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Men's Golf

    March 29, 2021
    Blake Mullen is 2-for-2 in his first full golf season at Kansas City Kanas Community College. A sophomore from Olathe East, Mullen came from four shots back to tie for medalist honors in the Bethel Spring Invitational Saturday and Sunday. The comeback helped KCKCC vault into second place in the six-team tournament. The first 18 holes were played at the par 71 Hesston Municipal Golf Park; the final 18 at the par 72 Sand Creek Station in Newton. Mullen’s first place tie came on the heels of his win in the Evangel Spring Invitational in Springfield, Mo., March 8-9. The Blue Devils resumed action Monday, playing in a Jayhawk Conference designated tournament at Colbert Hills in Manhattan. Mullen was in fourth place and four strokes back after an opening 4-over par 75 at Hesston Saturday but roared down the stretch with the tournament’s best round on Sunday, a 2-under 70 at Sand Creek Station. The 70 enabled Mullen to share medalist honors with Bryan Cowan of Fort Hays, who had rounds of 71 and 74. “The second day Blake played near perfect golf with just one bogey,” said KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. “On Saturday, he had 35 putts in shooting 75 but could have posted a 67 if the makeable putts had gone in.” Four Blue Devils finished in the Top 12 in medalist play led by freshman Carson Towey of Bishop Carroll, who tied for eighth thanks to a final round 74 after an opening 82. “Solid rounds for a freshman,” said Shrader. Sophomores Keegan Ellington of Andover Central tied for 10th (79-78-157) and Mark Towey finished 12th (79-79-158), Freshman Colby Unruh of Overland Park tied for 16th (80-81-161), Jacob Hall of Tonganoxie was alone in 18th (84-78-162); and Dyland Freund of Cheney was 24th (85-82-167). “We played both Hesston and Sand Creek without practice rounds but were able to keep the ball in play,” said Shrader. “It was also our only dry rounds of play this spring. As a team, we were able to shoot some rounds in the 70’s.” Third after the opening round, the Blue Devils turned in the day’s best round of 301 to climb into second place (313-301-614) behind Fort Hays State (300-305-605). Kansas Wesleyan was third (617) followed by two Kansas Wesleyan teams and Hesston.
    March 11, 2021
    Led by Blake Mullen, Kansas City Kansas Community College got the 2021 golf season off to an outstanding start. A sophomore from Olathe East, Mullen won the Evangel University Spring Invitational championship as the Blue Devils finished a solid fourth in the 10-team tournament made up mainly of four-year colleges and universities. Mullen trailed Central Methodist’s Matias Baccola by two shots and Evangel’s Jake Brown by one with an opening round 2-over par 73 but charged from behind on the final round with a par 71 (73-71-144) and one stroke in front of both Baccola and Brown for medalist honors. The tourney was played at Fremont Hills Country Club near Springfield, Mo., Monday and Tuesday. “Blake’s putting was sold and he played well enough that he probably could have finished 3 or 4 under par were it not for a couple of holes including an 8 and on a par 5,” said KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. “It was very windy and the course played tough, With Bermuda fairways the ball kept rolling off the side of the fairway.” Three other Blue Devils golfers finished in the Top 20 led by Carson Towey, a freshman from Andover Central, who tied for seventh with rounds of 78-76-154. Cheney sophomore Dylan Freund tied for 17th with a 78-83-161 and freshman Colby Unruh of Overland Park tied for 20th at 86-80-166. “It was a good learning experience for our two freshmen,” said Shrader. “We had to designate five players for scoring and our other three players played as individuals and as a coach I didn’t pick the best five. And two players were hurt that effected their scores, Keegan Ellington and Kellen Welsh.” Jacob Hall of Tonganoxie tied for 24th (86-82-168), Mark Towey of Andover Central shared 29th (87-83-170) and Kellen Welsh of Olathe West was 50th (92-99-191) despite a recurring wrist injury. Ellington was unable to finish because of injury. Host Evangel took the team title with a 36-hole total of 610 followed by Kirkwood Community College, 612; Central Methodist, 619; KCKCC, 632; Graceland, 671; College of the Ozarks, 678; Dordt College, 686; Westminster, 689; Evangel B, 701- and Crowley Ridge College, 718. The Blue Devils return to action May 22-23 when they’ll compete in the Washburn Invitational in Topeka. It’s the only tournament Shrader will be limited to five players.
  • Promising Freshmen carry Blue Devil Golf hopes
    September 05, 2019
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s young golf team is going to be thrust into the thick of competitive college golf in a hurry. One sophomore and five freshmen will open the Blue Devils’ fall schedule when they’ll compete in Bethany College’s 54-hole Swedes Invitational Monday and Tuesday at Salina Municipal Golf Course. “It will be an adventure for us,” says veteran KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. “All five have good swings and have played high school golf but it will be a new experience playing against four-year colleges with juniors and seniors. I’m sure their eyes will be a little wider.” Hastings, Bethel, York, Kansas Wesleyan, Bethany and perennial Jayhawk Conference power Barton County Community College will join KCKCC in the opener. Cam Riley, a sophomore from Liberal, is the lone returnee from last year’s team. “Cam had a good first season,” says Shrader. “Very steady, kept the ball in play, shot in the mid-70’s.” Four of the five freshmen have state tournament experience including two state champions, Keegan Ellington of Andover Central and Mark Towey of Wichita Bishop Carroll. Ellington won the Class 5A state championship as a junior in leading Andover Central to back-to-back state titles in 2018-19 while Towey won the Class 4A state championship last spring. Jacob Hall of Tonganoxie fired a one-over par 73 at Sunflower Hills to qualify for the state tournament as a junior while Dylan Freund was a member of a very competitive Cheney high school team that gained the Class 3A state tournament. A wrist injury suffered during the football season limited the playing time of Kellen Welsh of Olathe West. Welsh’s older brother, Harry, played for the Blue Devils last season. “Like all freshmen, these young men need to get out and play competitive golf,” says Shrader. “Weather did not do them any favors this past spring. Rain pushed state tournaments back twice and forced them to be moved. On the plus side, it’s a team that’s working hard and really competing on the practice stations. Obviously with just six players we’ll be able to take all six to all but one of the tournaments.” The Blue Devils will be competing almost exclusively against four-year college and university teams in their six-tournament fall schedule which will include hosting the Blue Devil Invitational at Dub’s Dread Oct. 7-8. The 2019 Fall golf schedule: Sept. 8-10 – Bethany College’s Swedes Invitational. Salina Municipal. Sept. 15-17 – Evangel Invitational, Rivercut, Springfield, MO. Sept. 23-24 – Ottawa Invitational, Eagle Bend, Lawrence, Sept. 29-Oct. 1 – Culver Invitational, Porta Cima, Sunrise Beach, MO. Oct. 7-8 – Blue Devil Invitational, Dub’s Dread Oct. 13-15 – Tabor Invitational, Sandcreek Station, Newton. PHOTO IDENT Kansas City Kansas Community College’s golf team of (from left) Kellen Welsh, Keegan Ellington, Dylan Freund, Cam Riley, Mark Towey and Jacob Hall will open the season in the Swedes Invitational in Salina Monday and Tuesday. (KCKCC Photo by Gary Shrader)
  • 2018-19 KCKCC Golf Team may be best in Shrader's 18 years
    September 07, 2018
    Gary Shrader has had a lot of outstanding golf teams in his 18 years as head coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College but the best may come during the 2018-19 season. “From top to bottom this may be my best group of guys,” says Shrader, who has sent nine teams to NJCAA national tournaments along with two or three qualifiers in three other nationals. Two members of last year’s national tournament team, Zach Miller of Greeley, Kan., and Evin Wheaton of Leavenworth Immaculata, and Harry Welsh of Olathe Northwest return to lead the way for the Blue Devils. They will be joined by freshmen Garrett Clark of KCK, Garrett Scott of Sabetha, Aiden McClellan of Tonganoxie, Cameron Riley of Liberal and Bryce Farlin of Maryville, Mo. The Blue Devils will open their season Friday in the Southwestern Iowa Invitational in Creston. A one-day event, Wheaton and Welsh will be joined by Scott, McClellan and Riley in the opener. Both Clark and Miller will miss the opener to attend the wedding Friday night of former teammate Micah Morris. All eight of the Blue Devils will be in action Tuesday and Wednesday when they compete in the Ottawa University Invitational at Eagle Bend in Lawrence. The Ottawa tournament should give Shrader his first in-depth look at his squad. “Almost every day we’ve had rain or lightning so we’ve not had a lot of real practice time,” says Shrader. The national tournament veterans, Miller and Wheaton, are expected to lead the way along with the two freshmen Garrett’s – Scott and Clark. The battle for the fifth starting spot shapes up between Welsh, an engineering major whose academic studies cut into his practice time, and the freshmen Riley and McClellan. “I think Clark and Scott will be in the thick of every match and that as a team, we’re capable of having five scores in the 70’s,” says Shrader. “Scott is a lefthander who can take it low while Garrett Clark is capable of going real low. Riley has a lot of exposure from summer tournaments; McClellan has a very good swing. They’ve all been working hard. The early tournaments are good opportunities for them. “I think we’re skilled enough; whether or not we’re mature enough I’m not sure but eventually we will be. We need them to keep the ball in play and leave the driver in the bag when necessary.” The Blue Devils will compete in seven tournaments this fall capped by the KCKCC Fall Invitational at Dub’s Dread. The fall schedule will take them to two new courses that are among the best in the Midwest – the Culver Stockton Invitational at Porta Cima at the Lake of the Ozarks and the district preview at Wildhorse Golf Club in Gothenburg, Neb. 2018 KCKCC Fall Golf Schedule Sept. 7 – Southwestern Iowa, Crestmor GC, Creston Sept. 11 – Ottawa Invitational, Eagle Bend, Lawrence Sept. 16-18 – Evangel Invitational, Rivercut, Springfield, Mo. Sept. 23-25 – Missouri Valley Invitational, Marshall, Mo. Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Culver-Stockton Invitational, Porta Cima, Sunrise Beach, Mo. Oct. 7-9 – District Preview, Wildhorse GC, Gothenburg, Neb. Oct. 15-16 – KCKCC Invitational, Dub’s Dread PHOTO IDENT The 2018-19 golf squad at Kansas City Kansas Community College will be made up of (from left) Garrett Scott, Zach Mille, Evin Wheaton, Garrett Clark, Harry Welsh, Cameron Riley, Bryce Farlyn and Aidan McClellan. (KCKCC Photo by Gary Shrader)
  • KCKCC Golfers stun International power
    May 09, 2018
    A group of gutty Kansas kids plus one from Kansas City Kansas Community College did something no one thought possible Tuesday – knocking off a couple of Oklahoma golf powers to earn a berth in the NJCAA Division II national tournament. Trailing a Murray State team made up totally of international players by 11 shots after one round, the Blue Devils surged to a one-shot lead after two rounds Monday and then held off the Aggies by two shots on Tuesday in the District F tournament played at The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow, Okla. A perennial national power, Tyler Junior College out of Tyler, Tex., won the tournament with an 880 total on three sub-300 rounds while KCKCC edged Murray State 302-303 Tuesday for a 902 total. Murray State was third at 904 with Seminole State fourth at 914 after shooting the final day’s lowest round of 293. Allen County was fifth (980) and Coffeyville sixth (994). “Unbelievable,” KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader said of the final round. “We’d go ahead by a stroke and then they’d go ahead, it was that way all day long. It was an incredibly tough golf course, 190 and 220-yard par 3’s; 440-yard par 4’s; legitimate three-shot par 5’s so not a lot of opportunities for birdies.” While the scores of only four golfers are counted each round, all five Blue Devils played key roles in the win. Sophomore Bobby Armstrong of Wichita Bishop Carroll led the way, finishing third with a 219 total on rounds of 74, 73 and 74 with Micah Morris fifth (76-73-75-225). The lone non-Kansan, Morris grew up in Guthrie, Okla., but has lived in Kansas City, Kan., the last four years. Zach Miller, a freshman from Greeley, Kan., finished 11th (76-76-77-229) and Wichita Maize South sophomore Trevor Bauer was 17th (77-76-79-232). Evin Wheaton, a freshman from Leavenworth Immaculata, tied for 24th (83-84-76-243) but played a huge role in the Blue Devil win. His 4-over par 76 in the final round was three shots better than Bauer’s 79 and provided the three shots that was the difference between second and third. “A total team effort,” said Shrader. The second place finish sends KCKCC to the NJCAA Division II national tournament at Glenlakes Golf Club in Foley, Ala., May 22-24. It will be the 23rd appearance for a Blue Devil team in the national tourney. Two years ago, KCKCC finished ninth, the third best finish in history. An all-time best fifth in 2015 with a team made up of all Kansas players living in the Kansas City area, the Blue Devils were also sixth in Division I in 1995, the year Robert Russell won the national tournament with an eagle on the final hole. This year was especially gratifying because in beating out Murray State, the Blue Devils defeated a team with a seven-player roster made up of two team members from England and one each from Northern England, Belgium, Scotland, Cyprus and Cape Town, South Africa. Ranked third in the nation a year ago, Murray State is located in Tishomingo, Okla. PHOTO IDENT Rallying from 11 strokes back, the KCKCC team of (from left) Bobby Armstrong, Micah Morris, Zach Miller, Trevor Bauer and Evin Wheaton qualified for the NJCAA national golf tournament for the 23rd time. (KCKCC Photo by Gary Shrader)
  • Big KCKCC Golf finish falls short in Ottawa Invitational
    September 13, 2017
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s golf team turned in the best round of the Ottawa Invitational tournament Tuesday but it wasn’t quite enough to overtake the host team. Trailing Ottawa University by 15 strokes after Monday’s first round, the Blue Devils chopped 11 shots off the lead to finish four shots back in the 11-team tournament made up of nine four-year colleges and universities and two community colleges. The meet was played at Eagle Bend in Lawrence. Led by Trevor Bauer and Bobby Armstrong, the Blue Devils closed with a 292 Tuesday after an opening 311 for a 603 total as Ottawa made its opening round of 296 stand up with a 603 finish and a 599 total. Park University finished third at 609 followed by Oklahoma Wesleyan, 626; Kansas Wesleyan, 634; Baker, 639; Sterling, 650; Haskell Indian