The Emporia State disc golf team is preparing for its first post-season showing this weekend, after a stellar inaugural season.
The Meid Collegiate Regional Championships are set for March 18 – 19 at Quail Valley farm in Winfield and Knebler Pond in Arkansas City.
“It’s pretty surreal, honestly,” said head coach Eric McCabe. “We put the team together and had really no expectations in the beginning, but then we won our first event.”
Since then, ESU has just kept winning. Today, the men’s team is ranked No. 1 in national rankings and the women are No. 13.
For the men Alex Chaparro is ranked No. 5 in the nation. He won the Collegiate Conference Kickoff in Emporia to open the season and also captured the individual championship at the MidSouth Regional Qualifier. Justin Farrell is ranked No. 63 nationally. He was tenth in singles at the Collegiate Conference Kickoff. Cade Kohlmeier and Grant Yoder are the other members of the Hornets’ D1 team entered at the Regional. Quentin Riggs, Ross Ehrsam, Tyson Potts and Zach Dyer make up Emporia State’s D2 team this weekend.
For the women Shelby Ebert is ranked No. 13 in the nation. She finished third in the MidSouth Regional Qualifier and teamed with Rebekah Thompson, who is ranked No. 26 nationally, to place first in the team category at the MidSouth.
“We showed up, we played, we won,” McCabe said. “At that point, we kind of knew we had something special.”
ESU has played the course at Winfield before. McCabe said the team did well at that tournament and are feeling positive heading into this weekend.
“We’re really positive — but not too positive that we just expect to win at this point,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to tell the guys that, ‘Hey, you’ve won every event. That doesn’t mean a loss isn’t coming.’ But you have to stay positive, you have to stay in your own mindset.”
At the end of the day, McCabe said they’re really just excited to be playing the post-season, and to be continuing to grow disc golf right here in Emporia.
“It’s obviously an honor for me, since I’ve lived in Emporia my whole life,” he said. “I’ve always known we had something special for disc golf in the community, with the big events that were potentially able to happy here.”
He credited the City of Emporia, as well as ESU and Dynamic Discs for helping the…