Golfers sit at 3rd in Valley
Last year the Bluejay boys golf team never got in its groove and finished a disappointing seventh of seven.
This year’s team is determined to bury that result deep in the past, although the weather hasn’t cooperated for many early-season strides.
But the Jays showed their off-season work will likely pay dividends, when they placed third in Friday’s WVC #1 meet at Wis. Rapids The Ridges Golf Course.
“Like the rest of the teams, this was the Bluejays first competition of the season,” MHS coach Joe Mertens. “While the boys played a lot of good holes that I observed on the course, they also had some of the expected golf course rust which showed up in their iron play and short games, but nothing that cannot be worked out.
“The team really started out well. The third place finish is an excellent start after finishing last season in seventh place.”
The Jays showed a blend of experience and youth at the top of their scorecard, when senior Coty Guenther and freshman Max Baranczyk both fired 42-45-87 to rank eighth individually. Baranczyk is a student in the Bridges program who lives near Suamico.
“Coty came through with solid play to put up a meaningful score for us early on posting an 87,” Mertens said. “Max also posted 87 and worked hard and never gave up on the back nine to shoot a respectable score.”
Kevin Lee tied for 16th with a 46-46-92, and Philip Guenther shot a 20th-place 51-43-94. Mike Pagel struggled with a 70-53-123.
“Kevin Lee had his driver working, but knows he could have saved a lot of shots around the greens with a little more practice outdoors,” Mertens said. “Our final score of 94 came from Philip Guenther, who struggled posting 51 on the front side but came back on the back with 43 knowing early on we would need his score to count.
“The boys are looking forward to the next conference meets; Tuesday at Pine Valley and Friday at River Edge G.C. in Marshfield.
“This third place finish in the first of seven conference matches has given the team a feeling of success which is something they like very much and want to work to hang onto. The team is looking forward to practicing for that purpose now that the Merrill golf course is open.”
Marshfield’s Kyle Hoffman edged Point’s Trevor Thomas 78-79 for medalist honors.
Team standings-SPASH 333, Marshfield 342, Merrill 360, Wis Rapids 364, Wausau West 370, D.C. Everest 371, Wausau East 427.