MELBOURNE - Florida Southern's freshmen trio of John Coultas, John VanDerLaan and Jimmy Jones were honored on Tuesday by the Sunshine State Conference as they all three named 2015 Second-Team All-SSC Men's Golf selections.
It marks the first time since 2001 that the Moccasins have had three players selected to the All-SSC Team as in 2001, former Moccasins Steve Sokol, Steve Paramore and B.J. Pitzen were tabbed first team selections by the league head coaches. In addition, it is the first time in league history that three freshmen from the same team have earned All-SSC honors in the same season.
On the season, the Moccasins' three freshmen have a combined scoring average of 72.31, which is tops in Division II and among all freshmen groups in all divisions.
"It is pretty special that all three freshmen made All-Conference this year. It has never been done before, three freshmen from the same school make it in the same year," Florida Southern head coach Doug Gordin said. "Our freshmen class of three is the No. 1 ranked class in stroke average in across all divisions for the season. University of Nevada is the lowest in Division I with three freshmen, but they aren't as low as our group of freshmen.
"What a special accomplishment for this class that probably won't ever be repeated."
The All-SSC Men's Golf Teams are voted on by the league's nine head coaches and the head coaches couldn't vote for their own players.
Along with naming FSC's trio of freshmen to the All-SSC Second Team, VanDerLaan was selected by the league coaches as the SSC Freshman of the Year. He becomes the first Moccasin to earn SSC Men's Golf Freshman of the Year honors since Jude Estaquio was tabbed not only the Freshman of the Year, but the Player of the Year in 2008.
VanDerLaan, who is a native of Southbury, Conn., earns SSC Freshman of the Year honors after posting a season scoring average of 72.31 in 26 rounds and nine tournaments. On the season, VanDerLaan, who is 23rd in the latest Golfstat Division II Player rankings, has had four Top 10 finishes, including taking home individual medalist honors at this year's SSC Championships, where he shot a 9-under par 207 at RedTail Golf Club to win the championship by three shots over Coultas and he also won medalist honors during the fall season at The McDonough Cup, where he fired a 6-under 210 at Rio Pinar Country Club. He has had 12 rounds of par or better on the season, including shooting a season-low round of 67 during the first round of the both the Matlock Invitational and the SSC Championships.
Coultas earns a spot on the All-SSC Second Team after recording a team-best scoring average of 71.96 on the season in 26 rounds and nine tournaments. On the season, Coultas, who is a native of Valrico, Fla., has had three Top 10 finishes, including winning medalist honors at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational during the fall season. At the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational, Coultas shot a team season-low 203 (-10) for 54 holes to finish first out of 90 golfers. In addition to the first place finish at the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational, Coultas, who is the No. 11th ranked golfer in the latest Golfstat Division II Player rankings, also finished as the runner-up at this year's SSC Championships as he fired a six-under 210 at the RedTail Golf Club. He has had 13 rounds of par or better on the season and his 66 (-5) in the first round of the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational is the team's lowest single round score of the season.
Jones, who is a native of Tampa, Fla., earns his spot on the All-SSC Second Team after recording a 72.65 scoring average in 26 rounds of golf and nine tournaments. On the season, Jones, who is 32nd in the latest Golfstat Division II Player rankings, has had four Top 10 finishes, including three Top 5 finishes, all of which came during the spring season as he was the Mocs top finisher at four of its five spring events. He opened the spring season with a tie for third place at the Matlock Invitational as he carded a 9-under 207 at Lone Palm and then placed in a tie for third at the Armstrong Pirate Men's Invitational with an even-par 216. Jones then carded a 3-under 213 to finish fifth ay the Southeastern Collegiate hosted by Valdosta State and then shot a 3-over par 213 to finish place sixth at the Bobcat Invitational. He has had 13 round of par or better on the season, including a low round of 68 at both the Matlock Classic (2nd round) and Southeastern Collegiate (1st round).
"We have the best freshmen class in the country bar none," the Moccasin coach added. "This is a very special class. To have three freshmen averaging 72 is unheard of."
SSC Champion Nova Southeastern claimed the league's other two individual awards as Santiago Gomez took home SSC Golfer of the Year honors and Ryan Jamison won his second Coach of the Year accolade in the last three season as he was also honored in 2013.
The Moccasin trio is joined on the All-SSC Second Team by Saint Leo sophomore Joey Savoie, Barry sophomore Mario Beltran and Barry sophomore Mike Anderson.
Gomez is joined on the All-SSC First Team by Nova Southeastern sophomore Richard Mansell, Florida Tech senior Ray Badenhorst, Lynn senior Keith Greene and Lynn sophomore Mateo Gomez.
Coultas, Jones and VanDerLaan and the rest of their Moccasin teammates will return to the course on May 4-6 as they compete in the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Dade City, Fla. The Mocs are the No. 6 seed from the South Region and will be paired in the first round on Monday, May 4 with Georgia Southwestern (Southeast Region No. 5 seed) and Limestone (Southeast Region No. 6 seed) and will tee off from the No. 10 tee beginning at 8:20 a.m. with the No. 5 golfer continuing until the No. 1 golfer tees off at 9 a.m.