Nation, 652; Coffeyville Community College, 653; Southwestern, 660; and Ottawa’s B team, 663. A sophomore from Wichita Maize South, Bauer turned in the tournament’s best round Tuesday, a sizzling 4-under 68. Seven shots back of medalist Doug Radley of Ottawa after a 78 the first day, the 68 vaulted Bauer into second place at 146, just three shots back of Radley. Armstrong, a sophomore from Wichita Bishop Carroll, also made a big comeback, firing a one-under 71 for Monday’s second best round. Out in 79 Monday, Armstrong tied for fourth at 150. Evin Wheaton, a freshman from Leavenworth Immaculata, also cracked the Top 10 in medalist competition with a pair of 76’s for a tie for ninth. “Bauer and Armstrong played very well,” said KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. “They had the only sub-par rounds of the day and my one true freshman, Evin Wheaton, played very solid.” Five Blue Devils finished in the top 20 as sophomores Micah Morris (79-77-156) and Jack Flynn of Lawrence Free State (78-78-156) tied for 16th while freshman Zach Miller of Greeley tied for 24th (79-78-157) and Olathe Northwest freshman Harry Welsh finished 32nd (81-79-160). “All seven of our players broke 80 Tuesday which was very encouraging,” said Shrader. “I’m pretty excited about this group. I think it will just get better – as long as it doesn’t get caught up in early success and uses good course management.” KCKCC will next compete in the Evangel Invitational in Springfield, Mo., next Monday and Tuesday. PHOTO IDENT Firing the best round of the Ottawa Invitational Tuesday, KCKCC’s golf team of (from left) Zach Miller, Evin Wheaton, Trevor Bauer, Harry Welch, Bobby Armstrong and Micah Morris finished runnerup in the 11-team tournament. (KCKCC Photo by Gary Shrader)
  • Proven Veterans to lead promising KCKCC Golf Team
    September 07, 2017
    With a pair of proven veterans to lead the way, Kansas City Kansas Community College will open the 2017 golf season Monday and Tuesday in the Ottawa Invitational. Micah Morris, who became the first Blue Devil to win a designated tournament in 10 years last season, and Bobby Armstrong, who qualified for the 2016 NJCAA Division II national tournament, return to lead the way. A native of Coyle, Okla., and a redshirt freshman, Morris won last year’s first designated tournament at Colbert Hills in Manhattan to earn first team All-Jayhawk Conference honors. More recently, he finished runnerup in the 2017 Wyandotte County Open. Armstrong, a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, was a second team All-Jayhawk pick. A third all-conference pick, Nick Wagner of Wichita Maize South, will become eligible for spring play the second semester. They’ll be joined by sophomore Trevor Bauer, who transferred from Hutchinson; and freshmen Zach Miller of Anderson High in Greeley, KS.; Evin Wheaton of Leavenworth Immaculata; Harry Welch of Olathe Northwest; and Jack Flynn of Lawrence Free State. The Kansas Class 1A state champion, Wheaton is the only true freshman of the newcomers. Miller red-shirted a year ago with the Blue Devils while Flynn and Welch each spent one academic year at the University of Kansas before transferring to KCKCC. “We’re in a good situation because all seven are capable of competing at the college level,” says Coach Gary Shrader. “I’ll be able to take all seven to Ottawa which will give me an idea on the five I’ll be taking the next week. I want to get all seven a chance to play this fall.” Heading into the opener, the competition is wide open. “Zach Miller was with us last year and Trevor Bauer was well-coached at Hutch so they’re right in the mix,” said Shrader. “Jack Flynn and Evin Wheaton have been the biggest surprises. Flynn does a great job of keeping the ball in play and Wheaton has shown he can compete at this level.” A heavy schedule of afternoon classes has limited the practice time for Harry Welch, who is on track to get a degree in engineering but will be given every opportunity to vie for a starting berth. The Blue Devils will play in seven tournaments this fall including the KCKCC Invitational which will be hosted at Dub’s Dread Oct. 16-17. “I think we have a chance to be pretty good,” says Shrader. 2017 KCKCC Fall Golf Schedule Sept. 11-12 – Ottawa (Eagle Bend) Sept. 18-19 – Evangel (Springfield, Rivercut) Sept. 25-26 – Missouri Valley (Marshall, Indian Foothills) Oct. 2-3 – Kansas Wesleyan (Salina CC)\ Oct. 9-10 – William Woods (Fulton, Mo.) Oct. 16-17 – KCKCC Invitational (Dub’s Dread) Oct. 23-24 – Park University (National/Deuce) 2017 KCKCC Golf Roster Micah Morris So. Coyle, Okla. Bobby Armstrong So. Wichita, KS. (Bishop Carroll) Nick Wagner So. Wichita, KS. (Maize South) Trevor Bauer So. Wichita, KS. (Maize South) Zach Miller Fr. Greeley, KS. (Anderson High) Harry Welch Fr. Olathe (Northwest) Jack Flynn Fr. Lawrence (Free State) Evin Wheaton Fr. Leavenworth (Immaculata) PHOTO IDENT A lineup of (from left) Harry Welch, Nick Wagner, Jack Flynn, Bobby Armstrong, Evin Wheaton, Trevor Bauer, Zach Miller and Micah Morris will represent KCKCC’s 2017-18 golf team. (KC
  • Morris first KCKCC Golfer to win Jayhawk Tourney since 2006
    March 28, 2017
