PREP GOLF: MCC, Fulda win RRC, W-WG’s Madson, SWC’s Vreeman win individual titlesWORTHINGTON — It’s been a season of firsts for the Murray County Central boys’ golf team. And in its first season of existence, the Rebels can add one more: Red Rock Conference champions.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — It’s been a season of firsts for the Murray County Central boys’ golf team.
And in its first season of existence, the Rebels can add one more: Red Rock Conference champions.
MCC shot a 340 to win the conference title by nine strokes over Westbrook-Walnut Grove during Tuesday’s meet at Prairie View Golf Links.
“It means a lot,” MCC’s Grant Everson said. “It just proves that we can win with the best of them.”
On the girls’ side, Fulda repeated as conference champions with a team score of 393.
“We knew coming in that three of our girls usually score pretty well,” Fulda head coach Loren Carlson said. “But our bottom three scored pretty well, also. That’s why you have a team and this group is really good about being a team. Tessa (Kramer) kind of leads us most of the time and she had the best score after the front nine and then had a couple of hiccups on the back nine and finished in second place. We’ll take that any time.”
Southwest Christian’s Emaleigh Vreeman was the individual champion with a medalist round of 90 on the girls’ side.
On the boys’ side, Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Dana Madson fired a 77 to finish first.
W-WG was second in the boys’ competition with a 349, while Fulda was third with 357. Red Rock Central had a 365 to finish fourth, while Adrian (374), Hills-Beaver Creek (383), Southwest Christian (415) and Round Lake-Brewster (431) rounded out the top eight. Mountain Lake Christian was incomplete.
On the girls’ side, MCC was second with a 416, while Red Rock Central (429) was third. W-WG (440) and Adrian (472) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while SWC was incomplete.
Loosbrock leads MCC boys’ to title
It may not have been a consistent round for MCC’s Ben Loosbrock, but at the end of the round, the score was pretty good.
“It was really, really up and down,” Loosbrock said. “It really depended on where I put my drives and I felt like I putted well today. That really came through on some of my bad holes where I didn’t hit the green. That kind of saved some pars.”
He finished with a 78 – one stroke off the lead – as one of four Rebels who claimed all-conference (top 10) honors.
“I’m more worried about as a team, our goal this year was to win conference and we want to win sub-sections and we want to continue as a team going through toward the postseason,” Loosbrock said. “We want to make it to the state tournament, that’s our goal as a team. Yes, I’m a little bit disappointed, but from the looks of it, we have conference as a team, so I’m happy with that.”
It didn’t come without work, however. He stayed late on Monday night to work on his game in preparation for Tuesday.
“I wasn’t hitting it very straight and I had a lot of problems with snap hooking it to the left, so we had to work on that,” he said. “Today during the round I had some problems early, I had a bad start. But after that, I got back to not thinking about anything and just swing the club like I know how to.”
He was able to do just that, making five birdies in his round.
“He had a rough start to the year and had a couple tough tournaments.” MCC assistant coach Ryan Tjeerdsma said. “But his last three tournaments he’s really been performing well and playing well. We’re kind of leaning on him now to lead us into sub-sections.”
Everson fired an 86 to finish fifth overall for MCC.
“I just kept making bogeys,” he said. “I didn’t have a birdie, I just had a couple of pars here and there. It was tough conditions with the wind.
“With our five guys, it’s always mixed around for the team score. It doesn’t really matter, any of our guys could have been No. 2 or No. 5 and could have shot our second best.”
Devin Ryan (87) and Devin Erickson (89) each had a scoring round for the Rebels.
“It means we have a good group of kids and a group of kids who really work hard,” Tjeerdsma said. “They listen to coaching and they never give up. Each one of them got out to a pretty tough start. They all just kept grinding. They just kept their heads down and kept grinding and kept playing hard.”
After Madson’s 77, Taylor Lindaman finished with an 84 for W-WG. Nick Lehnhoff had a 92 and Walker Christians fired a 96 to round out the scoring.
Fulda’s Mic Holinka finished tied for third in the individual scoring with an 84, while Todd Peterson carded a 90. Mitch Baumhoefner had a 91 and Cole Dierks carded a 92 for the Raiders.
Zach Valentin led RRC with an 88, while Casey Engen had a 90 and Brandon Sohre fired a 93. Adam Knorr rounded out the scoring with a 94.
Ben Henning, who finished eighth overall, carded an 87 to lead Adrian. Ryan Elias had a 93, Justin Elias carded a 96 and Collin Kemper rounded out the scoring with a 98 for the Dragons.
Caleb Schroer’s 86 paced H-BC, while Austin Rauk had a 93. Cody Ellefson (100) and Matt McLeod (104) each had a scoring round.
SWC was led by Monte DeKam’s 93. Trey VanEssen (105), Tadd Van’t Hoff (108) and Jacob Kreun (109) rounded out the scoring.
Kyle Wendland led RL-B with a 94, while Logan Ellenbecker (101), Collin Meinders (110) and Lee Marki (126) had scoring rounds for the Raiders.
