Boys golf team wins final meet to claim WCC title
Sports | Published on May 22, 2023 at 3:21pm CDT
The Minnewaska Area boys golf team saved its best for last, shooting a four-person total of 151 to win the final WCC meet at Morris last Tuesday to claim the WCC team title.
The Lakers and WCA Knights came into the final league meet tied with 51 points each, but Minnewaska Area edged WCA by five strokes to win the WCC title with 59 points, while WCA was second with 58.
“I’m proud of our guys and happy for them,” coach Dave Drexler said. “They are a close-knit group and are just really great people.”
Four members of the Minnewaska Area team earned All-Conference as Riley Larson finished second overall in the individual WCC standings, Zach Gugisberg was fifth, Blake Nelson was seventh and Thatcher Sherlin was 12th.
Earlier in the week, the team placed third of 13 teams at the Becker Invitational with Riley Larson earning medalist honors.
The Lakers were also set to host the Minnewaska Area Boys Invitational, Saturday, and results of that competition will be highlighted next week.
On tap this week is the Section 3AA Golf Tourney prelims, set for Thursday, May 25 at Buffalo Lake. The top golfers and teams return to Buffalo Lake, Wednesday, May 31 for the Section 3AA Finals.
The Lakers placed third of 13 teams at the Becker Invitational last Monday with Riley Larson earning medalist honors with a two-over 74.
Waconia won the team title with a super score of 307, while St. Cloud Cathedral was second (323) and the Lakers third (325).
“Riley ground out a solid round of golf today,” Drexler said. “His swing was a little off , but he did a great job staying mentally focused on every shot and managing his way around the course.”
Zach Gugisberg added a 76 to place sixth overall, while Thatcher Sherlin carded an 82, Kody Ward had a 93, Garrett Jungclaus came home with a 96 and Jackson Ziesmer shot a 99.
“There were some really good golf teams here today in all three classes,” coach Drexler said. “It’s great to see how we measure up against teams like this and I was proud of the way our guys competed today.
WCC meet at Morris
The Lakers saved their best for last as Minnewaska shot a season-best 151 total to win by five strokes over West Central Area in the last WCC meet of the season last Tuesday night at Morris.
The win gave the Lakers the WCC title this season after both teams came into the final meet with 51 points.
“What a battle it’s been all year and to come into the last meet of the season tied is both exciting and stressful,” coach Drexler said. “We have a ton of respect for WCA; we know that they are competitors and were going to come into the meet and put forth their best effort. We knew we’d have to do the same. Our kids responded to the challenge shooting their best 9-hole round of the season with a 151.”
Riley Larson and Zach Gugisberg came through with two of their best rounds of the season as both Minnewaska golfers tied for first with two-under 34s.
That helped lift the Lakers to the title, giving Minnewaska 59 points for the season compared to 58 for WCA.
Morris Area finished third in the final league standings with 48 points, followed by Melrose and Benson with 31 each, Montevideo with 27, Sauk Centre with 21 and BOLD with 13.
Blake Nelson added a 41 for the Lakers to tie for eighth, while Thatcher Sherlin carded a 42 to tie for 15th. Minnewaska won four of the eight WCC meets this season, placed second three times and earned third once at Benson after losing a fifth-score tiebreaker to Morris Area.
In final league standings, Riley Larson was second overall individually behind Morris Area’s Charlie Hanson, while Zach Gugisberg was fifth, Blake Nelson was seventh and Thatcher Sherlin finished 12th. All four golfers earned All-Conference.
“I was really proud of the focus our guys had coming into the round and was happy with how our guys responded to tough breaks,” coach Drexler said. “We’ve been talking all year about the importance of ‘flushing the bad shots’ and moving on to the next shot with focus and commitment. Today, we did a great job of that. Riley hit his first shot of the day out of bounds. He ended up saving bogey and going on to shoot a 2-under. That showed a lot of mental toughness. All our guys did a great job of that today and it paid off.”
at Becker Invitational
Boys team scoring:
(1) Waconia 307 (2) SC Cathedral 323 (3) Minnewaska 325 (4) Rockford 326 (5) Heritage Christian 329, NLS 330, North Branch 333, Dassel-Cokato 339, Litchfield 339, Becker 3350, Big Lake 356, Legacy Christian 371, Zimmerman JV 406
Boys top five:
(1) Riley Larson, Min 74 (2) Jaden Ford, Waconia 74 (3) Evan Villagomez, Her Chris 75 (4) Reid Kath, NLS 75 (5) Phillip Gorder, Rockford 75 (6) Zach Gugisberg 76
Minnewaska results: Riley Larson 74, Zach Gugisberg 76, Thatcher Sherlin 82, Kody Ward 93, Garrett Jungclaus 96, Jackson Ziesmer 99
WCC meet at Morris
Boys team scoring:
(1) Minnewaska 151 (2) West Central Area 156 (3) Morris Area 165 (4) Benson 172 (5) Montevideo 173 (6) Sauk Centre 177 (7) Melrose 189 (8) BOLD 201
Boys top five:
(1) tie, Riley Larson, Min; Zach Gugisberg, Min, both 34 (3) tie, Charlie Hanson, Mor; Mitchell Dewey, WCA, both 38 (5) tie, Ryan Tolifson, Ben; Marshall Dewey, WCA, both e8
Minnewaska results: (1) Riley Larson 34 (1) Zach Gugisberg 34 (8) Blake Nelson 41 (15) Thatcher Sherlin 42, Kody Ward 46, Chase Wacker 55, Garrett Jungclaus 58
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