Disc Golf team qualifies for nationals
March 3, 2012 | Lynchburg, VA
t hasn't taken long for coach Steve Bowman and the Liberty University disk golf team to make their mark on the sport. In their first year as an organized club team, the Flames men's and women's teams have already qualified for the National Tournament and Saturday, March 3, hosted a National Qualifying Tournament.
The winner got an automatic bid in the forty-team field at the April 12 National Tournament in North Augusta, SC. The forty-team field is made up of teams from all over the country, most of whom have been doing this much longer than the Flames.
Though they had already qualified last semester at a different tournament in Morgantown, W.Va., the Flames saw this as a great opportunity to promote their program.
"This was just a great avenue for us to have this brand new course and brand new team and host an event of this caliber," coach Steve Bowman said. "This has been a tremendous blessing having all the crew from club sports helping us get everything set up and running. We've had the grounds crew out working this whole week and month."
The tournament consisted of this six-team field: West Virginia, Appalachian State, East Tennessee State, Eastern Carolina, UNC-Charlotte and, of course, Liberty Flames. Coach Bowman saw this tournament as a great opportunity to get his team experience in a big event, compared to when the team qualified for nationals this past October when only four players were able to participate.
Even though his team had already qualified, and some would say the team was taking it easy, coach Bowman likes where his team is right now.
"I feel like we're in a good place. We are coming together really well as a team and playing really well," Bowman said. Team captain Joses Merat echoes his the confidence in where the team is at heading into Nationals.
"I definitely feel we're headed in the right direction," Merat said. "It's going to be tough, there are some stacked teams that have professional coaches and players that travel year round, but I would definitely say we are determined to reach our goal as a team (and go from there)."
That goal being the automatic bid into next years tournament awarded to the top sixteen finishers in the tournament.
"I would love to see us make a run for that (top sixteen), and that would be great for us for being our first year as a team," Merat said.
With all this success in the team's first year in existence, it is safe to say that coach Bowman and the Flames are going to be making their presence known on the National stage for quite some time.