    Kansas City Kansas Community College has its first Jayhawk Conference golf medalist in more than a decade. The only golfer in a field of 46 players to shoot par, Blue Devil freshman Micah Morris’ round of 73-71-144 in inclement weather at Colbert Hills in Manhattan Monday took individual honors in the first Jayhawk Designated Tournament of 2017. He becomes the first KCKCC golfer to win a designated conference tournament since Garrett Smith in 2006. “Really solid on a rain-saturated tough golf course,” KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader assessed Morris’ performance. “What I was impressed with was that it was chilly, it was damp and they played in carts for 36 holes. When you’re riding you don’t have the time to gather your thoughts on your next shots and he shot par. To me that was very impressive. I was super proud.” Shrader said a shot between two rocks in a hazard played at an unplayable lie cost Morris a sub-par tournament. “It misted most of the day but it was not the moisture in the air but the course was so saturated from rain the day and night before that really made it play long and tough,” said Shrader. Only two other golfers came within four strokes of Morris. Jakkapat Horsangchai of Barton finished a stroke back at 145 with Nick Nagy of Dodge City third at 147. Three other golfers, Dodge City’s Witchayapat Sinsrang, Barton’s Thitipong Homruen and Hutchinson’s Wil Arnold, tied for fourth at 149 on the challenging Colbert course that played at 7,049 yards. Morris’ final round one-under par 71 pulled the Blue Devils into a tie for third place with Barton County at 609 behind Dodge City (595) and Hutchinson (604). Garden City was fifth at 635 followed by Independence (649), Coffeyville (654) and Allen County (655). Sophomore Jeremy Dunham of Derby tied for seventh at 76-74-150 with Marc McClain of Bonner Springs tied for 19th at 80-77-157. Freshman Bobby Armstrong finished alone in 23rd with a 79-79-158. Nick Wagner (82-82-164) tied for 34th and Evan Shartzer shared 36th (83-82-165). The only non-Kansan on the Blue Devil team, Morris was one of 13 children home-schooled in Guthrie, Okla. He came to Kansas City, Kan., two years ago this coming summer to work for an uncle, Jerry Clark. “He had a cousin, Garrett Clark, and they started playing but being home-schooled he had never played competitive high school golf until he came to KCKCC,” said Shrader. Morris was red-shirted last season. “That’s what makes all this so impressive was Monday was his first exposure to Jayhawk Conference golf.” The third place tie came on the heels of a KCKCC championship in the Graceland Spring Invitational at Mozingo Lake in Maryville Friday and a second place finish in a snow-shortened Ottawa Tournament a week earlier. The Blue Devils are back in action this weekend in the Bethel Invitational which will be played at Hesston Saturday and Sand Creek in Newton on Sunday. PHOTO IDENT KCKCC freshman Micah Morris launches a drive on the 600-yard seventh hole at Colbert Hills in Manhattan Monday on the way to becoming the first Blue Devil to win medalist honors in a Jayhawk Conference Designated Tournament since 2006. (KCKCC Photo by Gary Shrader)
  • KCKCC Golfers Ranked No. 8 in final Fall Poll
    December 01, 2016
    Kansas City Kansas Community College will enter the 2017 spring golf season ranked No. 8 in the NJCAA Division II golf rankings as compiled by It was the first time for KCKCC in the fall national rankings. The high ranking, however, does not come without a high price. Through gerrymandering of the teams in Region VI, the Blue Devils will now be now paired in the same region with the top two ranked teams in Division II – No. 1 Tyler (Tex.) and No. 2 Murray State of Tishomingo, Okla., along with another Oklahoma power, Seminole. The remainder of the seven-team Region VI will include Allen County, Coffeyville, Independence and KCKCC. The Blue Devils earned the No. 8 ranking with two firsts, a second, third and fifth in five fall tournaments. In addition, B teams recorded fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes. KCKCC won its own Blue Devil Invitational played at Rolling Meadows in Junction City and tied for first with perennial Jayhawk Conference power Barton County in the Coffeyville Invitational played in Bartlesville, Okla. No other community college team finished ahead of the Blue Devils in a schedule made up of mainly of four-year programs such as Missouri Valley, Morningside and Park University. The fall schedule enabled KCKCC head coach Gary Shrader to play his entire 10-man squad in four of the five tournaments. “It not only gave everyone a chance to show their competitive skills but I was able to use the tournaments as qualifiers for the next tournament,” said Shrader. Six Blue Devils finished in the Top 10 in Region VI this fall led by Derby sophomore Jeremy Durham, who was No. 1 with a stroke average of 75.71. He was followed by Blue Valley North sophomore Evan Shartzer, who was third (76.86); sophomore Marc McLain of Bonner Springs and Wichita freshman Bobby Armstrong, who tied for sixth (77.57); freshman Micah Morris of Guthrie, Okla., ninth (78.00); and Nick Wagner, a freshman from Wichita Maize South 10th (78.71). Rounding out the 10-man squad were sophomores Matt Thayne and Jack Barnhart, both of Hesston; and freshmen Zach Miller of Greely and Cody Foster of Shawnee Heights in Topeka. As a team, the Blue Devils averaged 75.86 strokes per round. “This is a very competitive and evenly matched squad with high hopes for next spring,” said Shrader.
