SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo men’s golf Coach Ray Cisbani, released his squad’s spring 2011 championship schedule, it was announced Monday. The Lions will play in six regular season tournaments, in addition to the Sunshine State Conference Golf Championships in April. The young group is seeking its second-consecutive trip to the NCAA South Region Tournament.
The Argonaut Invitational, hosted by the University of West Florida, highlights the early portion of the schedule, while the difficult Barry Invitational is the last regular season stop before conference tournament action.
The men’s golf NCAA Super Regional is set for May 2-4, with the NCAA Finals to follow, May 17-20, in Florence, Ala.
Building off of an impressive 2009-10 campaign, the Lions claimed four team tournament titles, including a pair of three-shot victories at the Spring Fling Intercollegiate and the Treasure Coast Classic. A senior laden group last year, Cisbani’s men finished in the top-10 on 11 different occasions, plus a pair of tournament wins by former Lion Mark McGuire.
In total, the Lions lost six student-athletes from last year’s group, including McGuire, Cole Cisbani, and NCAA individual finals participant JP Albuquerque. Still, the Lions are looking to achieve even greater heights with the addition of five impressive newcomers to the team, led by Mark Sabatino.
Co-captains, sophomore Nick Brothers and senior Tom Lynn, bring big tournament experience and low scores to the developing group. The team will head into the spring with four freshman, two sophomores, three juniors, and one senior.
Having a rather difficult schedule and a young group to contend with, Coach Cisbani is in the opportune position to develop his youthful talent, while succeeding on the course at the same time, “We have some very good talent on this team. I know my veterans will be critical in helping them get caught up to speed with where we want to go, while growing as successful student-athletes.” He continued, “I have expectations for this team and know they can achieve each of their goals if they go out and just play. I look forward to this season.”
The squad will put their skill and practice to the test in early February when they travel to Melbourne, Fla. to take part in the Titan Winter Invitational, Feb.7-8, hosted by Brevard Community College. A trip to Valdosta, Ga. is up next for the Lions when they compete in the Thomas University Invitational, Feb.21-22, at the Kinderlou Forest Golf Course. The Argonaut Invitational, Feb.28-Mar. 1, rounds out the month as the Lions will travel to Pensacola, Fla. and the Pensacola Country Club to partake in one of the most difficult tournament on their schedule.
The month of March see Saint Leo returning to a familiar spot, the Mission Inn Resort and the Spring Fling Intercollegiate. The Lions posted their first team victory of the 2010 championship season at the St. John’s University hosted event and will look to make an impressive second showing. Shortly after, a yet to be determined tournament will take place on March 21-22.
All preparation leads to the month of April where Saint Leo will compete in two of the most difficult challenges on their schedule.
First, the Lions will head to Miami, Fla. to participate in their final regular season tournament at the Buccaneer Invitational hosted by Barry University, Apr. 4-5.
Finally, Saint Leo, who finished sixth-of-nine teams in last season’s SSC Golf Championships, will get another crack at the top in the conference when they journey to Boca Raton, Fla. to battle for the conference crown. The SSC’s will be held on April 16-17 and will take place from the Boca Country Club.
If all goes according to Cisbani’s plans, the Lions will be knocking on the door of their second NCAA South Region berth in team history.
Click here for the full schedule.