The Northwest Suburban Conference portion of the spring high school golf season has given way to sections and the ultimate goal of each prep golfer, an opportunity to play in the state tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids in early June.
Before section meets determine the field for state, the Northwest Suburban Conference held its final meets of the season which for the boys came May 23.
No surprise that the conference team title went to Maple Grove, which won five of six meets including the final at Bunker Hills by 12 strokes with Andover and Champlin Park tying for runner-up and Elk River one stroke back in fourth place.
Blaine shot a 325 to place sixth, Anoka shot a 338 to place eighth and Coon Rapids shot a 346 to place 10th.
Champlin Park freshman Anson Kuznick earned medalist honors with a three-under-par 69.
Coon Rapids freshman Mike Fredrickson fired a team-low 81 followed by Nick Podkopacz (85), Lucas Pedersen (90), Kyle Fleury (90), Chris Lundberg (92) and Sam Naegele (94).
Maple Grove won the season-long team race and the Crimson’s Jackson Lanous’s 37.5 nine-hole score average was the lowest in the conference.
Blaine finished second in the season-long standings, based on average score, which was 0.33 strokes ahead of Robbinsdale Armstrong. Andover was fourth with a 323.17 average after scoring two runner-up finishes, including the May 23 result.
According to Andover coach John Anderson, the team put in some extra practice at Bunker Hills on the two days, at 6 a.m. before school, before the final regular season meet.
The focus was on the short game including chipping and putting.
As a result, Erik Wagner chipped in from just off the green on the first hole for birdie. He ended up shooting 81, despite finishing four-over-par on the final two holes.
Inconsistency is another area Anderson felt the Huskies couldn’t avoid, he said.
“We had two bad matches that took us out of [conference team] contention,” Anderson said. “Overall the season has been a slight disappointment for us. A number of the boys would like to have played better but there is still the section.”
Anoka coach Doug Orr said his squad equaled its average of the season, but it wasn’t enough to finish in the top half of the standings.
“We need our number three-six players to step up,” he said. “We have been getting good production out of our top two players but need some scores to go along with them.”
Savari earned All-Conference honors and finished the final regular season meet with a one-over-par 73, despite being three-under with three holes remaining. He shot par, double-bogey, double-bogey on the final three holes.
“For him to advance out of our section he can’t be giving away those strokes at the end of his rounds,” Orr said.
All-Conference honors went to the top-21 players in terms of scoring average.
- 3. Max Savini, Anoka, 37.92
- 5. Sam Steinwand, Andover, 38.83
- 6. Frank Lundquist, Blaine, 39.08
- 8. Dakota Krech, Blaine, 39.67
- 13. Ben Hauge, Anoka, 40.33
- 14. Luke Herda, Andover, 41.17
- 18. Seth Lawrence, Andover, 41.00