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This is from the Hartford Hawks website:

M Golf Inks Top Golfers in Northeast

11.16.05






WEST HARTFORD, CT - Although he is quick to state that his recruiting class is not complete, University of Hartford men's golf coach Bill Poutre has announced the signing of two of the top players in the Northeast.

Maki Kobayashi (Newington, CT) and Nick Pokora (Agawam, MA) have signed National Letters of Intent and will be in Hartford Hawks uniforms for the fall season of 2006. Kobayashi is currently ranked 114th in the junior golf world rankings and 66th among senior prospects while Pokora is ranked 158th in the world and is 88th among senior prospects.

"Both Maki and Nick are very long off the tee and have outstanding leadership qualities," said Poutre. "They lead by example and will demand the same of the people around them."

Kobayashi is a senior at Newington High School and an active participant on the junior golf circuit. Over the past few months he's played in six junior golf events, and in July he came away with a first-place finish at the Westfield PGA Junior Section Championship (field of 102). He then moved on to play in an elite field of 54 at the Westfield PGA Junior Championship in Westfield, OH, finishing 13th overall.

"I believe Maki is the best prospect to come out of the state since Tim Petrovic came to Hartford in 1984," said Poutre. "He is a big, strong kid with great raw skills. Maki has consistently competed at the highest level of national competition and is intimidated by no one. Maki has a strong desire to play professionally after school and I believe he has a shot if he maintains his tireless work ethic."

Pekora, a senior at Agawam High School, has finished in the top 10 in his last six junior golf tournaments. He was the runner-up at the Trusted Choice Big I State Championship (MA) this past summer and later finished ninth (of 108) at the 37th Trusted Choice Big I Junior Classic National Finals. He also finished third at the USGA Boys Junior Amateur Qualifier and was the first alternate at the U.S. Junior Championships.

"Nick brings a quiet confidence and great ball-striking skills," said Poutre. "He is an outstanding athlete with great physical tools. When Nick is not on the golf course or working to maintain his 'A' average in the classroom, he is in the gym working out."

"The two players that Coach Poutre has signed are two of the top prospects in the Northeast," said Dave Adamonis, executive director of the United States Challenge Cup Junior Golf Foundation. As one of the top regional junior golf programs in the country, the Challenge Cup has helped cultivate some of the leading junior golf prospects in the Northeast, including PGA Tour players Patrick Sheehan and Brett Quigley and current Hartford Hawks golfer Kyle Parsons.

"I believe Maki and Nick will have an immediate impact on that team," continued Adamonis. "In my mind, their addition makes the University of Hartford the beast of the east. These guys will help bring the Hawks back to their glory days."

"The University of Hartford is committed to bringing this program back to a well-respected national program," said Poutre, a 1988 graduate of Hartford and a PGA Class "A" Golf Professional. "During the 80s and 90s, the Hawks golf program turned out three current PGA Tour players-Tim Petrovic, Jerry Kelly and Sheehan-as well as several other All-Americans.

"Not only do we want to be the dominant program in the Northeast, but we also want to be able to contend for a national championship. We have great facilities, one of the most difficult college golf courses in the country at Gillette Ridge Golf Club (less than one mile from campus), and we are committed to playing a difficult national schedule. The success of the University of Minnesota, which won a national championship in 2002, demonstrates the ability of a northern school to contend at the national level. I believe the University of Hartford should be at that level.

"When our recruiting class is complete, I expect it to be recognized as one of the top 30 in the country."
 

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Sounds like a great class. I wish that there was more interest and schools that sponsor golf in America East, but some of us will just have to adopt the Hawks when it comes to rooting for an AE team in this sport.
 

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The quote that Hartford will be the new beast of the east may be a bit much. The best golf school in New England and one of the best in the northeast over the last decade has been located about 90 miles southeast of Hartford. Rhode Island has won 8 of the last 9 New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) Championships. URI also hosts one of the premier golf tournaments in the country in Newport each year attracting some of the top NCAA teams in the nation (this past year UNC, Texas A&M, and Houston particpated).

http://gorhody.collegesports.com/sports/m-golf/uri-m-golf-body.html

http://gorhody.collegesports.com/sports/m-golf/recaps/101805aag.html
 
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