From School Reports
The Meridian Community College golf team is in full
preparation for its biggest tournament of the season as it is set to compete on
the national stage. The Eagles are set to participate in the 2016 NJCAA
Division II National Championship Tournament on May 24-27 at Swan Lake Resort
in Plymouth, IN. The team will depart for the tournament on Friday and are
looking to build on an already stellar record in 2016. MCC played in 11 total
tournaments during the season and won four over that span, and most against some
of the top competition in the Southeast.
The Eagles will enter the tournament ranked fourth according
to the latest Golfstat.com rankings and several of the players on the roster
have had a superb season for MCC head coach Ronnie Key. MCC will send four of
its players to the National Tournament after finishing second in the Region 23
Tournament earlier this season to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The
Eagles had four of its players qualify for the National Tournament based on its
impressive scoring averages during the conference season and one of those
players is from the Meridian area. Freshman Lance Strickland, a former Lamar
standout, will lead the Eagles into the national event after claiming the 2016
MACJC Player of the Year Award. Strickland led the way with a 70.38 scoring
average in the six MACJC tournaments that he competed in during the season.
Strickland is currently ranked third in the nation among all players in the
Division II ranks heading into the tournament after winning two tournaments
during the season. Strickland was all named to nine All-Tournament Teams in 11
appearances for the Eagles during the season.
Sophomore Grant Renegar (McComb, MS- Parklane Academy) will
also look to lead the Eagles to victory and made the MACJC All-State First
Team, and is currently ranked 10th nationally among all players in
Division II. Renegar won a pair of tournaments during 2016 and was also named
to the All-Tournament Team on eight different occasions. Renegar has a 72.64
scoring average in 11 tournaments this season and qualified for the National
Tournament bases on his scoring average this season for the Eagles.
Freshman Camden Backel (Madison, MS- Madison Central) will
also look to make a splash at the event after having a solid first year for the
MCC golf program. Backel made the MACJC All-State Second Team and is currently
ranked 17th nationally among all Division II players. Backel placed
on four All-Tournament Teams during the season and finished with a 73.64
overall scoring average. Backel also qualified for the National Tournament with
his strong play at the Region 23 Tournament bases off his scores.
The final member of the MCC golf team to qualify for the
National Tournament was sophomore Clayton Gray (Baldwyn, MS- Baldwyn). Gray had
a 77.04 scoring average during the season and is ranked 75th
nationally. Gray also qualified for the National Tournament with his strong
performance at the Region 23 Tournament.
The MCC golf team also performed well in the classroom to
conclude the 2015-2016 academic year by posting a team GPA of 3.38.