Bill Bentson: Lessons learned at state golf meet will strengthen team

Bill Bentson
Wheelin' with WEB

Well, the 2019 state golf meet is history. It didn’t turn out exactly the way we wanted it to turn out, but nonetheless, it’s done. The second day of play took a little longer to finish, and I’m not exactly sure why.

I was following the Fillmore Central girls’ team (Madison Scheevel, Taylor Bushman, Courtney Hershberger, Marissa Topness and Chloe Morem) and Jake Fishbaugher for the boys. Hailey Lange was unable to participate in the tournament because of some Girl’s State commitments.

When I got “home” to daughter Jacquie’s place in St. Michael from the tournament on Wednesday night, she had supper all ready for me. She made salmon, baby shrimp and potatoes, with some special sauce (she told me, but I forgot) poured over it. It was really good. I cleaned my plate, just like my mother taught me, but I would have anyway, because it was good.

By the time I finished eating, and struggling through an episode of Dexter, I was tired. So, I decided to forego my writing the WEB and went to bed. I was pooped and my body was telling me, sleep first, get up early and write in the morning. I hope all of you have “talking bodies” that tell you to slow down and chill. More importantly, I hope you’re listening to your body when it’s talking to you. I’m usually not that good of a listener!

Anyway, it was 3:22 a.m. (really it was 3:21 a.m. but you understand the 3:22 don’t you?), and I was up and at it to get my weekly Reader commitment finished. It would have been cooler at 2:22 a.m., but then I would have had one hour less of sleep, so this was better.

There was lots of emotion as each player finished their last round of 18 holes on Wednesday at the state golf tournament. There were tears of joy and tears of sadness; tears of frustration, and tears of “Wow, it’s all over.”

As I was watching the players come off the course, I was really hoping they would all understand what they had just accomplished, 36 holes of golf at the state tournament. I tried to console one Fillmore Central golfer when I told her, “I’m nearly 75 years old and do you know how many state tournaments I’ve got? None.” I’m not really sure she understood what I was trying to say, but hopefully some day she will.

I can’t imagine what was going through Madison Scheevel’s head when she walked off the course. Six state tournaments, and a second-place finish this year for the topping on the cake. She had rounds of 82 and 79, finishing with a total score of 161, one stroke behind the defending champion, Rachel Halvorson (Lac qui Parle Valley), who had a 160 (79-81). Scheevel also medaled (top eight get medals) as a junior (sixth) and freshman (seventh) and had a 10th-place finish as a sophomore.

The “newbies,” eighth graders Courtney Hershberger and Chloe Morem and freshman Marissa Topness, are only going to get better and hopefully have a whole library full of information, and lessons, from this experience. With the leadership of veteran Taylor Bushman, and hopefully, Hailey Lange, I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to see these gals right back at Becker for a “seventh-in-a-row” state tournament next year.

Most of us know that even with all the frustrations that the game of golf stirs up, one shot will bring you back for another round. I was thinking of that when I was watching Courtney come into number-18 on the second round on Wednesday. She was about 175 yards out and put her second shot just three feet from the hole, which she birdied on her next shot. She had a smile, and a memory that will last her a lifetime. I don’t give all the gals nicknames, but I’ve dubbed her “Little-mite.” Her golf bag and clubs probably weigh 10 pounds more than she does, but can she stroke the ball! And after seeing her on the basketball court this past winter, there ain’t nothing going to keep her down!

There was also quite the fan base once again. The Falcon-faithful were there in full-force once again, alum, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, friends, neighbors, etc. I think I’ll name them the 4Fs (full force Falcon faithful). And if you want to add, “fine, fun and fanatic,” feel free.

The gals finished seventh (812, 410-402) as a team, but what-the-hey, they made it to the state tournament. Individually, in addition to Madison’s 161, Taylor had a score of 206 (102-104), Marissa was at 222 (115-107, sweet total score, huh?), Courtney had a 223 (111-112) and Chloe had a 242 (121-121).

Some lessons were learned, and if the gals, and Jake, put into practice what they learned from this years’ experience, I would bet a month’s salary, they’ll be right back at Pebble Creek again next year.

Jake had two rounds of 91 and 96, for a total of 187, and finished a bit below the middle-of-the-pack. Again, he’s only an eighth grader and definitely is going to get better. Maybe in a year, or two, he’ll bring some buddies along to play, not just to watch.

Hats off to the coaching staff, Aaron Mensink, Brad Holtan and Andy Todd. Another job well done!

So, guys and gals, get out the sticks and have some fun. “Ubung macht den Meister!” Did I get that right, Mrs. Hokenson? Practice makes perfect!

BOLD (704) was the girls’ team champion, followed by Park Christian (705, Moorhead) and LQPV (720, Madison, Appleton, Milan and Marietta).

Community Christian (Willmar, 655) won the boys, followed by Springfield (658) and Fertile-Beltrami and LQPV (676).

Brett Reid (Community Christian, 145) was the individual boys’ winner. Harrison Patzer (LQPV, 149) was second and Alex Iverson (Park Christian, 154) was third. Emily Doeden (Park Christian, 162) was third for the girls. Halverson, the two-time champion for the girls is just a junior this year. The top four golfers for the BOLD girls are all juniors this year.

The Section One golfers, for boys, were Max Schmitz (Southland, 171), Kollyn Alwes (Blooming Prairie, 178), Keegan Bronson (Hayfield, 181), Jake (187) and Grant Vikre (LeRoy-Ostrander/Grand Meadow, 202). Section One girls were Jenna Wiebke (Caledonia, 180, tied for 14th, sophomore), Vanessa Hawkins (Caledonia, 188, junior), Ally Jilek (Caledonia, 194, 9th grade), Gina Steele (Caledonia, 195, junior) and Macy Holtan (Hayfield, 201, eighth grader).

Caledonia had four individuals at the state meet and if they could have been counted as a team (only need four players for a team score), they would have finished fourth, with a score of 757, one stroke ahead of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (758).

There was talk of allowing that (four/five individuals qualifying from one school) to be counted as a team a few years ago, but got voted down (voted down by whom, I don’t know?). I liken it to a “standard” in track. If the “standard” to qualify for the state track meet in the high jump is 5’4”, and seven athletes from one section all jump higher than 5’4,” then all seven get to go to the state meet. If four, or five, girls from one school, all qualify for the state meet, like Caledonia has done the past two years, why wouldn’t, or couldn’t, they be considered as a team? Another inside note, perhaps. I’m hearing that Caledonia is moving up to Class AA next year. The only girls’ teams in Section 1A this past year were Fillmore Central, Caledonia, Houston and Lanesboro. Hmmm.

We had some medalists in track at the state meet and Rochester Lourdes won the AA softball title. State baseball was going on this past weekend. I’ll get to all that in next week’s WEB. I hope I didn’t bore you with all the golf talk this week.

Good news, road trips for high school sports are just about over.

Thanks to everyone for continuing to read the WEB. My website is being re-furbished. It’s getting a new look and hopefully more material. I’m looking forward to adding some info from my daughters, Roberta, Jacquie and Cori, and my son, Jim (my Fab Four).

Hey to the Great 8, hope you’re all doing well and staying smart. In less than two weeks my lovely wife, Carol, and I will be celebrating an anniversary. I’ll bring it up next week. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. Hope you had a great day.

Hasta luego, my friends. Have a great week, one day at a time. No charts, no standings, no rankings this week. What’s up? Am I sick? WEB.

P.S. Heading out to baseball in a few minutes. It’s 6:22 a.m. Really!