BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Exactly one week has passed since the Gulf Coast Men's Golf team brought home the NJCAA Division II National Championship, but the feeling of blissful disbelief by the players hasn't.
"It's one of things that you know it happened, but you don't believe it happened," Gulf Coast freshman and Pearl River Central product Carter Nicholson said. "You're waiting to wake up or someone pinch you, because you think you're dreaming, but it's just a surreal feeling."
After coming up just five strokes short of the championship in 2017, the Bulldogs headed to Foley, Alabama with one goal on their minds.
"We led for just about the whole tournament last year and then just lost it right at the end, so that was a pretty big blow," Gulf Coast graduate and North Alabama signee Jackson Wedgeworth said. "But I mean, in hindsight, it really made us win this year."
Entering the final day six strokes back, Gulf Coast kicked it into gear when they needed it most.
"I thought we were in the perfect spot, just a couple back just to keep us in it to where we are in full attack mode." Gulf Coast and Hancock product Colby Entriken said. "We're not protecting everything, going at every flag, trying to make every putt, you just forget about the scores and you just try to make birdies."
Thanks to a furious final push, the Bulldogs finished at 2-under, with a one stroke lead over the rest of the field, clinching their first team national championship in program history.
"That's the best feeling ever," Gulf Coast graduate and William Carey signee Colby Blake said. "To know that we get to leave with something real special for the school and for (MGCCC head coach) Tommy Snell, I think it's the most rewarding thing I think we could have."
Turnover is inevitable in college sports, especially at the JUCO level, but the Bulldogs are confident they have what it takes to possibly repeat in 2019.
"We only get to be a part of these kids' lives for two years," MGCCC assistant coach Brad Thornton said. "But the impact these sophomores have had, and the freshmen that are coming up? We've got a great building block going into next year, (a) couple of great recruits coming in from across the state, so (we are) really looking forward to what we can do next year in Indiana."