BUTTE — The Montana Tech men's golf team enjoyed another milestone this week.
After claiming the Frontier Conference regular-season title last fall -- a program first -- the Orediggers cracked the Top 25 in the NAIA Men's Golf Coaches' Poll on Monday, with Tech ranked at No. 22. That too was a first for Tech.
"I saw the ranking and I was stoked," said sophomore Brady Cady, a Billings Senior graduate who won the Old Works Invitational in September, one of three Frontier Conference tournaments last fall where the Orediggers took first. "It was really cool to be recognized for all the hard work that we've done as a team."
Senior Trey Hoagland also helped the Orediggers capture the regular-season title by winning the Montana Tech Invitational at the Butte Country Club in September. He tied a school record by carding a 6-under 64.
"A very important and critical moment in our program's history, and blazing a trail forward." said Sean Ryan, now midway through his second season as Tech's golf coach following the death of Lee Labreche in February 2019.
"I think most of our success was not just that we have really great kids from the state of Montana that play at a high level but also their willingness to play for each other," Ryan said. "Our team-first mentality, the brotherhood that they've been able to build with one another is fun to be around and I think it elevates their game. They're not just playing for themselves, they're playing for everyone around them."
The Orediggers open their spring season on March 15-16 at the Lewis-Clark State Warrior Spring Invite at Red World Golf Club. They host the Oredigger Shootout Dual on April 11-12 at Old Works Golf Course before heading to Eagle, Idaho, for the Frontier Conference Championship which runs April 18-21.
"We're really hoping that we can go down and prove ourselves," Ryan said. "We're No. 22 in the nation right now but we've go to go prove to the committee that ranked us that high that we deserve to be ranked there. Once you get in the Top 25 you do your best to stay there and that's an emphasis we're going to have all spring."