  • Blue Devil Golfers Fourth in Missouri Valley Invitational
    October 05, 2016
    Missouri Valley was a less than generous host in its 5-team invitational golf tournament Tuesday, taking first and second places. Kansas City Kansas Community College took fourth with its five-man A team and seventh with a B team in the tournament played at Indian Foothills Golf Club in Marshall. Missouri Valley’s A team took first with a 289 total with its B team second at 299. William Penn’s A team nipped KCKCC for third 300-302 followed by Graceland A, 309; Missouri Valley C, 315; and KCKCC B and Central Methodist A, both at 329. Sophomores Jeremy Dunham, Evan Shartzer and Matt Thayne each posted 74’s to lead the Blue Devil A team. Sophomore Marc McClain and freshman Micah Morris both had 80’s. Freshman Bobby Armstrong paced the KCKCC B team with a 74 while Nick Wagner added an 80, Cody Foster 86 and Jack Barnhart 89. On Monday, KCKCC played Missouri Valley in a Ryder Cup format, tying one match, losing three matches one down and one 5 and 4. The Blue Devils will close out the fall season in the Park University Invitational to be played Oct. 17-18 at The National and the Deuce in Parkville.
  • KCKCC Golfers 2nd in Opener
    September 15, 2016
    Kansas City Kansas Community College got the 2016 golf season off to an outstanding start, placing six golfers in the top 14 finishers in the Ottawa Invitational at Eagle Bend in Lawrence Monday and Tuesday. The well-balanced effort earned the Blue Devils a second place finish in the 9-team tournament otherwise made up of four-year colleges and universities. Morningside College of Sioux City, Iowa, took top honors with rounds of 292 and 291 for a 7-over par 583. KCKCC also broke 300 in both rounds with 299 and 296 for a 595 total. Kansas Wesleyan was a distant third at 609 followed by Bethany, 615; Ottawa, 616; Bethel, 634’ Avila, 639; Haskell Indian Nation, 678; and Bethel’s B team, 681. Sophomore Jeremy Dunham of Derby (75-74-149) and freshman Nick Wagner of Wichita Maise (74-75-149) tied for fifth to lead the Blue Devils. Sophomore Evan Shartzer of Blue Valley North (76-74-150) was another stroke back in a tie for ninth while freshman Bobby Armstrong of Wichita Bishop Carroll (76-75-151) was yet another stroke back in a tie for 11th. Sophomore Marc McClain of Bonner Springs (80-73-153) and freshman Micah Morris of Guthrie, Okla. (74-79-153) tied for 14th place while freshman Cody Foster of Shawnee Heights (90-83-173) finished 48th and sophomore Jack Barnhart of Hesston (92-86-178) finished 54th. The Blue Devils will return to action Monday and Tuesday when they compete in the Coffeyville Invitational in Bartlesville, Okla.
  • KCKCC Golfers Rally for 9th, Third Best National Finish Ever
    May 31, 2016
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s golf team rebounded from its worst round of the 2016 NJCAA Division II national golf tournament with its best round for the Blue Devils’ third highest finish ever. Seventh at the halfway mark, the Blue Devils fell all the way to 11th with a third round four-man total of 314 before knocking 20 strokes off that score on the final round with a 294 total and 1215 for the four-day tournament and a ninth place finish. In the national tournament for the 22nd time, the ninth place finish is only the third time the Blue Devils have finished in the Top 10. The Blue Devils had an all-time best Division II finish last year when they finished fifth and were sixth in the 1995 Division I tournament when Robert Russell captured the national championship with an eagle on the final hole. “We were seventh going into the third round and I think felt we needed to make something happen and try to throw in some birdies and got in wrong places,” said Coach Gary Shrader. “Plus the pin placements were pretty difficult. So that night I told them a Top 10 finish for a bunch of Kansas kids against a bunch of international players would be pretty good and they went out and did it.” Four KCKCC golfers turned in their best performances in the final round in the tournament played on the par 72 Black Course at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind. Olathe East sophomore Zach Spencer and Hesston freshman Matt Thayne were each one-over-par at 73 in the final round while Newton sophomore Dalton Ayres and Derby freshman Jeremy Dunham were both two over at 74. Spencer finished in a tie for 37th at 76-75-78-73-302, Ayres deadlocked for 47th at 75-77-79-74-305 and Dunham shared 52nd with a 77-74-81-74-306. Thayne tied for 72nd at 85-75-80-73-313 with SM Northwest sophomore Colton Allen another stroke back in 76th with a 78-81-77-78-314. South Mountain Community College of Phoenix, Ariz., easily pulled away to win the championship, finishing 14 under par with a 1138 total. Kirkwood (Iowa) and Tyler (Tex.) deadlocked for third at 1158 in the 20-team tournament. PHOTO IDENT Shooting their best round of the tournament, the KCKCC golf team of (from left Matt Thayne, Jeremy Dunham, Dalton Ayres, Colton Allen and Zach Spencer finished ninth in the NJCAA Division II national golf tournament, only the third Top 10 finish ever. (KCKCC Photo by Gary Shrader)
  • KCKCC's All-Kansas Golf Team headed back to Nationals
