations of himself and his fellow seniors Brantley Kushner and Luke Shaughnessy.
"We've been here, we know what to expect, we know what the drill is day-to-day," Cahill said. "The three of us, as seniors, have high expectations for each other and also for the younger guys to step in. It's not just us here."
After the 'Hawks open up their season in Zionsville, they will compete in the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in Columbus. Then the RedHawks will compete in the Firestone Intercollegiate, an event in Akron, Ohio where the 'Hawks placed seventh a year ago.
The Red and White will finish the fall half of their season in Kennesaw, Georgia when they compete in the Pinetree Intercollegiate.
Cahill hopes to see the 'Hawks soar to new heights this fall.
"We've got a long way to go to get where we need to be- to be one of the more competitive teams in the country," Cahill said. "Our goals are far, far, far beyond just the slight improvements that we showed week to week last year."