The West Central Area Boys Golf team is headed to the state tournament for the first time in school history. The Knights won the Section 6A championship by 15 strokes at the Perham Lakeside Golf Course on Monday and Tuesday, June 7th and 8th. The Knights had a winning score of 709 followed by a Hillcrest with 725. Breckenridge came in at 738, Pine River-Backus 740. Other schools competing that did not advance as teams to the 2nd day were OTC, Underwood, Rothsay, Ashby, Pelican Rapids, Park Christian, Nevis, and Lake Park-Audubon.
The Knights will compete in the Class A State Tournament on June 15 and 16 at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker.
Underwood’s Trevor Swonger was the individual champion. 2nd place was Joel Quam of Hillcrest, 3rd place tie was between Noah Kapenga from Pelican Rapids and Mitch Dewey of WCA, and 5th place was a tie between Bryce Grabinski of Hillcrest and Joseph Zackowski of Pine River-Backus.
WCA Coach Kraig Hunter said: “I am so happy for these boys to get a state tourney experience. They are all really good kids and are so deserving. It was a sweltering 2-day grind in 94 degree heat. Our boys did what they’ve done all year and that is show their team depth. We only had one player in the top 5, but we usually have 5 out of the top 15 overall which shows they’re the deepest team and if one of them has an off day, the others are always there to pick them up.”
“It is quite an accomplishment for Mitch to tie for 3rd overall. He’s got as good of all-around game as anyone out there and is just steady and solid. I’m also proud that our kids take pride in their short games. We work on it a lot at different spots all around our course at practice and I see our boys getting some saves that most high school players don’t. All of those strokes make a difference and I love their heart and grit they play with on every stroke.”
Pictured are: Assistant Coach Chelle Dewey, Mitch Dewey,Tate Christenson, Sam Hanson, Marshall Dewey,Peyton Hanson, Grant Beuckens, and Coach Kraig Hunter.
"Trevor struggled a bit under the extremely hot conditions but kept competing even after a couple of bad holes and it paid off, his second day score of 40 was good enough to become the 6A Champion, something that hasn't been accomplished at Underwood since Aaron Sletten did it in the late 90's," reported Underwood Head Coach Chuck Ross. “I'm also very proud of our other two golfers who made it to day two. Jaxon Swonger and Hudson Risbrudt are only 8th graders and to advance to the second day shows they have a lot of promise."
Lexi Hunter putting.
WCA’s Lexi Hunter placed 11th individually in the girls Section tournament with a two-round total of 216. The top team and the next five individuals advance to state. Park Christian won the girls team title and had three of the top five places so Hunter was 8th of the remaining individual girls missing state by three places. The WCA coaches noted that Lexi was a solid golfer all year and really came on in the conference and section playoffs.
Individual state qualifiers include Adysen Tysdal of OTC with a 171, finishing as runner-up to medalist Emily Stueland (161) of Park Christian. Celi Nelson of Ashby was fourth with a score of 193. Audra Ewan of Hillcrest was fifth with a 194, Kennedy Schuler of Breckenridge qualified with a 202 and the final individual qualifier was Hannah Barchus of Pine River-Backus with a 204. Amber Frigaard of Underwood fired a two-day total of 208, just missing out on a state tournament trip.
Here are the individual boys scores by team:
West Central Area
Mitch Dewey 171, Peyton Hanson 177, Tate Christenson 177, Marshall Dewey 184, Grant Beuckens 188
Joel Quam 162, Bryce Grabinski 172, Micah Foss 189, Ben Christenson 202, Sam Hanson 210, Trey Carl 210, Evan Olstad 212
Dawson Wienbar 180, Max Neitzke 180, Seth Schreiber 82, Matthew Koltes 198, Jeremiah Fox 209, John Etten 235
Joseph Zaczkowski 172, Isaiah Aulie 183, Brady Bristow 184, Ethan Burns 201
Trevor Swonger 161, Hudson Risbrudt 196, Jaxon Swonger 205
Noah Kapenga 171, Brady Petznick 184, Jarett Stetz 195
Carter Dilly 175, Nathan Hillman 194
Carson Weiers 202
Mathias Warrington 172, Lealan Norby 190, Daniel Lindow 196, Ethan Lewis 196, Blaine Leckie 215, Spencer Lindow 217
Blake Iverson 176, Colin Kerrins 188, Andrew Ysteboe 200
Coach Ross of Underwood said, "Amber Frigaard placed 6th and missed going to the state tournament by one place. This is her first year of golf competition and that was quite the accomplishment. She improved with every meet during the year and works hard every practice to become better. Maddie Hoen also made it to the second day and she is just a freshman so the golf program at Underwood is showing a lot of promise."