Lena boys golf team qualifies for state

Wildcats advance after taking 2nd at sectional
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

UPDATED: June 4, 1:20 p.m.

The Lena High School boys golf team qualified for state after placing second at the Division 3 Crivitz Sectional on May 30 at Hunter’s Glen Golf Club in Crivitz.

No other area teams or individual golfers were able to advance on to state.

Lena posted a team score of 342 to advance, trailing only Newman Catholic’s 337.

“This definitely means a lot for us as a team. We all have worked so hard throughout the season to get to this point, so it definitely means a lot,” said Lena’s Braden McVane, who led the team at sectionals with a round of 82. “At sectionals we all just played very conservative and smart just to make sure that we would secure a spot at state.”

“It means a lot to the team. We have put in tons of effort, from playing 36 holes on the weekends to playing in 30-degree temperatures. I feel like we have really worked for our goal, and now it really doesn’t feel real,” said Lena’s Mason Belongia, who posted a round of 85.

This will mark Lena’s first-ever state appearance. The Wildcats’ five-golfer lineup is all juniors and sophomores.

Mason Spice tallied an 87 for Lena, while Drake Dionne finished with an 88. Evan VanderZanden rounded out the team with a round of 97.

“I think what we did well at sectionals was we all got off to strong starts,” said Spice. “We had two pars, two bogeys and a birdie on the first hole to start. I think this relieved the nerves for us, and to see all of us having low scores at the turn pushed us to finish strong on the back.”

“One thing I’d say we all did very well was not let the day get ahead of us and let the pressure take over,” said Dionne. “We just looked at it like another day of golf and if we did well then we move on, so just staying calm and playing golf like we know how was the key.”

Lena will head to Kohler for the state tournament at Blackwolf Run Golf Course.

The Wildcats will open the tournament at noon on June 5 and then golf again starting at 7 a.m. on June 6.

“This definitely means a lot for the team and I,” said VanderZanden. “We have put so much time in and there was stressful days on the course that you just have to overcome. It is wild because three years ago we didn’t even know we were gonna pick up a club.”

Lena’s five players all hope to enjoy the state course, have fun and soak in the experience as much as possible.

Bonduel also competed at the Crivitz Sectional and tied for third as a team with a score of 344.

Jake Dreyer posted a round of 83 to lead Bonduel on the course. Colin Fischer tallied an 86, while Jaxon Bogacz had an 87 and Reed Luepke an 88. Sam Wolf’s round of 104 capped off the five-golfer team.

Marion’s Sam Gueths competed at the sectional as an individual. He posted a round of 97.

Pulaski competed in the Division 1 Notre Dame Sectional at Thornberry Creek at Oneida, tying for fifth place with a score of 321. That mark was only four shots back of second-place finishing Kimberly.

Dixon Holewinski led the Red Raiders with a round of 77. Dylan Carley posted a 79, while Brady Hayward turned in a round of 80. Colin Schultz (85) and Connor Burant (88) filled out the team.

Oconto Falls and Wittenberg-Birnamwood golfed as teams at the Division 2 Wrightstown Sectional at Hilly Haven Golf Course in Wrightstown. Oconto Falls placed ninth with a score of 350, while Witt-Birn finished 12th with a mark of 369.

Kadyn Riel led Oconto Falls with a round of 77, narrowly missing an individual spot at state. Trevor Metzler carded an 88, while Caden Leonhardt posted a round of 91. Cy Vizelka and Mathew Behnke each tallied rounds of 94.

Joey Seegmiller was Witt-Birn’s top finisher, posting a round of 90. Dylan Resch (92), Owen Schultz (93) and George Seegmiller (94) finished within two shots of each other, while August Barke (105) rounded out the team.

Full sectional results and more state information can be found at www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Boys-Golf/Tournament.