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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 16 2010

Bison men's golf: Olson, Carlson sign on

Friends Trenton Olson and Bill Carlson played golf virtually every day this summer at Oxbow Country Club south of Fargo. Whether it was going to the driving range or playing 36 holes, golf was the ticket.

Little did they know, however, how big of a date July 1 was for the assistant professional at Oxbow. Billy Iverson is also the head golf coach at North Dakota State and the first day he could talk to Olson and Carlson about college golf was after July 1.

“It was unique with the kids being out at Oxbow all the time,” Iverson said.

But NCAA rules do not carry exceptions and Iverson had to abide by the large manual of rules. Sensing they may be potential Division I recruits, he told both Olson and Carlson over a year ago about the situation and that he couldn’t sit down and talk about scholarship opportunities until July of this summer.

“I’m pretty sure though that he always wanted us there,” Olson said.

But Iverson couldn’t hang out on the driving range and watch both players hit shots. Since he was in the golf shop most of the time and the kids were on the course, they didn’t run into each other a whole lot.

There is a greeting stipulation in the NCAA rules. “But you can’t go much beyond that,” Iverson said.

Iverson, however, put on the full court press in July and August traveling to tournaments to watch both players. He saw Olson card a 9 on the 11th hole in the final day of the F-M Junior All-City, then saw him birdie five the last six holes to win the tournament.

“So many kids would have folded the tent,” Iverson said.

Last Wednesday, the recruiting ended with Fargo South’s Carlson and Fargo Shanley’s Olson signing letters of intent to attend NDSU. With sophomore Nathan Anderson, it means Oxbow will have three players on the Bison roster in 2011-12.

“I thought if Nathan can do it, so can I,” Carlson said.

Carlson and Olson said they talked about college choices often over the summer. Olson was looking at Gustavus Adolphus, but when NDSU came at him with a partial scholarship, he took it.

Carlson talked with other Bison players, who told him it was a fun experience and it’s nice going to school closer to home.

“NDSU is a good program that is coming up,” Olson said.

The Bison fall roster includes Brandon Hallquist and Kyle Jandro from Fargo South and Spencer Hilde from Moorhead and two players from Bismarck, N.D. The goal, Iverson said, is to keep the good players around and for the first time, he has some scholarship money to do it.

Because of that, last Wednesday was the first time an NDSU men’s golf coach participated in early signing day.

“There is a lot of talent here and it’s nice to keep some kids staying at home,” Iverson said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia