golf; Helena Invite (copy)

Helena High’s Weslee Nehl chips a shot onto the green on No.11 during the final day of the Helena Invitational at Green Meadow Country Club this past fall. Nehl has signed to play for Carroll College.

Gary Marshall, BMGphotos.com

Carroll College golf coach Bennett MacIntyre announced the signing of four prep athletes and a junior college transfer on Friday.

Highlighting the list is Helena High standout Weslee Nehl and Missoula Sentinal product Sydnee Nowlen on the women's side. On the men's side, the Saints inked Hamilton's Kylan Burch, Billings Central product Samuel Berry and Stephen Santora, a standout from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Nehl brings a strong resume, including a second-place finish at the State AA Tournament. She is a four-year All-State performer and was twice named her team's MVP. She has a 10 handicap and was the Southwest Montana Junior Golf Tour second-place finisher. She placed in the top three in every tournament.

She was also named Academic All-State all four years and has a 3.8 GPA.

"Weslee is such a competitor and had a highly decorated high school career. I couldn't be happier that she is coming to Carroll College to golf," MacIntyre said. "It's not easy to come in and play varsity right away as a freshman, but Weslee has what it takes and should provide a competitive jolt to our women's team right away. You always want to get the best local student-athletes to your program, and Weslee will continue the tradition of great local players coming to golf at Carroll."

Nowlen is a solid player from Missoula who participated in the Montana State Am Circuit. In high school, she notched Top 5 finishes in four tournaments, including a second-place finish in the Helena Invite. She also plays on the Missoula Junior Tour.

"We have had a great run with golfers from the Missoula area, and Sydnee is another one of those high caliber athletes with an incredible academic background," MacIntyre said.

Montana athletes make up the bulk of the recruiting class, but Santora brings the opportunity to make an immediate impact. He placed 10th at the California State Junior College Championship and was a first team all-conference selection.

The Napa, California, native, was a three-time all-conference performer in high school and hit a 66 in his first round en route to a third-place finish at the 2016 Santa Rosa City Championship.

"Stephen Santora is a big-time talent, a guy coming in with two years of eligibility remaining who can not only help be a leader right away but can give us some depth we just haven't had recently," MacIntyre said. "I was able to watch him play in a junior college tournament in Napa Valley a couple of years ago. He has such a steady game, a great attitude and loves to compete. He has put up some great scores on some difficult golf courses in California and will add a nice veteran presence with our returning senior-to-be and All-Frontier Conference golfer Austin Egan."

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Joining Santora on the men's team is Berry and Burch.

Berry finished fifth at state in 2016 after taking third at divisionals. He was fourth at divisionals in 2015. He also placed fourth at the Yellowstone County Am in 2016.

"Sam Berry is a multi-sport athlete out of Billings who will fit in nicely," MacIntyre said. "He took fifth place at State for Billings Central with a couple of top-five divisional performances the last few years. He has one more summer of Legion baseball before he will focus on golf full-time."

Burch is a four-time letterman at Hamilton. He helped lead the Broncs to State championships in 2014 and 2016 and second place finishes in 2013 and 2015. He earned all-conference honors all four years.

He was also twice the Hamilton Golf Club Junior Club Champion.

The Saints recently closed out their season with a third-place finish by the women and a fifth-place finish by the men at the Frontier Conference Championship in Tempe, Arizona.

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