    May 09, 2016
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s golfers proved to be the toughest of the tough in NJCAA Division II regional tournament play. Playing at Sycamore Ridge, one of the state’s toughest courses made even more difficult by the weather, the Blue Devils blew away the field in earning a berth in the NJCAA Division II national tournament for the 10th time in Gary Shrader’s 16 years as head coach. An all-time best fifth in last year’s national tournament, the Blue Devils swept the first three places in medalist competition in winning the 54-hole tourney by 36 shots with a 954 total. Coffeyville was second (990) followed by Allen County (1014) and Independence (1067). Just as they did in finishing fifth in the nation last year, the Blue Devils did it with an all-Kansas lineup. Sophomore Colton Allen of SM Northwest took medalist honors with all three rounds in the 70’s (73-78-76) for a 227 total. Olathe East sophomore Zach Spencer took runnerup honors (78-79-81-238) with freshman Jeremy Durham of Derby overcoming seven out-of-bound shots on the opening round to take third (89-78-79–244). Freshman Matt Thayne of Hesston (86-84-81-251) and sophomore Dalton Ayres of Newton (85-84-83-252) rounded out the KCKCC scoring. “You talk about Colbert Hills and Sycamore Ridge, which was designed by Jim Colbert, as being two of the toughest courses in the state and then you play Sycamore Ridge at 7,000 yards in the wind and wet because of rain the day before, it’s really tough,” said Shrader. So tough that there were only two rounds in the 70’s the first day. “I was really concerned after the first few holes because we had guys already four or five over,” said Shrader. “I was wondering if it was going to be that way all day but Colton Allen really played steady golf, especially with a lot of pressure because we had guys behind him going high.” The regional championship advances KCKCC to the NJCAA Division II championship May 24-27 at Swan Lake, Ind., which is located about 40 south of South Bend. PHOTO IDENT (regional champs) A KCKCC golf team made up of (from left) Matt Thayne, Dalton Ayres, Colton Allen, Jeremy Dunham and Zach Spencer will be competing in the NJCAA Division II national tournament after winning the regional championship by 36 shots. (KCKCC Photo)
  • KCKCC Golfers finish sixth in tough Bethel Spring Invitational
    April 08, 2016
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s golf team took on its biggest challenge of the season to date and came away with a sixth place finish in the Bethel Spring Invitational Saturday and Sunday. “We beat some pretty good schools in a 22-team field,” said KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. Dodge City, one of just three community colleges in the field, fired a 13 over par 585 to take top honors in the 36-hole tournament played at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton. St. Gregory’s University was second (599) followed by Southwestern (605), Dakota Wesleyan (607), Midland University (608) and KCKCC and Bethel College, both 618. Newton sophomore Dalton Ayres led the Blue Devils, winning a scorecard playoff for fifth place with rounds of 71-76-147. Derby freshman Jeremy Dunham tied for 28th in the 120-player field with a 77-75-152 with Olathe East sophomore Zach Spencer 53rd (79-80-159); SM Northwest Colton Allen 59th (80-80-160); and Hesston freshman Matt Thayne 105th (89-83-172). The Blue Devils returned to Jayhawk Conference designated tournament play at Cottonwood Hills in Hutchinson Sunday through Tuesday.
  • Blue Devil Golfers 8th after winning Ottawa Spring Invitational
    April 08, 2016
    With one championship already under its belt this spring, the Kansas City Kansas Community College finished eighth this past weekend in a Graceland Spring Invitational dominated by four-year colleges and universities. The Blue Devils got the spring season off to a rousing start by winning the 8-team Ottawa Spring Invitational played at Eagle Bend Golf Course near Lawrence. Jeremy Dunham, a freshman from Derby, too medalist honors in the 27-hole tournament with a 70-37-107, two shots ahead of Jacob Rice of the University of Jameston. All five Blue Devils finished in the top 20 in a field of 60 golfers as sophomore Zach Spencer of Olathe East tied for eighth (72-41-113) and sophs Dalton Ayres (79-37-116) of Newton and Colton Allen (74-42-116) of SM Northwest and freshman Matt Thayne (74-42) of Hesston all finished in a tie for 18th. The Blue Devils finished with a 447 total, one shot in front of Des Moines Area Community College. Jamestown (451) was third followed by Ottawa (452), Graceland (466), Kansas Wesleyan (471), Bethel (473), Haskell Indian Nation (475) and Avila (484). An all-day rain marred the opening round of the Graceland Invitational as the Blue Devils finished with rounds 323 and 321 for a 644 total in the 14-team tournament. Lindenwood won the even with a 607 total followed by Graceland (616), Central College (617), Lindenwood B (618) and William Penn University (621). Thayne led the Blue Devils, finishing in a tie for 18th with a 79-78-157) with Dunham 27th (82-78-16) and Spencer 39th (80-84-164). Ayers (82-83-165) and Allen (83-82) finished in a tie for 42nd.
