The Miami University golf team consists of just seven members. Four of them are named Jack.
Jack Herceg, Jack Ebner, Jack Mortell and Jack Katarincic make up more than half of the team, and all go by the same first name, which can get pretty confusing.
But the craziest part about all of them being named Jack is that none of them actually are named Jack.
None of the “Jacks” on the team have that name on their birth certificate.
Senior Jack Katarincic is really named Joseph. Redshirt Sophomore Jack Herceg’s real name is Jackson. And Sophomore Jack Ebner and Junior Jack Mortell are both named John.
In order to keep all of them straight, Mortell said that they have to get creative with nicknames.
“Obviously if you say Jack, we all respond, so I feel like all of us has three, four, five different nicknames because we can’t just call each other Jack,” Mortell said.
“When we’re all together and someone says ‘Jack,’ everyone’s heads turn, and then we figure out who they’re talking to,” Ebner said.
By spending any amount of time around the team, it’s easy to see how tight-knit it is. Whether they’re playing jokes on people who don’t believe their names are mostly Jack, watching the Sunday round of a PGA tournament or at practice, they know how to have a good time with each other.
“A lot of it revolves around us just watching the end of a golf tournament on Sunday, all on the couch,” Mortell said. “We tune in to the golf tournament, but we’re also just talking and messing around.”
Each of these golfers bring a different and unique role to the team.
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Herceg spent a full year behind the scenes, redshirting last season.
“I think I have a little added perspective that way,” Herceg said. “I like to think I’m pretty mature for my years. Especially with the younger guys that come in, I like to take pride in helping them out when I can.”
Katarincic is trying to take his last year to contribute as much as he can as a leader.
“There’s not one person that stands out on the team as a leader this year, but we’re all in this together collectively,” he said.
Ebner joined the team in 2018 off of a gap year, having an added sense of maturity.
“Coming in as a freshman last year … I came in and felt like I was able to contribute and push,” Ebner said, “and, to a certain extent, lead as a freshman. I was able to develop a lot of relationships with the guys before getting here, and so I felt like I was able to come in and help right away.”
Head coach Zac Zedrick also recognizes the camaraderie the group shares. Zedrick has coached Miami for the past nine seasons, but this team has a special sense of depth to him.
“What’s different about this team is that I feel like I could throw all seven names in a hat and draw five out and I would feel comfortable taking them to a tournament and us having a chance to win,” Zedrick said.
Zedrick said he is proud of the program he has built and the bond his golfers share.
“I’m very proud to be the coach at Miami, and I want our guys to be proud of the golf program here, so I think that creates a similar bond and similar approach to what they do,” Zedrick said. “If you get everyone on the same page, it’s easier to get everyone pushing forward together.”
The Jacks and Co. were in Nassau, Bahamas for their last tournament of the fall last weekend, finishing sixth at the White Sands Invitational. Their season picks up once again in February, where they will travel to Bluffton, South Carolina to play Michigan State.