NIACC men set to play in regional tournament

AMES – The NIACC men's golf team is set to play in the NJCAA Region XI tournament on Sunday and Monday at the Veenker Memorial Golf Course on the Iowa State campus.

The top three teams at the regional tournament qualify for the NJCAA Division II national tournament May 21-24 in Plymouth, Ind.

Veteran NIACC coach Chris Frenz, whose team qualified for last year's national tournament, says the 2019 version of the Trojans is ready for the 36-hole tournament.

"We know our region is really good this year and we feel that we are right in the mix," Frenz said. "All of them have had good tournaments this spring and they do a great job of helping each outher out to get the most of themselves both on and off the course."

Sophomore Ben Boerjan is the lone returner from last year's national tournament team. Boerjan's last time out on April 22, he won the Iowa Lakes Invitational with a 72.

"Ben is an outstanding competitor and has had a really solid sophomore season," Frenz said. "He was a good player last year too, obviously, but the confidence he gained from last year's national tournament finish has him motivated to be one of the best in the region this year.

"He's such a great team leader, as well, and has really given the freshmen someone to look up to."

Others playing for the Trojans at the regional tournament will be freshmen Austin Eckenrod, Jackson Hamlin, Matthew Heinemann and Zach Martin.

Frenz said the regional tournament won't be too big a stage for his newcomers.

"All of these guys come from successful individual or high school team programs," the coach said. "We have been focused on this tournament for the past two weeks and we're excited for the opportunity to compete against some very talented teams."

Frenz said there's not a clear-cut favorite for this season's regional tournament.

"This is going to be an extremely competitive year," Frenz said, "and we are looking forward to the challenge."