Carlson's Corner: Welcome to a New Season

| No TrackBacks


It's almost that time again when we will have 750 Gopher student athletes strolling the halls of the Bierman Building, freshmen wandering nervously around campus trying to find their next class and Gopher Golf will be back for another season as defending Big Ten Champions.  This title carries an added pressure to build off of a tremendous 2013-14 season, but also it allows our players to feel an even bigger sense of pride when they strap the Maroon and Gold golf bag on their backs each round.

A new season brings new faces and in this blog I want to introduce the 10 players that will be teeing it up at Windsong Farm Golf Club on Sept. 7-8 in the Gopher Invitational.  With the new season, we say farewell to three great seniors:  Jon Trasamar, Alex Gaugert and Genki Hirayama.  In contrast to the previous season, our 2014-15 squad is young with one senior and one junior returning.  Here is the breakdown of this year's roster:

·        Tyler Lowenstein- Ty is a senior from Wayzata High School in Minnesota that has been a steady contributor to the recent success of Gopher Golf.  Ty is extremely creative (instrumental in design of the School of Engineering's Holiday Light Show), likes to work his golf ball from right to left on the course and will be relied upon for leadership this year.

Go Gophers! Tyler Lowenstein
Go Gophers!
Tyler Lowenstein is the only senior on the 2014-15 roster.
Go Gophers!

·        Jon DuToit- Dutes is a junior from Chaska High School in Minnesota and comes in having played all but two events in the previous season as a starter.  Jon loves to tinker with the technology in equipment (2nd Swing's prodigy), has gained 30 yards on his tee ball in two years and recently competed in the US Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club.

·        Jose Mendez- Jose hails from San Jose, Costa Rica, and will be starting his sophomore season for the Gophers.  A loyal Titleist player, Jose loves futbol and is the defending Big Ten Individual champion.

·        Grady Meyer-In his sophomore season after graduating from Fargo Shanley High School in North Dakota, Grady keeps things light in practice.  He may be seen dancing, talking, eating large amounts of candy but always working to improve the mechanics of his swing.  He will tell you that he can guard anyone on the basketball court and may make himself eligible in three years for the NFL draft as a lockdown cornerback.

·        Matt Rachey- Matt is also in his second year coming out of Waconia High School in Minnesota.  Rach is like having another coach in the huddle.  His determination and class is contagious as he was named Louis Lick "Hardest Worker" in 2013-14.  Posture adjustments and a switch in irons have him poised to vie for the top spot in the lineup this year.

·        Daniel Luftspring-Oh Canada!  Dan is a sophomore coming from the Core Academy in Orlando, Fla.  Not far from the accolades of a Rhodes Scholar, Dan loves to hypothesize and ask questions about anything.  These qualities of a master debater also have allowed him to make big strides since he first step foot on campus.  Only a couple of strokes kept him out of the lineup through qualifying last year and should prove as motivation for the upcoming season.

·        William Leaf-Will transferred back to his home state from SIU-Edwardsville this season after graduating from Winona High School.  Competitive, skilled, motivated and hungry are all adjectives that sum up Mr. Leaf.  There won't be much of a transition period for Will as he has already had success at the Division I level.  I will never shy away from expectations as I strongly believe all elite athletes expect to win and Will can be great.

To be a freshman in college again...

·        Riley Johnson-Another North Dakota Boy...A Packer from West Fargo HS, Riley compiled one of the greatest high school records since Andy Doeden, David Schultz and Tom Hoge.  As a two-time North Dakota State Individual champion, he has more passion for the game than most.  Riley will be the second sibling in the Johnson family to be a Gopher as his brother Payton currently is enrolled at the U.

·        Runar Arnorsson-As a top player in Iceland for the last six years, Runar makes his trip across the pond to America as a 22-year-old freshman.  His mature game, having been tested in many international competitions, should make him a starter immediately in the Big Ten.

