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The Communicator NEWS & POLITICS

Golf Team Optimistic the Season

Devin Jenkins takes a shot on the green.

Photo credit: IPFW Media Services

Devin Jenkins takes a shot on the green.
Written by: Communicator StaffFebruary 28, 2017

The nine Mastodons on Fort Wayne’s golf team exemplify the word team.

“We are all really close,” said team captain Devin Jenkins. “We are like a bunch of brothers.”

Jenkins is a senior this year and is in his last year playing for the Mastodons.

He said he will miss his time on the team but plans to stick around as he pursues his Master of Business Administration at IPFW.

Last year the team played very well together and won the Lonnie Barton Invitational hosted by Long Island University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The team’s coach, Billy King, has been with the Mastodons for eight years now and said he is very proud of how much the team has accomplished.

Within King’s eight years, the team has won three Division I events and had seven Academic All-American Athletes and one Summit League team member.

They have been an all-academic team for the last five years and were named the highest academic men’s golf team in the Summit League for the last two years.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with what we’ve accomplished and where we are headed,” King said.

He said the athletes put in as much time as needed to advance to the next level.

They practice together every day during the week and sometimes on Saturday. Practice is held indoors during cold weather and on the course when it is warm.

They also have workouts two to three times each week.

The team doesn’t just spend time together on the green; the athletes live together as well.

“It’s great to always be together,” Jenkins said. “We are all a bunch of best friends.”

All but one of the athletes on the team live together. The team stays on the same floor of the same housing complex.

Jenkins said he shares a room with three other teammates, and one of the freshman players will be moving in next year.

The athletes see each other on campus frequently and have a lot of classes together, since most of them are majoring in business, engineering and organizational leadership and supervision.

“We spend as much time together off the course as we do on the course, creating a family atmosphere” King said.

The team takes trips to concerts, basketball games and other events together, and they often go bowling on Thursdays.

Several of the athletes join King and his family at church on Sundays. They have cookouts together, get involved in the community and support other sports teams.

Jenkins said a lot of his teammates have been together their entire lives, and they are all like best friends.

“Being so close definitely affects our play,” Jenkins said. “You’re not just worried about playing for yourself; you want to play for your friends and teammates.”

He said every player on the team has different strengths, and they try and use those to the best of their advantage.

For instance, some players are better at ball-striking, while other are better at putting, Jenkins said.

Another strength he said some of the players excel in is their mental game.

“If you don’t have confidence, you’re not going to play well,” Jenkins said.

He said King adds to this confidence by keeping the entire team calm and motivated.

Similarly, Jenkins said he does everything he can as captain to keep everyone motivated.

He thinks this will be a good season, and he is looking forward to leading his team of Mastodons for the last year.

“I see no reason why we can’t compete for another win this spring and make it to the top of the Summit League,” King said.

King is confident in his team, proud of how far they have come and ready to go further together, he said.