Men's Golf announces completion of 2007 recruiting class
Wednesday, May 9, 2007 | by Five Palmetto State natives and a Scot round out spring signings

NEWBERRY, S.C. - Newberry College head men's golf coach Brian McCants is pleased to announce the completion of the spring 2007 signing class.

Joshua Clarke of Montrose, Scotland comes to Newberry with high credentials from his home country. He is considered one of the top Under-21 players from the north of Scotland. Joshua has represented Scotland in the annual match play matches, survived to the round of 32 in the prestigious Scottish Boys Championship and has been selected to compete in Under-18 and Under-21 competitions representing his home county, Angus. He shot a 72 in the Portlethen Junior Open, 70 in the the Arbroath Junior Open, and 69 in the Kirrremuir Junior Open. Joshua will be the first Newberry College menís golfer from Europe. 

"I am very pleased that Joshua is joining our program," said McCants. "We are continuing to attract young players from all over the world, which is very exciting! I donít expect there to be an adjustment problem for Joshua because has competed against the best in his county and his country for quite some time. He is very talented and has a high desire to achieve. We are very lucky to have him as a part of our family."

Stephen Holmes of Chapin, S.C. is one of 3 players on high school team that will be playing golf in college. His Chapin High School teammate John Allen Meetze, Jr. will also be a teammate at Newberry. Chapin finished third in the 2007 AAA State Championships. Stephen has plenty of tournament experience from playing in the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, and is currently ranked 36th in the May rankings. Shot 75-69 at the Florence Junior Invitational, 71-77 at the North Augusta Junior, 74-72 at the 2006 U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier and survived to the 2nd round of match play at the 2006 CGA Match Play.

"Stephen will be a big contributor to our golf program," McCants stated. "He has a tremendous work ethic and also has a high achievement level. I view Stephen as a leader, even as a freshman. He sets such a good example for others to follow. He will add a lot to our menís golf program, but he may add even more to our campus as a whole, which speaks to his character and his leadership potential."

Ben Lown of North Augusta, S.C.is one of the top players in the state of South Carolina. He joins a former North Augusta High School teammate, Brandon Burnside, here at Newberry. Ben also is a member of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, currently ranked 24th in the May rankings. Ben and Daniel Stanley, a fall Newberry signee, are ranked in the top 10 for the class of 2007. Ben shot 72-74 in the 2007 Southern Cross, a prestigious high school tournament. He was selected to the All-Tournament team at the 2007 Georgia-South Carolina Cup, as well as The Capitol City Classic. He made a name for himself during the summer of 2006, finishing in the top 10 at The Florence Junior (71-70), The South Carolina Junior (74-71), and The Blade Invitational (73-71). He also shot 72-75 in the very prestigious Bobby Chapman Invitational held in Spartanburg.

"To say that I am thrilled that Ben is joining our menís golf family would be an understatement!" said McCants. "As far as time and effort, Ben is the heaviest recruited golfer since Iíve been here. Ben had a great summer and fall of 2006 and proved that he is one of the best players in this state.  Ben is so consistent, he really will solidify our lineup. His career at Newberry has no limits, and he has a chance to accomplish a lot during his career."

John Allen Meetze, Jr. of Chapin, S.C. joins Stephen Holmes in the Spring 2007 signing class. He finished runner-up in the 2007 Lower State Championships with a score of 70, as Chapin finished third at the 2007 AAA State Championships. John Allen is a also a member of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, currently ranked 34th in May rankings. He shot 70-80 in the 2006 US Junior Amateur Qualifier and 74-75 at the 2006 Players Championship, which placed him in the top 20. He also shot 71 and finished third in the 2007 Caddie Classic and has a career best round of 65.

"I am very proud to have John Allen join our family," McCants said. "I have known John Allen since my first year here. He is a great young man, who loves the game of golf. John Allen has shown an ability to go low during tournaments, and just needs to improve consistency. Being on a championship caliber team at Chapin High will be a huge asset to him and to us. I know John Allen loves to compete and he will not make it easy for his teammates to beat him. John Allen may improve the most during his time here at Newberry, he has a lot of talent to work with, so he is worth watching out for."

Ben Ross had a very good senior season for Airport High School in West Columbia, S.C., including being medalist at the 2007 Lower State Championship, shooting a 69. Ben led his team to an 8th place finish at the 2007 AAA State Championships. He is a member of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, currently ranked 65th in the May rankings. Ben has had some solid finishes in junior tournaments, finishing tied for 10th at the Myrtle Beach Shootout, tied for second at the Columbia City Boys Junior, and winning the Al Esposito, shooting 75-74. He also shot 74 in the 2007 Caddie Classic.

"Ben will add depth to our roster for 2007-08," McCants said. "I was pleasantly surprised how well he played this spring. He doesnít have quite the tournament experience that a lot of his future teammates do, but he has a lot of ability. Ben also has a definite love for the game and wants to improve! He is going to sneak up and surprise a lot of people."

Chris Weidner of Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C. flew under the radar in 2006, recovering from tendinitis. He led his team to 2006 AAAA State Championships as a junior and as begun to play much better during his senior year, leading his team back to AAAA State Championships. Chris is a member of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, currently ranked 48th in the May rankings. He shot a 74 to finish tied for fourth in 2006 S.C. Junior Qualifier, shot 73-75 to finish tied for ninth in 2006 Players Championship, and shot 79-76 to finish tied for 22nd in 2006 Fall Challenge. He also shot 76 in the 2007 Caddie Classic.

"Chris is a great young man! I have really enjoyed getting to know him this past year, he loves the game of golf," McCants said. "Just like his future teammates, he is a hard worker and wants to accomplish a lot during his college career.  Chrisís enthusiasm will make a huge impact on our program. I know he canít wait to get to campus and begin competing!"

Overall, coach McCants is very excited about the addition of the spring 2007 recruiting class to the Indian golf team.

"I canít say enough how lucky I have been with the class of 2007," McCants said. "There were a lot of miles traveled and a lot of letters written, but it was all very much worth it! This is the third recruiting class in a row that will have a huge impact on our program.

"Adding these players to Stanley, Markowitz, and Reid from the fall signing really has me looking ahead and smiling! I do anticipate guys like Daniel Stanley, Pierce Markowitz, Joshua Clarke and Ben Lown making a strong push to make the tournament roster right away, but just as easily, I can see Stephen Holmes, John Allen Meetze, Ben Ross and Chris Weidner playing their way on the tournament roster as well. Qualifying is really going to be fun and exciting between these new guys and the talented returners coming back," McCants added.