, 2023-03-17 12:46:44,
Blase Gapinski | Demo 64
The Ferris State disc golf team returns from spring break with only two weeks to go until they depart to compete for the national championship.
The team is getting ready to try and bring home their 5th national title after devoting their spring break to training and coming together as a team. Each year, the team takes time off to travel to Marion, North Carolina. This gives the team an opportunity to spend time together and get a look at the courses that they will be competing on.
Disc golf head coach Leonard Johnson takes his team on this trip so there aren’t any surprises on the course when nationals come around.
“We had an opportunity to stay pretty close to the courses,” Johnson said. “It’s a complex in North Carolina called North Cove, which used to be a ball golf course. They turned a ball golf course into three pretty awesome disc golf courses, and we were able to play all of those courses a couple of times every day to prepare. There’s no better experience than to really be familiar with the courses that you will be competing on at the national level.”
This trip has been a tradition each year because of how beneficial it is. Johnson explained that he started this tradition in the first place because of the outcomes that follow it.
“The first time I took a team on a spring break trip was actually in 2015, which was the year that we won our first national championship,” Johnson said. “The camaraderie that is developed during that time is unbelievable. From all the time spent in the vans on the way down, to playing disc golf together everyday. Knowing each other, being able to rely on each other and trust each other helps build confidence in one another, and there’s no greater feeling than that.”
During this trip, Johnson and the other coaches determined what division each member of the team will compete at. This process can be difficult because of the varying skill levels that the team offers.
“It kind of sorts itself out, and a lot of that falls on the team members themselves,” Johnson said. “The cream rises to the top, and they know who is going to give us our best chance to win at each of the three different divisions. Some of those decisions are really tough to make because the guys are all so good.”
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