STEVENS POINT — After a season of ups and downs, Mauston capped off its conference season with a fifth-place finish at the SCC meet.
The Golden Eagles shot a team score of 409 to place fifth among the sixth teams at the South Central Conference meet held at SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point Tuesday, May 15. As a result, Mauston finished fifth overall in the SCC standings at the conclusion of the season’s seven meets in conference play.
Nekoosa won Tuesday’s conference meet with a team score of 365, Wisconsin Dells and Adams-Friendship tied for second with a score of 390, Wautoma/Wild Rose shot a 394 as a team to take fourth, Mauston finished fifth at 409 and Westfield took sixth with a score of 414.
The win clinched the conference title for the Papermakers, who finished with 45 team points in the season’s seven conference meets. Wisconsin Dells placed second with 36 total points, Adams-Friendship wound up in third with 27.5 points, Wautoma/Wild Rose came in fourth with 24.5 points, Mauston had 19.5 team points to finish fifth and Westfield took sixth with 15.5 points.
At the SCC conference meet, Nekoosa’s Caden Gerzmehle took first after shooting an 80 while teammate Joel Joslin shot an 83 to come in second. Wautoma/Wild Rose’s Dylan Hughes was third with an 86, Wisconsin Dells’s Will Post finished fourth with an 89, Adams-Friendship’s Ryan Wollin came in fifth with a score of 90, Adams-Friendship’s Alex Arndt and Wisconsin Dells’s Riley Eck each shot a 91 to tie for sixth and Mauston’s Vincent Seeley came in eighth after shooting 93.
Westfield’s Nick Scher, Wautoma/Wild Rose’s Alex Hendrickson, Nekoosa’s Jade Hildebrand and Mauston’s Lucas Eilers all shot a 98 to tie for ninth to round out medalist honors at the meet.
In addition to Seeley and Eilers, Austin Brescia shot a 103, Eric Heath shot a 115 and Alex Klunder shot a 117 for the Golden Eagles. The best four individual scores for each team were added together to give them their team score.
To determine the all-conference teams, each individual golfer’s best five scores from the six regular-season meets were added together with their score at the SCC meet. Gerzmehle won the individual conference title with a combined score of 286. Joslin, Arndt, Post and Eck joined Gerzmehle on the all-conference first team. Seeley was Mauston’s lone representative on the all-conference second team, joined by Hughes, Wollin, Hendrickson and Wisconsin Dells’s Ethan Luther.
Brescia missed out on the all-conference second team by a single stroke, finishing with a total score of 345 to Luther’s 344.
The Golden Eagles kicked off their season on a high note, placing second at their April 12 home meet, just two strokes behind Nekoosa. But due to the extended winter weather, they didn’t play in another meet until May 1. Since then, they played six conference meets and a couple other non-conference meets over the course of 15 days, finishing no better than a tie for third in any of their conference meets.
For Mauston head coach Kurt Andreasen, the condensed schedule allowed virtually no practice time over the past couple weeks, making it difficult to work with his players to improve their game.
“We’ve put eight, nine tournaments in a 12-day span. It’s just been a toll on the kids in both their golf game and school. It’s tough to miss this much school,” Andreasen said. “We basically had no practice in the last two weeks. We’ve had almost zero practice.”
Nevertheless, Andreasen lauded the improvement his players have been able to make throughout the difficult season, including Eilers.
“My number three, Lucas Eilers, has really come around. He shot a 98 today, so two rounds in the 40s,” Andreasen said. “That’s a really big improvement from last year. I believe his average last year was about a 57 or 58. Over the last few tournaments, he’s averaging more like a 48 or 49.”
Next up for the Golden Eagles is a WIAA Division 2 regional meet at Prairie du Chien Country Club Tuesday, May 22 starting at 9:00 a.m. Mauston will compete against Dodgeville, Lodi, Platteville, Prairie du Chien, Richland Center, River Valley, Viroqua, Westby and Wisconsin Dells at the meet.
Regardless of how his team fares the rest of the postseason, Andreasen is excited for the future of Mauston golf. All his current varsity golfers are juniors and he has several freshmen on the team. If improvements can be made throughout the summer, he’s hopeful the Golden Eagles can compete for a conference title next year.
“I’m really excited about next year,” Andreasen said. “I’ve got five freshmen on the team. I actually played a freshman girl, Kendall Laridaen, yesterday, and she played great. She beat a lot of the boys. … And then what’s great is my entire varsity team is juniors, so they all return for their senior year. So I’m excited about that too. If they continue to improve this summer, I’m hopeful we’ll have a chance at winning conference next year.”
SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE MEET
Team scores: Nekoosa 365, Wisconsin Dells 390, Adams-Friendship 390, Wautoma/Wild Rose 394, Mauston 409, Westfield 414