Warriors look to be competitive in Northern Pines play
Tim Wurdock is counting on both United North Central golf teams to be competitive in Northern Pines Conference play this spring.
Last season, the Warriors entered the Northern Pines Conference on probationary status and weren't able to compete for all-conference honors. This season, Wurdock expects both the UNC boys and girls teams to compete for top team and individual honors in conference play.
UNC returns a veteran boys group with five golfers returning from the team that placed sixth at the North Section 8AA meet with a 374. Returning to lead the Warriors are seniors Luke Wurdock and Vaughn Massie, juniors Mikko Johnson and Anthony Wurdock, and sophomore Mason Hotakeinen.
Luke Wurdock, who had a nine-hole average of 40 last season, qualified for the Section 8AA meet after carding an 86 at the North Section 8A meet. Wurdock followed with rounds of 84 and 85 at the section meet.
Rounding out the Warriors' team score at the North Section 8AA meet were Hotakainen with a 97, Massie with a 102, Anthony Wurdock with a 103 and Johnson with a 104. Anthony Wurdock had a nine-hole average of 44, Massie finished with a nine-hole average of 46, Johnson had a nine-hole average of 48 and Hotakeinen had a nine-hole average of 50.
Looking to replace Gavin Mickelson, who capped off his senior season by following an 89 at the North Section 8A meet with rounds of 87 and 92 at the section meet, are juniors Bob Pietila and Foxx Samuelson, sophomore Jimmy Hillukka, freshmen Keegan Womble and Nick Treinen, and eighth grader Andreas Aho.
"I expect the boys to be very competitive with the best teams (in the conference)," said Wurdock, who will be assisted by Kevin Sommers and Cody Pulju. "We'll have a luxury of being deep and not reliant on the same three or four players."
On the girls side, the Warriors return three letterwinners in seniors Hailey Usher and Anna Huttunen and junior Madi Womble.
Usher led the team with a nine-hole average of 51, Womble finished with a nine-hole average of 52 and Huttunen had a nine-hole average of 54. Those three ended the season by leading the Warriors to sixth place at the North Section 8AA meet with a 439 behind Womble's 104, Usher's 106 and Huttunen's 114.
Rounding out this year's varsity roster are junior Tori Noland and eighth grader Elly Hillukka.
"The girls return three with a lot of varsity experience," said Wurdock. "I have similar expectations from them in our conference."