The men's golf program at Baldwin Wallace University annually challenges for the prestigious Ohio Athletic Conference title. The goal each season is to win the OAC title and qualify for the Division III National Tournament.
The college golf season is divided between a fall and spring schedule with the spring schedule including the annual spring break trip in March and the OAC and NCAA Division III tournaments in the spring.
Entering the 2019-20 season, Head Coach Wayne Schneider has two returning starters in seniors Jimmy Clark (North Olmsted) and Ben Ladaika (Erie, Pa./ Cathedral Prep) as the duo each earned All-OAC honors a year ago. In addition, the roster includes one freshman, three sophomores and a junior.
During the 2019 fall season, BW played in seven invitational tournaments, won two (The College of Wooster Gatorade Classic and the John Carroll University Rumble by the River) and placed second in two others (the University of Mount Union Fall Invitational and the BW Invitational).
Individually, sophomore Logan Bratsch (Olmsted Falls) and Clark (North Olmsted) were the co-medalist at the Wooster and Ladaika earned medalist honors at another tourney. For Clark, it marked his third tourney medalist accolade.
“We continue to recruit young men into our men’s golf program who are talented academically and athletrically and would be both a good fit at BW and offer a competitive spirit,” continued Schneider. “The future of the men’s golf program at Baldwin Wallace University is very bright, and we are very excited about it.
”If you interested in getting a first-class education at a well-respected academic institution and playing golf in one of the most competitive programs in the OAC and Division III, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 440-826-3798," said Schneider. "We'd love to speak with you!"
A Year Ago, the Yellow Jackets Placed Second in the OAC and Narrowly Missed the NCAA Tourney
A year ago, BW finished second at the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament and had three of its student-athletes earn All-OAC honors and had a fourth miss by one stroke. The Yellow Jackets ended the season narrowly missing the 2019 NCAA Division III National Tournament.
The 2014 OAC Champs and NCAA Division III Qualifiers
During the 2013-2014 men's golf season, the Yellow Jackets won the 2014 Ohio Athletic Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. BW had eleven top-five finishes in invitational tournament play and won four tourney titles, including the prestigious OAC crown.
What Does the Golf Student-Athlete and Recruit Have to Expect?
Each Yellow Jacket golfer can expect to play in virtually every tournament that the team enters, either as one of the top five or as an individual. BW works hard to formulate a schedule where every golfer on the roster gets an opportunity to play and contribute. Each week, the team plays in a number of "challenge" rounds and the top five earn the right to compete with the others entered as individual competitors.
What to Expect From the Fall and Spring Golf Seasons
The season begins in the fall when BW annually plays in four-to-five tournaments and as many as seven invitational tournaments. The Yellow Jackets practice almost daily at the local Pine Hills Golf Club in Hinckley, Ohio
During the winter, the golfers begin their preseason conditioning and training in the BW Lou Higgins Recreation Center and at the local Stonebrook Golf Academy in Strongsville, Ohio. Here, Yellow Jacket athletes can work on strength, conditioning, flexibility, endurance and golf fundamentals.
During spring break, the BW golf squad travels south or west to practice, play competitively and hone their skills for the "stretch run" that includes the OAC Spring Invitational, the OAC Championship Tournament and the NCAA Division III National Tournamen.
The Spring Trip Destinations
During the spring break, the Yellow Jackets annually travel south to locations such as Florida, Arizona, California, Georgia and North and South Carolina. This spring, BW travels to South Charleston, South Carolina.
What Else Does the BW Golf Student-Athlete Get Besides a Quality Education?
The Baldwin Wallace University golf program strives for excellence by stressing the development of each student-athlete to his fullest potential. The BW golf athlete is asked to be self-disciplined and unselfishly dedicated in order to place the goal of the team ahead of personal recognition.
While many valuable lessons can be learned in the classroom and on the golf course, the ultimate goal is to help each student-athlete grow, mature and graduate from BW.
The Ohio Athletic Conference
Baldwin Wallace University belongs to the 10-team Ohio Athletic Conference for men and women. Long considered one of the finest small college conferences in the nation, the OAC offers competition in 243 NCAA Division III sports, including golf for men and women. The winner of the annual OAC Tournament earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
The OAC is the third oldest existing collegiate conference. Founded in 1902, the OAC is predated only by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1888) and the Big Ten (1895).