Carroll College golf coach Bennett MacIntyre announced the signing of five golfers on Thursday, including two Montana products. In addition, the Saints added another player to the team who took a year away from competitive golf.
The group includes two signees to the men's team in Joseph Potkonjak of Bigfork and Ben Gardner of Snohomish, Washington. The class also includes four additions to the women's team in Libby's Lily Feeback, Madison Fernandez from Newport Beach, California, Cailin Spencer from Mead, Washington, and Townsend's Madison Robischon, who was a Carroll student last year but took a year to adjust to college before returning to links.
"This is a very good class. A few of them will come in and compete for the top five and the rest will really bolster our depth," MacIntyre said. "It is hard to come in as a freshmen and break into the top five, but I have seen enough to know a few of the incoming players on both sides will compete for a top spot."
Potkonjak led the Bigfork team to a state title his senior year, finishing third individually behind Libby golf phenom Ryggs Johnston and Anaconda's Caleb Stetzner, who will play at MSU Billings.
"I'm very excited to be able to get a Montana athlete of Joseph's caliber," MacIntyre said. "He is going to be one to watch the next four years. He has a passion for the game and continues to get better and better."
Gardner brings a strong record from Snohomish High School, he finished in the Top 20 at the 4A state championship and was named to the Wesco 4A first team. He has a low round of 66 and his handicap is a 1.1.
"Ben and Joseph have the ability to come in and play varsity as freshman, which is not easy to do," MacIntyre said. "They are competitors, and I believe they will push our current roster to get better and improve on our finish from last season."
Robischon was a three-time All-State award winner and was part of two State B championship teams at Townsend.
"She's played on two state championship teams and her dad, Pete, is the high school coach in Townsend," MacIntyre said. "She will bring a well-rounded golf maturity to our team and much needed depth."
Feeback is coming off of an All-State performance at the State B tournament, where she finished 12th. She hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Carroll and Libby standout Jackie Mee, who competed at NAIA Nationals for the Saints.
"Libby has produced a lot of great golfers, and I hope Lily can continue to add to that legacy," MacIntyre said. "She is an All-State golfer and she continues to improve; she is a very nice addition for us from the state of Montana."
Spencer was a member of the Mount Spokane High School state championship team, the first state championship in school history. She was a four-year state qualifier and finished in the Top 10 her senior year.
"Cailin has been on a state winning high school team and has an impressive tournament resume," MacIntyre said. "She has the tools to be a four-year starter for us here at Carroll."
Fernandez, a former team MVP, has a best round of 78 and earned second team all-league honors in high school.
"Madison is a competitor in just about everything she does," MacIntyre said. "She is a go-getter with high energy. I think that her energy will translate to the team and add another dimension to our game."
The Carroll women return four of five off last season's third-place conference team, while the men return captain Justin Galiher and three others off of the fifth-place team. The fall season will begin on Sept. 12 in Butte.