ADA — The Ohio Northern men's golf program is hungry for improvement ahead of the 2019-20 season. After a ninth-place finish last season, the Polar Bears are aiming to be more of a player in the Ohio Athletic Conference race this fall and spring.

"I feel that I had my best recruiting class on the men's side," seventh-year head coach Chad Bucci said. "It's going to be tough to make my top five. That's going to be fun. It's a whole new look for the Polar Bears."

A new-look for Northern will also include some familiar faces, as well. Sophomore letter-winner Nolan Kimberly (Zanesville) spearheads the Polar Bears as he held the team's second-lowest stroke average of 78.5, playing in all 19 competitive rounds.

Seniors Ryan Tatman (West Chester/Lakota East) and Brant Morton (Findlay/Van Buren) bring with them three-letter-winning seasons apiece. Tatman held a stroke average of 80.7 — fourth-best on the team — in nine competitive rounds last season, while Morton averaged an 88.3 in six rounds.  

Sophomore lettermen Andrew Slusher (Covington) boasted the team's fifth-lowest stroke average of 81.6 in 14 competitive rounds, and fellow classmate Jared Hernandez (Van Wert) played in all 19 rounds as a freshman and logged a stroke average of 81.8.

Juniors, and two-time letter-winners, Joe Slusher (Covington) and Ethan Smith (Chillicothe/Southeastern) round out last season's returnees who recorded a stroke average inside the team's top 10. Smith had an 86.1 stroke average in 11 rounds, and Slusher held an 87.7 stroke average in 10 rounds.

Other returning lettermen include junior Shane Meek (Port Clinton) and sophomores Austin White (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township), Sam Straker (Zanesville), Mason Roush (Zanesville/Philo), Brayden Newland (Lima/Allen East), and Ethan Hartman (Harrison).

The Polar Bears also welcome nine freshman into the fray.

Northern commences play for the 2019-20 season playing host to the ONU Fall Invitational Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.