For Legacy Christian Academy boys, the Class 1A state golf tournament was like deja vu all over again when they repeated as champions and took home the top trophy as they did back in 2008.
Wabasha-Kellogg gave the Lions a run for their money during the two-day tournament, staged June 12 and 13 at Pebble Creek in Becker.
But Legacy came out ahead, finishing 18 strokes in front to claim the first place prize.
“We hit our peak during the section tournament … enabling us to capture the title and move on to state. Once we received the bid, we felt like we were strong enough and deep enough to compete for the state championship,” said coach Mark Yaeger after claiming that state championship trophy.
Legacy’s top boys’ golfer, senior Andrew Peterson, returned to the state tournament in which he has competed every year since he was an eighth-grade golfer on 2008’s top team.
Peterson led Legacy’s strong line-up, finishing 10th overall after shooting 157 for the tournament.
Legacy teammates senior Luke Yaeger finished with 160 strokes, tied for 14th place individually, while juniors Trent Anderson tied for 33rd with his 166 strokes and Aaron Hudak finished 38th with 167 strokes. Freshmen Caleb Johnson, with 173 strokes finished tied for 49th and Jake Hoscheid tied for 56th place with 175 strokes.
Yaeger described his golfers’ performance in the state tournament.
“I think nerves got the best of all eight teams on day one, which was very understandable,” Yaeger said. “We were fortunate enough to stay in contention for day two and our guys put together a strong round on Wednesday, led by Trent Anderson’s 76, giving us a team score of 316 and the state title.”
Yaeger said one of the highlights on day two came from Johnson who scored a hole-in-one on the seventh hole and finished his round with a personal best 82.
Yaeger also credits assistant coach Tyler Champ for the Lions’ success on the golf course this year.
Champ, the Lions’ number one golfer when Legacy captured the 2008 Class 1A state title, returned to his alma mater to “add some solid leadership and coaching,” Yaeger said.
“He was definitely a difference maker for us through sections and into the state meet.”
Legacy girls’ state
For the Legacy girls, senior Rachel Gray met high expectations when she took home the trophy for the top girl in the Class 1A state tournament with her 161 strokes.
“I was … very happy for Rachel because she has worked so hard. She first made it to state when she was an eighth grader where she caught the excitement and vision of becoming a state champion,” said Legacy girls’ head coach Dan Nelson.
Gray’s work last summer with a PGA master professional paid off, not only with a state tournament championship, but with a scholarship to Concordia University where she will attend this fall, he said.
Gray and her Legacy teammates finished fourth in team competition.
Individually, the youngest state tournament golfer, seventh-grader Kayla Ruf, finished tied for 48th, while freshmen Jillian Johnson shot a 196, tying her for 44th place in the tournament, Anna Cleveland shot 210 to tie for 67th place and Lindsey McAlpine had 214 to tie for 70th.
“I was very pleased with my team this year,” Nelson said. “This was the first year that our girls have ever made it to state, so sitting five strokes out of second place after day one and finishing fourth were incredible accomplishments.”
Sue Austreng is at firstname.lastname@example.org