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Georgia Southwestern men move up to No. 10 in D-II poll

GSW men's golf coach Andrew Danna.

GSW men's golf coach Andrew Danna.

AMERICUS -- For the first time in the history of its program, the Georgia Southwestern golf team is ranked in the Top 10 in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll.

The Hurricanes, who won three tournaments this fall, moved up one spot to No. 10 in the national poll and remained No. 2 in the latest NCAA Division II Golfstat standings.

GSW was ranked outside of the Top 100 a year ago but has steadily climbed into the national spotlight during its unprecedented fall season when the Hurricanes won the Kiawah Island Invitational, the RTJ Grand National Challenge and the Cougar Invitational.

The Hurricanes finished up their fall season Oct. 25 with a runner-up finish in the Laker Invitational.

On Friday, GSW coach Andrew Danna also confirmed to The Herald that the Hurricanes recently signed the No. 8-ranked junior college golfer in the country. Matthew Whitaker, a Canadian who is currently playing golf at Western Texas College, will join the Hurricanes next fall, and Danna said it was a combination of factors that brought the talented golfer to Americus.

"Our recent success had some to do with it, but GSW has so much to offer in terms of academics and athletics," Danna said. "This will give him a chance to play on a really good team and give him an opportunity to play at the next level."

GSW also signed Calvary Day (Savannah) senior Matthew Mell, who was the runner up in this spring's GHSA Class A state championship.

Next fall, the Hurricanes will be without senior leaders Craig Gibson and Christopher Hall -- a pair of golfers Danna said were irreplaceable.

"It's going to be hard to make up for losing Craig Gibson and Chris Hall out of our starting lineup, but we have some good players coming in," Danna said. "With (Whitaker and Mell) coming in, we can continue some of the success we are seeing this year."

CAVS MOVE TO 6TH: The Darton men's golf team, which had a first-place finish, one second and two thirds in the fall season, is ranked No. 6 in the latest GCAA Junior College Coaches' poll -- one spot better than last month's poll.

The Cavs, led by first-year coach Bill Jones III, begin their spring season Feb. 6 in Melbourne, Fla.