Where is the love from Landmark?

Brian Lukacsy October 1, 2014 0

When Elizabethtown College made the move from the Middle Atlantic Conference to their new home in the Landmark Conference, competitive balance was a key reason. But what happens when there is no competition at all? That is the case for the men’s golf and wrestling teams, and they’re finding out what it’s like not to play any team from the Landmark Conference.
“Our coach [Jim Reed] let us know about this in the spring when he got the word that we were changing. [Reed] told us that we needed to find a conference since the Landmark does not recognize golf,” sophomore golfer Chuck Johnston said. “I was very surprised. The Landmark is the only conference I know of that does not recognize golf as a sport.”
Unlike basketball, baseball, soccer and all other sports that Blue Jay varsity athletes compete in, the golf and wrestling teams will be the only group of athletes not to have the opportunity to play in a conference championship.
For years in late April and early May, the golf team played in the Commonwealth Conference Championships at the East Course in Hershey. The Blue Jays won the Championships as recently as the 2010-2011 season. This year, when May rolls around, the golf team will find itself preparing for next season.
Senior golfer Ryan Forbes believes there is hope for future Landmark golfers. “It is a little surprising that the Landmark does not support golf, but I could see them adding it in the near future,” Forbes said. “With a few more schools, the Landmark should be able to have a very competitive conference.”
Etown wrestling, which competed in last year’s Middle Atlantic Conference Championships for the first time after not participating in a conference championship match in 2013, will once again finish a season without a conference championship. Etown competed in the Metropolitan Conference Championships up until the 2012 season.
The Blue Jays will be first-time hosts for the 2015 NCAA Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey. The wrestling team will have plenty of chances to prove itself this year with nine scheduled tournaments and many more individual matches before the NCAA Championships.
The wrestling team will begin its season at the Messiah Invitational on Nov. 1.
The golf team will wrap up its fall season with the Chestnut Hill Griffin Invitational on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at the Indian Valley Country Club. The traditional season will begin in late March.
“Not being able to play in a conference championship is extremely upsetting,” Forbes said. “I know that for us seniors, we love being able to compete, and we feel that with our team this year we could have possibly made a run for the MAC championship.”
Forbes took the glass-half-full view of not having a conference tournament this season. “There is a lot of great golf being played at that event and the course is always in terrific shape. That being said, it will be nice to take part in some of the [Thank Goodness It’s Spring] festivities this year because our championship is always over that weekend,” he said.

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