Tyler Dick fired a 110 to lead Mountain Lake Christian.
Fulda claims second straight RRC crown
When Kramer finished her round on Tuesday, she didn’t think she played very well.
“I was surprised when I came in with what I shot,” she said. “I had some pretty bad shots and the wind kind of kicked my butt.”
Kramer finished with a 93 to place as runner-up in the conference.
“I was pretty scared for my drives because yesterday I was hooking them all and I was pretty scared,” she said. “But I did pretty good on my drives.”
But when the round was complete, Kramer and her Raider teammates were conference champions.
“We knew we had chance but there are some tough teams here, so we kind of had to shoot,” Kramer said. “But we all shot good.”
Madeline Westra finished with a 97, while Sarah Strenge had a 99. Katie Reynolds and Brittany Leinen each carded a 101 for the Raiders.
“To have five of our six be all conference is really a tribute to the work that our girls have done and the skill they have,” Carlson said.
MCC was led by Hannah Davis, who carded a 97. Kirbie Tedrick had a 105, Liz Praham fired a 106 and Chelsey Jurrens finished with a 108.
“Kirby had her best round of the season with a 45 and Hannah is really steady,” MCC head coach Kim DeLong said. “They have some improvement and I think in the sub-section, they will see improvement. They’re ready, they just need to make that next step.
“The girls have been consistent as a team. We only had one girl in the top 10 and they still finished runner-up. Four of the girls shot in the 40’s. We need to work on the short game and get two rounds in the 40’s for sub-sections.”
RRC was led by Alison Kircher and Kylie Redenius, who each finished with a 101. Makayla Meier had a 111, while Shelby Evans had a 116 for the Falcons.
W-WG’s Abby Herding was fifth overall with a 98, while Avoree Bakken had a 108, Paige Erickson had a 111 and Deziree Koenig shot a 123.
Marissa Veld led Adrian with a 115, while Katie Wieneke (117), Jada Elias (118) and Samantha Boyle (122) each had scoring rounds for the Dragons.
After Vreeman’s 90, SWC was led by Jen Smit (109) and Carly Hulstein (124).
Vreeman, Madson break through for titles
For Vreeman and Madson, it was just a matter of time.
Both golfers had enjoyed success at the conference tournament in years past.
But each time, the individual title was just out of reach.
That is, until Tuesday.
Vreeman fired a 90 to win on the girls’ side after shooting 45 on each side.
“Since eighth grade, I’ve placed in every conference tournament, but I’ve never taken the first-place title,” Vreeman said.
The senior at Southwest Christian, Vreeman had one final chance to win the elite title.
“It’s nice to finally be able to do it by my senior year,” she said. “This is my last chance I’ll ever get in high school, so its’ nice to be able to do that finally.
“Knowing that I could do it puts enough pressure on myself because of my scores that I’ve had this year. It’s my senior year, so it’s all or nothing. It’s time to step it up a little bit.”
Vreeman was inconsistent on the day, but a lot of that had to do with the strong wind.
“I hit a high shot, so the winds tend to affect it if I put any sort of spin on the ball. I had my good shots, but I had too many bad shots today,” she said. “If I would have even the slightest amount of spin on it, it would either drop my ball or kick it left or right. Putting made it difficult in the wind. It was tough to read everything.”
Madson wasn’t very excited about the wind before the round even started.
“Definitely was not excited coming in, it was a little too windy,” he said. “I stepped up on the first one and I had been struggling with the wind ball on the range and I stepped up and lit one up. I played off an opposite hole tee box. I started off rough and struggled through a few holes and it was up and down. But I saved pars and got stuffed with bogeys. I came down to the eighth and stuck it on in two. I had a 40-footer and it broke about two feet and sunk that for eagle. So that was sweet. I laid right on the green on 9 and I went up and down. That was a good end.”
Madson fired a 38 on the front and a 39 on the back.
“The next round, I stepped up and launched one off the tee and started with good momentum,” Madson said. “I drove a few greens throughout the round and missed a really, really bad three-foot birdie putt on the par 5. I came out and struggled on the last hole, but I had stayed strong enough through the round to hold it up.”
For Madson, it was his first conference title after finishing second and third in previous years.
“Really it’s not getting over a hump, it’s just another step along the way,” Madson said. “It’s another round. It’s a nasty day and a lot of guys got cut short from the weather. I just got lucky on a few kicks and was blessed with a nice round.
“We have a lot of great golfers out here. MCC is definitely a threat coming up and I have a lot of great competitors on my team. I don’t feel individual pressure, I just like to come out and compete as a team.”
The teams will have a few days off before the sub-section tournament Wednesday at Worthington Country Club.
“I’ll go golf my home course in Luverne, and that’s a tough course, so it will kind of prepare me for Worthington,” Vreeman said. “Monday we’ll go do practice rounds and kind of fix the things that need fixing by next week so I can hopefully do better. “
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Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.