  • KCKCC National Champion Robert Russell Into NJCAA Golf Hall of Fame
    February 24, 2016
    It’s been more than 20 years now since Robert Russell gave the National Junior College Athletic Association it’s most spectacular and dramatic national golf championship finish in history. Now Kansas City Kansas Community College’s only national champion is headed for the NJCAA Golf Hall of Fame. “He won more tournaments than he lost and I’m not sure any collegiate golfer can say that,” says Eric Reisner, Russell’s former teammate, caddy and business partner. Indeed, in his two years at KCKCC, Russell won18 of the 24 events in which he competed and was the first golfer in the history of the Jayhawk Conference to win back-to-back conference championships. “This takes the cake,” said Russell. “I’m in two other Hall of Fames but they don’t get any bigger than this.” An All-American at KCKCC, he was inducted into KCKCC’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010 and the UMKC Hall of Fame in 2008. As an NJCAA Hall of Famer, he joins such PGA stars as Fuzzy Zoeller, Paul Azinger, Jeff Sluman and Bubba Watson. As of this past January, Russell is in a new position as assistant professional at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club of LionsGate after the last 2½ years as teaching professional at Shamrock Hills. Russell’s national championship came on a script right out of Hollywood. Boasting a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the 72-hole 1995 NJCAA national tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz., Russell found himself on the 18th hole one shot behind Derrick Pursley of Midland, Tex. “The only thing I can remember about that day was the 18th hole and I can remember it like it was yesterday,” says Russell. “I honestly felt physically drained; I just felt helpless. I’d played well all week and I was letting it slip away.” Coming off back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17, he got some good news. “A news guy told me that the guy closest to me (Pursley) was one under so I figured if I could make birdie, I’d have a good chance at a tie,” said Russell, who busted a big drive on the par 5 closing hole. To make birdie, however, Russell had a carry of 242 yards over a bunker to a peninsula green and a flag tucked behind the bunker not more than “five paces from the water.” “Standing there, I knew I was one stroke back. Coach (Frank Bigham) was with me and he said, ‘Let’s lay up and try to make four and see what happens.’ I said ‘Coach, I’m not going to lay up.’ I had to go for it. I hit a 3-iron and when I hit, it was right at the flag and I just prayed it was the right club. Because of the bunker, I couldn’t see the ball and I was afraid that maybe it had kicked right into the water.” Instead, it was the best shot of his college career. “When I got there, the ball was on the fringe 15 feet dead under the hole and I started thinking, if I can make eagle, then he (Pursley) would have to make birdie to tie me and eagle to beat me,” said Russell. The putt was dead center. “I got a good line on it and a couple feet from the hole I knew it was in. There was a ton of people around the green and they knew it was coming down to the last hole. It was a great feeling.” “It was incredible,” Bigham said over and over. “I don’t care what tournament it is, if you make eagle to win, that’s something. What a putt! What a finish!” For Russell, the national title capped off what he called a “perfect year.” His championship lifted KCKCC to sixth in the Division I national tourney, the Blue Devils’ best finish ever “It was the way I wanted to go out because I wanted Coach Bigham to be a part of it,” said Russell. “I owe it all to him. He’s just been great the two years I’ve been here and I’m just glad and fortunate that I could provide him with his first national championship and I’m really proud to be a part of his first team in the Top 10.” Following his career at KCKCC, Russell turned down scholarship offers from such elite golf powers as Oklahoma State, Alabama, Texas and Baylor to join Reisner and a couple of other Blue Devils at UMKC, where he won seven tournaments in two years and became UMKC’s first NCAA Division I national tournament qualifier. Professionally, Russell spent eight years playing on the PGA Nationwide Tour and the Hooters Tours, winning a Hooters Tour event in Decatur, Ala., in 1999 and finishing runnerup in four other tournaments. He retired in 2004 without ever losing his Tour card. The highlight of his pro career also came in1999 when he won one of two qualifying berths for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst by shooting 4-under for 36 holes to finish second a stroke ahead of future PGA stars Matt Gogel and Tom Perniece Jr. at Milburn.“I missed the cut but playing in the U.S. Open was one of the biggest thrills of my life,” remembers Russell. “No question, Robert had more talent than anyone I’ve been around on a golf course,” says Reisner, who caddied for Russell in the 1999 U.S. Open. “You can teach anyone how to swing a golf club but you can’t teach someone how to get the ball in the hole under pressure and Robert could do that better than anyone I’ve ever seen. He had that kind of ability, ice water in his veins.” That skill was made possible by great putting. “If he were on the Tour today I think he’d been in the top 10 in putting,” says Reisner. “That’s what’s kept him competitive yet today.” At age 42, Russell was on the top money winner in Midwest PGA Section events in 2015 and this coming weekend is competing with Reisner in a PGA team event in Las Vegas. “I can still swing it a little bit,” he says After owning his own landscaping business for several years, Russell got back into the game, rejoining Reisner as teaching pro at Shamrock Hills where Reisner serves as general manager. They twice teamed up together to help Shamrock Hills win two of its five Kansas City Cups. “In one of his matches, he had nine birdies,” says Reisner. PHOTO IDENT A member of the inaugural KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame class in 2010, 1995 national golf champion Robert Russell is headed for the NJCAA Hall of Fame. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)
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