Wildcats Advance to State; Bauman/Bailey Qualify

Wildcats Advance to
D3 State Tourney;
STAA’s Bailey is
Individual Qualifier

For the first time in team history, the Lena Wildcats golf team is headed to state.
The Wildcats shot a 342 as a team Tuesday to take second of 12 teams at the Crivitz sectional at Hunter’s Glen, two strokes better than third-place Saint Mary Catholic and Bonduel.
The Wildcats got four scores in the 80s, led by junior Braden McVane, who carded an 82. McVane has been the team’s top golfer for most of the season, which continued to Tuesday.
Drake Dionne, who shot a medalist round of 78 to help Lena win the Bonduel sectional last week, shot an 88. Evan VanderZanden carded a 97.
Mason Belongia shot an 85 and No. 5 Mason Spice stepped up to card an 87. Spice, a sophomore, shot a 41 on the front nine and a 46 on the tougher back nine to make a huge contribution to the Wildcats’ qualification.
“To post that right away is really good,” Lena coach John Moe said of Spice’s front nine. “It gets tough on the back. We weren’t the only ones that struggled, and with the wind, there were a lot of people putting up bigger scores on the back than the front. It was a grind.”
Moe said that Jim Torzala, former math teacher, athletic director, principal, special education director, and more at Lena High School, started the program about 15 years ago, also serving as coach. Now, the program is headed to state for the first time.
“I’m very proud of the kids. They put a lot of work in, so it’s special,” Moe said. “That was our goal at the beginning, so to see it come through to fruition is special.”
State is played at Blackwolf Run in Kohler on Monday and Tuesday. The Wildcats will be joined there by Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy junior Kaiden Bailey, who earned medalist honors at the sectional with a score of 76 and qualified for state as an individual.
Bailey shot a 40 on the front nine and turned it on for a 36 on the back nine. He birdied the par-5 12th and par-3 13th, which STAA coach George Hayes said helped “energize him for the final stretch run.”
Newman Catholic’s Conner Krach also shot a 76, requiring a playoff hole for medalist, which Bailey won.
“Kaiden did a great job in the sudden death playoff for medalist. He had a decent tee shot but had a tough lie that he handled pretty well,” Hayes said. “His opponent Connor Krach hit into the fescue off the tee. Kaiden put his approach shot on the green but left himself a long putt. His putt left him within a foot of the cup for a tap in par to win the hole and the championship.”
STAA qualified for sectionals as a team, but that’s where the road ends for the rest of the Cavalier team as they were ninth of 12 teams on Tuesday.
Henry Piasecki carded a 98, Theron Thayer shot a 99, and Chase Gromala scored a 109.
“Our other guys competed well but it was not enough to advance as a team,” Hayes said. The entire Cavalier top five will be back next year.
Crivitz junior Kaden Klaver shot an 89 on Tuesday and Wolverine freshman Kade Thoma carded a 98. Coleman freshman Thomas Rhode scored a 97 and Niagara’s Nate Olsen shot a 107.

Peshtigo’s Bauman
Advances to State
From  Hilly Haven
D2 Sectional

Peshtigo’s Grant Bauman is headed back to state after a highly competitive Division 2 golf sectional at Hilly Haven in De Pere on Tuesday.
The top two teams from 12 advanced to state, along with the top three golfers not on qualifying teams. In this field, that’s a tight window.
A total of 12 golfers broke 80, with Seymour freshman Vince Sigl shooting a 74 to occupy one of the three individual qualifying spots.
Winneconne and Berlin qualified for state as a team, so No. 2 golfer Parker Groff of Winneconne already had his spot.
Berlin’s Alex Johnson, Bauman and Trey Reilly of Wautoma/Wild Rose shot 76s to tie for third. Johnson qualified as part of a team and Bauman and Reilly filled the final two individual spots.
Bauman bogeyed seven holes and birdied three on the day. The hole that stood out to coach Kyle Cheney was the 524-yard 15th hole, which Bauman birdied.
“He was able to get on the green in two with a beautifully-hit 9 iron from 175 yds out,” Cheney said.
Bauman had success on the longest holes, as he shot par on the 533-yard 12th and birdied the 571-yard seventh.
“All three of his birdies were basically tap-ins. His tee-to-green game carried him with exceptional ball striking,” Cheney said. “There was very little pin seeking today as the greens were hard to hold. We had a game plan to hit the front of the green yardage and hope for bounces to the middle of each green to give 15 to 25-foot putts.”
The state tournament will be held Monday and Tuesday at Blackwolf Run in Kohler.
“We are excited to get two rounds at Blackwolf in Kohler,” Cheney said. “The course suits Grant well and I expect to represent himself and the school well.”
The tight squeeze for individual places also meant that Oconto Falls sophomore Kadyn Riel was on the outside looking in despite a strong day of golf, having tied for sixth with a 77, one stroke back of the qualifying places.
Oconto Falls was ninth as a team with a 350 score. After Riel, Trevor Metzler shot an 88, Caden Leonhardt carded a 91, and both Mathew Behnke and Cy Vizelka shot 94s. All four of them are seniors for the Panthers.
Marinette sophomore Brady Eastman shot an 81 to tie for 18th and Marine senior Dominic Smerchek tied for 38th with an 87.

Maroon Girls Finish
Second at FNC Meet

Menominee’s girls’ golf team came up just short of winning the Great Northern Conference Meet in Gladstone on Thursday.
The Maroons led by three strokes with six holes to play, but faded a bit down the stretch to finish tied for second with a score of 415. Escanaba clipped the Maroons with a 403 score to win the title.
Menominee’s Mackenzie Doyle tied for third in the field with a 98, Hanna Drifka was eighth at 103, and Lexi Marineau tied for ninth with a 104. Ava Chouinard shot a 110 and Anna Axtell’s 128 was dropped.
“The girls played a great round today,” Menominee coach Tony Hofer said. “As a team we were leading by three with six holes to play and ran out of gas.”
Still, it was the Maroons’ best team score of the season. Individually, Doyle and Marineau both made the GNC first team for their play over the course of the season. Escanaba’s Cierra Scott won the conference player of the year award.
The Maroon boys took fourth Thursday and overall for the season. Keegan Wickstrom shot an 87, Jonah Slawinski shot a 90, Matt Mellinger carded a 96, Trevor Theuerkauf shot a 103, and Connor Coduti finished with a 118.
Wednesday is the UP State Finals, with the boys at Sweetgrass and the girls at Sage Run.



Subscriber Login