Mississippi Gulf Coast starts the 2017-18 golf season ranked No. 1 in the country.
The Bulldogs sit atop the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll for NJCAA Division II coming off its best-ever finish at the national championships last year.
“It’s just exciting to know that all our hard work has taken us there,” coach Tommy Snell said. “It’s a preseason poll, so you still have to play to keep that, but we’re excited about it.”
It’s the first time Gulf Coast has been ranked first in the poll. They previously received first-place votes and spent time at No. 2 last season.
Snell’s squad finished second in Mesa, Arizona, to a team playing on its home course. Colin Troxler, who is now playing at the University of Louisiana, won the individual national championship, the school’s sixth national title.
The Bulldogs open their fall schedule Sept. 11-12 in the Wallace State Fall Invitational in Cullman, Ala. The MGCCC Fall Invitational will be Oct. 16-17 at Grand Bear Golf Course in Saucier.
Snell has a talented group of freshman joining his squad. They’ve already begun qualifying for the Wallace State event.
“They know how competitive the sophomores are, so they know they have to go to work immediately,” he said. “It’s just like in the short qualifying we’ve had, three sophomores are 1-2-3. The freshmen, if they’re going to break in, they know they’re really going to have to work hard. And we’ve got some really good freshmen. They know.”
The MGCCC team features three former Coast prep standouts: East Central’s Wyatt Adkison, Hancock’s Colby Entriken and Gulfport’s Brandon Fontenot.