After one season down in the Division II ranks of the NJCAA, the Darton State golf team is back where they believe they belong: in Division I.
The Cavs were moved down last season, much to the chagrin of head coach Gary Hilton.
He immediately appealed the decision, but didn't hear back until after the 2014 season.
Darton State is just days away from teeing off the 2015 campaign again as a Divison I program.
Hilton says it's a big deal when recruiting new players and seeing his own players recruited.
“It gives us a lot of opportunities. Right away, I've already heard from a few [NCAA] Division I coaches looking at some of our sophomores for next year,” Hilton says. “That shows already that right away it's improving our recruiting and moving guys to the next level for us.”
The Cavs open the season Monday when they play in the Wallace State Fall Invitational in Cullman, AL.
It will be the return of sophomore Connor Watt as well.
The Ontario, Canada native was a Division II 2nd Team All-American in 2014, and Watt has bigger plans for this campaign.
“I really want to finish top 10 at nationals. Last year, I had not as good a showing as I was hoping for, especially coming off a hot finish in a couple tournaments,” he says. “I want to try and make first team All-American. Last year, I made second team, so maybe I can make the step up.”