The ACU disc golf club team qualified for nationals at the Texas Collegiate Disc Golf Championship Oct. 26 in Dripping Springs.
Led by team captain Ian Story, junior physical science major from White Oak, the club will make the trip to nationals for the second time in their two-year history. Nationals will occur April 15-18 at a course in North Augustus in South Carolina.
The team defeated Texas A&M on the 17th hole in a sudden-death match to place third and automatically qualify for nationals.
“They were hungry for it,” said Deonna Shake, club advisor and instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition. “They really had their sites set on getting back to Nationals, and you can’t say enough about their competitiveness.”
The team formed last year, however, the ACU Disc Gold Club was formed this semester. Shake is the club advisor, managing administrative aspects, offering motivational advice and being a team mom, she said.
“The seed has been planted,” Shake said.
Due to the early success of the Wildcat disc golf club, she said she believes the sport will continue to grow and thrive within the student body. Shake hopes to expand the club and explore the female disc golf demographic in future semesters.
The new club will continue to raise money throughout the fall and spring semesters to finance their national championship experience. The majority of the funds will go toward plane tickets.
Scott Harsh, director of the Campus Store, is a big supporter of the team, Shake said. He donated apparel to the team last year and the Campus Store was one of the big supporters for building an on-campus disc golf course.
Unfortunately, the team will be one player short in the spring, after Hunter Clinton, graduate student from XXX, graduates. The team is actively searching for players at the moment, Shake and Story said. The team hopes to have weekend practices and mini-tournaments next semester to recruit new players and stimulate interest.
The team placed 38th in the nation last year despite three team members being new to the tournament atmosphere, Story said.
“Now we know what we’re doing, so I think we’ll do better,” Story said. “I think we will probably get top 30.”