Blackjack boys repeat at Section 5A golf champions

Beaten by Ortonville by four strokes in the sub-section tournament last week, the Dawson-Boyd boys’ golf team got back at the Trojans and got back to state Wednesday by shooting a 345 to win the Section 5A tournament championship in Benson.

Ortonville came in second, seven strokes back. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (366) and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (367) were the other two teams competing at the tournament.

The Blackjacks will play in the Class A state tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker June 11-12. Dawson-Boyd placed third at state last season.

Easton Popma led the charge for the Blackjacks Wednesday, tying for second individually with a 7-over round of 79. Teammate Spencer Erickson also cracked the top 10, placing ninth with an 85. Dawson-Boyd’s other two scores came from freshman Christian Thoen (90) and sophomore Cameron Kemen (91).

Ortonville’s Jade Hasslen was the medalist with a 78 and teammate James Nitz shot 84.

Dawson-Boyd head coach Dave Baldwin said the top two teams weren’t at the top of their game and his squad felt fortunate to advance.

“We’re thrilled that we won,” he said. “I think all the guys were relieved as much as anything because they felt they could have played better, and I know Ortonville is saying the same thing. They’re really good.

“I don’t think any of the kids really felt they played their best today and we were just the lucky team to come out ahead today.”

With Popma consistently shooting in the 70s throughout the season, the Blackjacks needed a golfer to sneak into the mid-80s Wednesday to get past Ortonville and Erickson was the one to do it with his 85.

“Easton is our rock and we were really happy to see Spencer Erickson play better,” Baldwin said. “Spencer’s a very good player and we know once he gets his game into shape that this should be more normal for him going forward. He’s getting to where we know he can be.”

The Blackjacks have just one upperclassmen on their varsity roster in senior Aaron Madson. Four of the golfers are sophomores and Thoen is the lone freshman. Popma, Erickson and Thoen were all on the state tournament team last year, while the other three will be making their first trip.

Considering the pressure, Baldwin felt his young squad handled itself well on Wednesday.

“I think in golf kids tend to be a little more nervous, generally speaking,” he said. “We really try to tell them that it’s a fun game and that they have to have fun, but we’re all competitors and we all want to play well so when things aren’t going our way it can be tough. But I think they had fun overall and I think we’re going to get better. It’s sure a great group of kids to work with.”

Canby’s Nick Simonton competed in the tournament as an individual. He finished 13th with an 89. The top five individuals not on the winning team advanced to state.

Ortonville was the top squad on the girls’ side with a 379 and Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Carly Schmalz was the medalist with an 85.

Canby’s Natalie Morris and Abi Morris shot 108 and 117, respectively, and Dawson-Boyd’s Taylor Loose finished with a 116.

Boys’ Team Scores: 1. Dawson-Boyd 345, 2. Ortonville 352, 3. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 366, 4. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 367.

Individual State Qualifiers: Jade Hasslen (ORT) 78, T’Mone Kleindl (CGB) 79, Cole Mertens (BOLD) 81, Brady Madsen (MACCRAY) 82, Taylor Larson (ACGC) 83.

Individual Scores

CGB: T’Mone Kleindl 79, Dylan Pullis 91, Nic Jahnke 96, Mason Pullis 100.

BBE: Carl Knutson 87, Jordan Lewis 89, Jackson Gregory 91, Jayden Miller 100.

Ortonville: Jade Hasslen 78, James Nitz 84, Scott Erickson 94, Britton Conroy 96.

Dawson-Boyd: Easton Popma 79, Spencer Erickson 85, Christian Thoen 90, Cameron Kemen 91.

Ashby: J.P. Moe 97.

ACGC: Taylor Larson 83, Lucas Damm 91.

BOLD: Cole Mertens 82, Nick Feige 86, Nick Kubesh 95.

Browerville: Brandon Host 106.

Canby: Nick Simonton 89.

MACCRAY: Dean Schroeder 88, Brady Madsen 82.

Osakis: Paul Hartmann 89, Joe Garcia 91, Joey Kotek 93.

WCA: Hunter Pfingsten 90, Jordan Bruns 108.

Girls’ Team Scores: 1. Ortonville 379, 2. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 402, 3. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 405, 4. West Central Area 437.

Individual State Qualifiers: Carly Schmalz (BLHS) 85, Peyton Miller (BBE) 90, Jordan Greundmann (BBE) 92, Baille Hauser (MACCRAY) 96, Faith Couchey (Browerville) 97.

Individual Scores

BBE: Peyton Miller 90, Jordan Greundmann 92, Jaden Gossen 108, Emily Wosmek 115, Maddie Baker 115.

WCA: Marissa Hayward 104, Morgan Grove 105, Tiffany Boysen 111, Hailey Kreft 117.

Ortonville: Jenae Schneider 90, Hope Hasslen 96, Amber Sorenson 96, Bree Ninneman 97.

BL-H-S: Carly Schmalz 85, Mikayla Paulson 104, Alesha Paulsen 106, Sami Swanson 107.

ACGC: Abigail Dallman 111.

Browerville: Faith Couchey 97.

Canby: Natalie Morris 106, Abi Morris 117.

Dawson-Boyd: Taylor Loose 116.

MACCRAY: Baillee Hauser 96.