Stevens Point Area Senior High senior No. 1 player Trevor Thomas was able to to stroll the course of his final round of the regular season.
There were points during the first six legs of the Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet’s when the Panthers were pushed by Marshfield.
And yeah, Thomas received an early wake-up call from younger brother Taylor Thomas in the opening leg of the conference season.
But, by the time everyone assembled at RiverEdge Golf Course on Friday, Trevor had already locked up his second straight WVC Player of the Year honor.
“I guess you could say we have a little brotherly rivalry, but he pushed me a lot,” said Trevor, who finished second in the final leg, ironically behind his brother, after shooting a 75.
Thomas also had good fortune on the team front, as SPASH clinched a fourth consecutive WVC championship in relatively comfortable fashion over the runner-up Tigers.
The most recent title was a source of pride for the Panthers, who featured four sophomores with little, if any varsity experience entering the season.
“Yeah it feels good,” SPASH coach Mark Vrieze said. “This was one of our three goals to win conference, along with winning regionals and sectionals and getting back to state.”
Taylor Thomas finished second as an individual behind his brother, while Jake Hofmeister and Sam Hauser made honorable mention for SPASH.
When asked what championship meant more to him, Trevor Thomas never hesitated.
“Definitely the team championship means more to me, because that is something we haven’t done at SPASH since ’04 through 07, and we’re proud of that,” the Marquette bound senior said.
Wausau East freshman Matt Tuman earned first team All-Wisconsin Valley Conference after placing third in the overall standings.
Just the opportunity to join the cream of the crop for the last leg was something Tuman, who fired a 77, will remember, and more importantly, learn from as he continues his high school career.
“I wasn’t quite expecting that, but it was real fun playing with those guys and watching their knowledge and experience,” said Tuman of being in the final pairing with Trevor Thomas and Marshfield’s Josh Berres.
“They taught me about a couple rules I never heard of before, and the combination of the rules and how to play the course, was nice.”
Marshfield placed four individuals on the first and second all-conference teams led by Berres, who earned first team honors for the first time in his varsity career.
Berres, who turned in a round of 78 to finish fourth, was the lone Tiger to make the first team, however, Kyle Hoffman, Craig Serchen and Ian Pillai headed up the second team.
“I showed I’m improving, so that feels good,” said Berres, who was on the WVC second team last season. “I could do better, but I was hoping to be in the top five (in the Valley), and I took fourth.”
Wisconsin Rapids’ Joe Benbow also climbed up the all-conference ladder to land on the first team this year with a fifth-place showing, after he grabbed a spot on the second team in 2013.
Tyler Arenson represented the Raiders on the second team.
“Today was pretty much like a playoff for me, because I knew I had to shoot around a 79 to have a chance to make the first team,” Benbow said. “I’m not going to complain about (my round). I’m pleased.”
Mike Pagel and Phillip Guenther, of Merrill, earned honorable mention recognition by placing in the top 15. Derek Tomczik, of D.C. Everest, made the second team and Wausau West’s Drew Pearson was also honorable mention.
Team standings (final): 1. SPASH 48; 2.Marshfield 42; 3. Wisconsin Rapids 29; 4. Wausau East 28; 5. Wausau West 19; 6. Merrill and D.C. Everest 15.
All-WVC first team: 1. Trevor Thomas (SPASH) 100; 2. Taylor Thomas (SPASH) 91.5; 3. Matt Tuman (WE) 79; 4. Josh Berres (Ma) 74.5; 5. Joe Benbow (WR) 62.5.
All-WVC second team: 6. Kyle Hoffman (Ma) 60; 7. Craig Serchen (Ma) 46.5; 8. Ian Piullai (Ma) 45.5; 9. Tyler Arenson (WR) 39.5; 10. Derek Tomczik (DCE) 28.5.
All-WVC honorable mention: 11. Mike Pagel (Me) 26.5; 12. Jake Hofmeister (SPASH) 25.5; 13. Sam Hauser (SPASH) 23.5; 14. Drew Pearson (WW) and Phillip Guenther (Me) 18.5.
Team standings (Leg #7): 1. SPASH 310; 2. Marshfield 324; 3. Wisconsin Rapids 343; 4. Wausau East 347; 5. D.C. Everest 356; 6. Merrill 362; 7. Wausau West 371.
Individual standings (Leg #7): 1. Taylor Thomas (SPASH) 72; 2. Trevor Thomas (SPASH) 75; 3. Matt Tuman (WE) 77; 4. Josh Berres (Ma) 78; 5. Joe Benbow (WR) 79; 6. Craig Serchen (Ma) and Sam Hauser (SPASH) 80; 8. Jake Hofmeister (SPASH), Ian Pillai (Ma), Derek Tomczik (DCE) and Derek Michalski (Ma) 83.