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Golf-Cavaliers 17th in final appearance
Golf-Cavaliers 17th in final appearance
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – In 1991, Lafayette Norwood began the process to resurrect the golf program at Johnson County Community College, and 23 years later he has taken the program to elite status in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I level. Last year, his team finished fourth in the nation, the highest finish in Johnson County history.
However, Johnson County’s participation in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, and the JCCC program itself, came to a conclusion at the Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa, last week. Earlier this year, JCCC decided to drop the program after the team's final tournament.
At this year’s championship, the Cavaliers finished 17th nationally, giving the program its 17th top 20 national finish in team history.
Individually, freshman Logan Henrichs was the team’s top performer, placing 26th overall with a 308 total. His 26th place finish is the ninth best recorded in Johnson County history. Henrichs shot in the 70s all four rounds, posting two rounds of 78 and two of 76. He finished the season with a stroke average of 79.3, and two top 10 finishes.
Team MVP Charlie Rinehart followed with a 54th place finish. He posted a 72-hole total of 317. His third round 74 was the lowest scored posted by the team in the tournament. Rinehart finished the year fifth overall in the conference point standings with 26.50, earning first-team all-conference honors. He also posted the lowest stroke average on the team at 75.5, tying the 11th best season at JCCC. Rinehart also recorded six top 10 finishes and two victories.
Tristan Abts tied for 70th with a 321 total. He fired two rounds in the 70s, opening with a 77 and closing with 78. He shot 84 and 82 in the second the third rounds. Abts finished the season second on the team with a stroke average of 77.8, and had three top-10 finishes.
Parker Miller came in 94th overall with a 332 total, scoring rounds of 78, 88, 85, and 81. He finished the season with a stroke average of 77.9, and recorded four top 10 finishes, including one victory. He also earned honorable mention all-conference honors placing 11th overall in the point standings.
The Cavaliers final competitor was Wade Hageman. He tied for 95th with a 333 total (81, 86, 85, 81). Hageman finished his season with a stroke average of 80.1, along with three top 10 finishes. He also earned honorable mention all-conference by finishing 13th in the point standings.
Once the final scorecard was turned in at Spirit Hollow, it closed the book on a historic and illustrious career for Norwood. In 23 seasons as golf coach, Norwood guided the team to 17 berths in the national tournament, including 14 straight from 1996-2009. His teams recorded nine top-15 and three top-10 finishes. He also captured the KJCCC title three times and led his teams to 42 tournament victories.
The list of individual honors won at JCCC under Norwood is just as impressive and includes three All-Americans and five NJCAA All-Tournament performers. Additionally, he has mentored 72 All-Jayhawk Conference selections, three individual conference champions, 30 All-Region/District performers, seven PING Golf Coaches Association All-District selections, three JCCC Male Athletes of the Year and five NJCAA Academic All-Americans.
“It has been a great pleasure,” Norwood said in a story by Matt Levins of The Hawk Eye. “I’ve had a lot of great players out there. Personally, and sadly, I hate to see this happen. It’s always a pleasure to talk about coaching. It’s always a pleasure talking about teaching. And it’s always a pleasure being around young people and share some things that you know that they can use the rest of their lives.”