Warren golfer to compete at Muskingum University

VINCENT – Michael Sams is planning on playing a lot of golf at EagleSticks next season.

The Zanesville-based, 18-hole course is the home base for Muskingum University, where the 2013 Warren graduate will be continuing his education and competing on the varsity level.

“I’ve been to the (Muskingum) campus and like it a lot,” said the 18-year-old Sams. “I also like Coach (Dave) Kirby. He has a young golf team, and I think I can help them.”

Muskingum University is an NCAA Division III school, located in New Concord. The Fighting Muskies compete in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC).

Sams said he also considered going to Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W.Va. and Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.

“Muskingum is a good fit for Michael,” said sixth-year Warren golf coach Nathan Evans. “I’m very happy and excited to see him playing at the next level.”

Sams said he’s undecided on a college major, but “leaning toward criminal justice.”

Sams’ Muskingum University freshman roommate will be fellow Warren grad Danny Pannell, who will be playing baseball for the Muskies. A couple of other Warriors on campus will be Nick Koch (soccer) and Tyler Ward (men’s basketball).

Shon Smith of Fort Frye will be playing basketball at MU.

According to Sams, he was introduced to golf for the first time in the eighth grade.

“My grandpa (Larry Sams of West Union, W.Va.) bought me a starter set,” he said. “And I just fell in love with the game.”

Sams also got very good at it, too, and became a four-year letterwinner in the sport at Warren. Currently, he and his family reside not too far away from Oxbow Golf & Country Club in Belpre.

At Warren, Sams capped his senior year on the golf course as a member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) champion Warriors. On the season, he finished with an 18-hole average of 81.33 and nine-hole average of 41.5 – but consistently shot in the 70s.

“Michael has a very good short game and is a good putter,” Evans said. “And in his senior season, he improved on his irons and driving.

“In his four years at Warren, he worked hard on his game, and got better every year. You can tell that he really loves the game.”

One of Sams’ senior year highlights on the golf course was carding a season-best 73 and making the all-tournament team at the Waterford Invitational at the Lakeside Golf Club in Beverly.

At the close of the campaign, he also was honored as a first-team all-district selection.

This summer, Sams is polishing his game by playing on both the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association (MOVJGA) and Callaway Junior tours.

Last week, Sams shot a 74 at an MOVJGA round at Worthington Golf Club in Parkersburg and an 81 at St. Marys (W.Va.) Golf Club.

Sams is the son of David and Robin Sams.