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Men's Golf Receives Four National Letters of Intent

Nov. 14, 2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men's golf head coach Casey Lubahn announced today the signing of four National Letters of Intent to join the Spartan golf program beginning in the 2013-14 season. Charlie Green (Ann Arbor, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central), Charlie Netzel (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township), Francesco Ruffino (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Birmingham Seaholm) and Sam Weatherhead (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids West Catholic) all will attend Michigan State this fall.

"We truly feel this is a landmark class for our program," said Lubahn. "These four guys are special in so many ways - they are dedicated students, young men of great character, highly accomplished players, and they all share a deep passion for MSU. Coach Winger has done a tremendous job during the process and we both feel blessed that these young men have chosen to join our family. We believe they will have an immediate and long lasting impact on our program. Today is a great day for Spartan Golf."

Charlie Green

Green is a three-year letterwinner and two-year captain for head coach Bill Hayes at Detroit Catholic Central. Entering his senior year, he has earned first-team all-state honors all three seasons, in addition to being an all-district and all-Catholic choice. As a freshman, Green helped lead DCC to the state championship, tying for third individually. The last two seasons, he has placed 15th as a sophomore and 17th as a junior at the state meet. In the region, he recently tied for second at the 2012 AJGA Midwest Junior Players Championship. Green has also been a two-time all-state selection in hockey (2011, 2012), and is the team captain for his senior season.

He is the son of Michael and Annie Green, and has a brother, Gordie. His dad played golf at Michigan. Also, his aunt, Suzy played golf at Ohio State and spent some time on the LPGA Tour. His grandfather, Peter, was a three-time All-American golfer at North Carolina, and was a four-time Michigan Amateur champion.

"Charlie is an exceptionally gifted athlete and has excelled in two sports in high school - hockey and golf at Detroit Catholic Central," said Lubahn. "On the golf course, he has great length and text book fundamentals, as well as an inherent knowledge on how to play the game. His family has a long history in Michigan golf and he understands how to compete day in and day out. His upside is tremendous and we look forward to his contributions to our program."

Charlie Netzel

Netzel is a three-time letterwinner for head coach Brian Kopecky at Lyons Township High School. An all-state selection as a junior, he earned all-conference and all-area honors each of his last three seasons. Netzel has had success at the IHSA state championship, finishing as high as second as a junior, while also placing 14th as a senior and 19th as a sophomore. As a senior captain, he helped lead Lyons Township to a third place finish, following up its second place showing the year prior.

In addition to golf, Netzel has also lettered in baseball as a freshman. He is the son of Tom and Jill Netzel. His dad was a four-year letterwinner in basketball at DePauw.

"Charlie is someone we identified early in the recruiting process and felt like a part of our family right away," said Netzel. "He has accomplished a great deal already, and his athletic frame and passion for the game, sets him up to have a great career in college. He has a lot of length and nice touch around the greens. We look forward to him being a Spartan and being an important part of our program going forward."

Francesco Ruffino

Ruffino is a three-year letterwinner for Leon Braisted III at Birmingham Seaholm High School. He became the first sophomore in state history to be named Michigan's Mr. Golf, after posting a 71.5 average in 2011. Ruffino has 63 career wins, most recently winning the 2012 Michigan Junior PGA Championship. In 2010, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship and also won the AJGA Cleveland Junior Open Championship.

He is the son of Chris and Susan Ruffino. His dad attended Michigan State and his mother played tennis at Guilford College.

"Francesco is a special young man who has achieved success at a very high level in junior golf evidenced by his winning on the AJGA Tour and being named Michigan's Mr. Golf as a sophomore in high school," said Lubahn. "He can hit every shot in the book and he has a deep passion for MSU. Throughout the recruiting process, he continued to impress me with his high expectations for himself and our program. He wants to be a champion and his enthusiasm is infectious when you spend time with him. It is with great pride we welcome him to MSU."

Sam Weatherford

Weatherhead is a three-year letterwinner for his father, Andy at Grand Rapids West Catholic. He was named Michigan's Mr. Golf as a junior, having also been a three-time all-state and all-conference selection. As a junior, Weatherford won the state championship, posting a 70.5 scoring average for the season. His sophomore season, he was the state runner-up, losing in a playoff, leading the team to a fourth place showing. He also won regionals as a sophomore and freshman, while placing second as a junior.

Weatherford is also a three-time letterwinner in bowling. He is the son of Andy and Cathy Weatherhead. His dad played tennis and golf at Aquinas College. His brother, Troy was an All-American quarterback at Hillsdale College.

"Sam is coming off a banner year - winning the MHSAA State Championship and being named Mr. Golf," said Lubahn. "He has a big game with the ability to make a lot of birdies in a short amount of time. His family has a great understanding of college athletics and his father Andy was his high school coach at West Catholic. Sam is a huge fan of MSU and he is only at the beginning of his learning curve. I expect him to continue to develop his already impressive game and be an important part of our future."



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