·        Charlie Duensing-By way of Sandy, Utah, Charlie has spent many summers in Minnesota, as his grandparents live in Detroit Lakes.  As one of Ping's top junior players, the transition to college golf and academics will be seamless for Charlie.  Competitive and passionate are two words that best sum up Charlie Duensing.

While the players have been busy working hard on their games this summer, our coaching staff has been carrying the heavy load of tournament preparation for the 2014 Gopher Invitational.  Months of planning, scheduling the teams' arrival and course setup has been made slightly easier this year thanks to the help of newly appointed Co-Tournament Director, Keith Rachey.  Keith is the father of Matt Rachey and has completely transformed our donor support for the event.  His detail and creativity will be seen for many years to come as we continue to improve the college golf tournament environment with exciting changes being implemented. 

Come watch or volunteer at the Gopher Invitational at Windsong Farm GC Sept. 7-8.  We will play 36 holes on Sunday starting at 8:05 am continuing all day. Tee times on Monday are set between 7:30-9:30 am, depending on Day 1 scoring.  It is free to spectators and if you choose to volunteer, our Gopher Invitational tournament committee will provide each volunteer with a free golf shirt and golf hat, in addition to lifelong memories of seeing future PGA Tour stars compete in college.  Email Jo Rider, Administrative Specialist to Gopher Golf, at rider003@umn.edu if you would like to volunteer.

In closing, I always end my blogs with "Fairways, Fairways, Fairways" and the story behind this goes deep into my values in recruiting, competing and player development.  College golf has changed in the last 20 years.  Golf courses on campus are not being used for tournament competition nearly as often and they have been replaced in the rotation by modern and historic venues demanding accuracy off the tee.  I only recruit players with total confidence with the driver and demand that our current players find the short grass more regularly.  In tracking our fairways hit, along with GIR from the fairway vs. the rough, using Birdie Fire Statistical Software, it is staggering how much we have improved in this category as a team.  Thus, I will continue to preach this with Gopher Golf and clearly we are on our way to more Big Ten Championships.

Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!

John Carlson

What They're Saying - Aug. 13

| No TrackBacks
Follow Golden Gopher Football:    

Defensive backs are a talented and deep group, but nobody knows it (Pioneer Press)
Secondary out to prove the doubters wrong (1500ESPN)
Bargain hunting (GopherSports)
What Gophers have impressed Coach Kill? (Star Tribune)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Get Berkley the ball in space (FSN)
Breaking down Minnesota's schedule (Star Tribune)
Minnesota season preview (ESPN)
Gophers help make up best positions in the Big Ten (ESPN)

What They're Saying - Aug. 12

| No TrackBacks
Follow Golden Gopher Football:    

Berkley Edwards (and other notes) putting in work after practice... (Star Tribune)
...and says he isn't the fastest Gopher on the team (Pioneer Press)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Practice photos! (GopherGridiron)
Previewing the wide receivers (GopherSports)
Analyzing the roster (FSN)
A look at TCU (TheDailyGopher)
If you like a good deal, then you will like this (GopherSports)
The Voice of the Gophers - Mike Grimm - on the radio previewing the season (KATE)

All Access: Stollings' First Pitch

| No TrackBacks


University of Minnesota head women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings was able to live out one of her life-long dreams when she was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Minnesota Twins game on Sept. 6. Go behind the scenes with Coach Marlene leading up to the pitch and as she steps on the mound at Target Field. 

Summer Roundup: Aug. 11

| No TrackBacks

Major Leagues

*Glen Perkins made three appearances last week and earned one save for the Twins.
*Jack Hannahan played in two games for the Reds last week.

Minor Leagues  
*Mike Kvasnicka (Double-A New Britain) had a 3-for-4 game with a run, two doubles and two RBIs on Saturday. Nate Hanson, back with the Rock Cats, hit a pair of doubles last week. Kyle Knudson went 2-for-3 on Sunday.
*Seth Rosin (Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A) made three scoreless appearances in relief last week. He has a 2.70 ERA in his last 10 games.
*Tom Windle (Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes) made two starts last week, pitching five shutout innings in the first one. His season ERA is 4.34.
*DJ Snelten is now pitching for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Class A Short Season).
*Alec Crawford (Rookie Grand Junction Rockies) pitched three times last week and has a 1.42 ERA in 18 games.

Northwoods League
*Dalton Sawyer (St. Cloud Rox) closed out the first game of the Big League Dreams Showcase for the North last Tuesday.
*Jordan Smith went 3-for-4 with a double last Wednesday for the Rochester Honkers.
*Michael Handel (Madison Mallards) walked nine times during the week.

Other
*Lance Thonvold finished the season with five saves for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks (Cape Cod League).
*Jeff Fasching's Legion team made it to the Minnesota State Legion Tournament championship last Monday after defeating Luke Pettersen's team earlier in the day. Fasching received the Fred Wannamaker Award as the tournament's most outstanding player.
*A good time was had by all at the Golden Era of Gopher Baseball reunion
*Pitching coach Todd Oakes helped women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings get ready to throw out the first pitch at a Twins game. 
*Registration for the Dan Morgan Open ends today. Sign up here.

Summer Roundup Archives
August 4
July 28
July 21
July 14
July 7
June 30
June 23
June 16
June 9

What They're Saying - Aug. 11

| No TrackBacks
Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
Projecting a defensive depth chart (1500ESPN)
Like cool Gopher stuff? Then check this out (GopherSports)
Scrimmage photos! (GopherGridiron)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
A healthy Derrick Wells could lead to more big plays (Pioneer Press)
These guys got the inside look (GopherSports)
Camp is a grind (Star Tribune)
Come to a game (MyGopherSports)
Some behind the scenes stuff (Instagram)
It's back (GopherSports)
New look to the equipment room...

Great to have Special Olympics Minnesota at the scrimmage on Saturday! Thanks for taking the time!

2014 Gopher Volleyball Season Begins

| No TrackBacks
The Golden Gopher volleyball team kicked off the 2014 campaign today, as it held the first practice of the season. Practicing for three hours this afternoon, the Gophers finished off the practice with a little six-on-six action.

Check out the photo gallery for a closer look at today's practice.


What They're Saying - Aug. 9

| No TrackBacks
Follow Golden Gopher Football:    

Donovahn Jones checks in with his hometown paper (Henry Daily Herald)
Husker fan - and journalist - converts to the Gophers (Henry Daily Herald)
Gophers digs impressed Penn State alum and current Viking (Star Tribune)
Locker room video (GopherGridiron)
APMVP on TCF: "I know the locker room's awesome" (Pioneer Press)
A look at the secondary (GopherSports)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Five things to watch in today scrimmage (Pioneer Press)
Come see the Gophers live (MyGopherSports)
Zimmer and Cassel both impressed with TCF Bank Stadium (Pioneer Press)
Get a personalized helmet, indoor club room tickets and more at affordable prices! (GopherSports)
Why Connor Mayes is playing guard (Star Tribune)
Wolitarsky is motivated (Santa Clarita Valley Signal)
Alum Aaron Hill talked about playing in his first NFL game, which was yesterday (STLToday.com)
A look at MTSU (TheDailyGopher)
Defense giving the offense all it can handle in practice (Star Tribune)

What They're Saying - Aug. 8

| No TrackBacks
Follow Golden Gopher Football:    
Fall camp notes from Marcus (Pioneer Press)
Joe C talks about the Gophers' practices so far (Star Tribune)
Notes from Thursday's media session (Star Tribune)
Practice 7 photos (GopherGridiron)
What you missed yesterday (GopherSports)
Bid on Goal Line Club auction items (GopherSports)
Former Gopher Brock Vereen will face his brother in the NFL this season (Chicago Football)

Kyle Rau Twitter Q&A Rewind

| No TrackBacks

In case you missed it, Gopher Hockey senior forward Kyle Rau joined us for a Twitter Q&A on Thursday afternoon in the Mariucci Arena locker room. Check out the highlights.