Both the St. Mary’s Springs and Winnebago Lutheran boys golf teams have a lot to be excited about as the 2015 season gets underway.
The Ledgers return two individual state qualifiers in Brady Sarauer and Patrick Treichel, while the Vikings bring back defending Flyway Player of the Year and Division 2 state champion Chris Colla.
Colla, only a junior, will once again be Winnebago Lutheran’s best player in 2015 and coach Jeremiah Hoffmann believes his play will be even more important for the team this season than it has been in the past.
“It’s the third year in a row where he’s going to be our best player and that’s important to the team, this year more than others,” Hoffmann said. “He’s going to help his teammates more and I can see that already, where he’s encouraging and helping other players to get better at their own game.”
The Vikings do lose Eric Schroeder and Tim Anderson from a team that won both the Flyway and its Division 2 regional before finishing third as a team at sectionals.
Apart from Colla, WLA returns Austin Cutter, Will Aird and Travis Rieder.
Hoffman is hoping for his team to finish in the top half of the Flyway, but knows it will be tough for any team in the conference to top St. Mary’s Springs, which he pegged as the favorite.
Sarauer and Treichel were both first team all-conference a season ago, with Sarauer winning regional and sectional titles before finishing 11th at state. Treichel finished fourth at state.
The Ledgers also return Christian McGalloway, Brandon Jaeger and Lauren McGalloway, but coach Joe Bird made it clear that the three spots behind Sarauer and Treichel are up for grabs.
While Springs did lose Brad Jacques and Tony Schmitz from a team that finished third in the Flyway and won its regional, Bird thinks a conference title is within the realm of possibility.
“We should be a strong contender in the conference and hope to return to state as a team,” Bird said.
Fond du Lac
The Cardinals bring back plenty of experience for the 2015 season and look to contend for the Fox Valley Association title.
Fond du Lac returns three varsity players this season in seniors Marcus Ruch and Jack Nejedlo as well as junior Michael Barbeau. Jim Flasch, in his 11th season, is counting on them to be the backbone of the squad.
“We will need to count on their leadership as we reassemble our players for this season,” Flasch said. “The team did finish last year with their best tournament score, which is a nice building block to start this season.”
Last year, the Cardinals finished 4-5 in conference play, losing three matches by a total of four strokes. While Fondy does lose two seniors from that team, Flasch has expectations that new players will step into those roles and the team should compete at the top of the conference.
“As always, we will start tryouts with the anticipation of competing for the conference title,” Flasch said. “From there it is about playing your best team golf at the end of the season to advance towards the state tournament.”
With the loss of three important golfers from last year’s team, the Lions will be very young in 2015.
Lomira loses sectional qualifier Anson Bautista, Nick Steger and Hunter Heidel from the 2014 team, but does return Jarrod Stasson and Nathan Schraufnagel. In finishing seventh in the Flyway Conference last year, the Lions showed potential but were never consistent enough to break into the top half.
With so many young players on this year’s team, Jeff Reindl, in his 19th season, knows this season will have a different feel to it.
“This is a year of change for us,” Reindl said. “We have no players with sectional experience and our roster will be very young. I am looking forward to working with our newcomers and seeing what we can do.”
With a few important golfers back for 2015, the Cougars are aiming for an Eastern Wisconsin Conference championship.
Campbellsport brings back the senior trio of Jack Adams, Ty Schmidt and Eric Leitheiser. Adams was a first team all-conference performer last year and Schmidt was an honorable mention.
Last year, the Cougars finished second in the conference to Sheboygan Falls and advanced as a team to sectionals. While they do need to replace Holden Serwe and Caleb Galligan from that squad, Patti Pelischek, in her 15th season, has high hopes.
“I am hoping to contend for the EWC championship this year,” Pelischek said. “I think that Sheboygan Falls and we will be very competitive all season. We are hosting regionals at Camelot this year, so I am hoping that will be helpful in getting the team through to sectionals.”
The Warriors return four golfers from last year and look to only get better this season.
After finishing fourth in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference a season ago, Waupun brings back two second team all-conference golfers in seniors George Lemmenes and Logan DeMaa, while also returning sophomores Brenden Mock and Andy Navis.
Although the Warriors won’t have Mason Domask around this season, Dan Wucherer, in his 23rd season, is expecting improvement from his squad this year.
“I expect us to improve from last year because of the experience we have gathered from last year’s season and the summer,” Wucherer said. “Some golfers played quite a bit in the summer. Our focus is on continually improving throughout the year and we would like to improve on our fourth place in the conference.”
The Oaks bring back a number of golfers to this year’s team and figure to make a strong run in the postseason.
Returning for Oakfield are Rollin Peterson and Griffin Anderson, as well as Danny Walgenbach. Those three paired with newcomer Tyler Holz should allow the Oaks to compete for the top of the Trailways North Conference and make a push for state, according to coach Mark Anderson.
“Oakfield golf is something to look out for,” Anderson said.
Central Wisconsin Christian
Two of the Crusaders’ better players return to the squad this season in senior Tunis VanBaren and sophomore Jake Thomson.
Central Wisconsin Christian did lose Logan Ganz from last year’s team, but Mark Buteyn, in his 16th season, believes young players like Owen Theune and Ethan Cook could provide a boost for the team.
The team finished third in the Trailways North Conference last year and Buteyn thinks the squad could improve this season.
“We believe that we will be more competitive,” Buteyn said.
North Fond du Lac
The Orioles return only one player, Sara Logterman, to this year’s varsity squad. After making it to sectionals as a team last season, North Fond du Lac lost three key golfers from that team in Ben Mand, Brian Eimiller and Mitch Ballwanz, who joined the baseball team this year.
Returning golfers Dan Behnke, Tyler Schultz, Jared Greiten, Zach Coffeen, Dylan Broennimann and Spencer Broenniman should give the Spartans a chance to do well in the Flyway Conference this year.
Laconia has 17 golfers out for the team this season.
Sam Oleson: (920) 907-7930 or firstname.lastname@example.org