Main goal of boys golf team is to improve during season
A year ago, the Park Rapids boys golf team entered the season with low numbers and little varsity experience.
The Panthers are in a similar situation this spring.
Of the 16 golfers who played in a varsity meet last season, only seven return this spring. In addition, head coach Jim Weinzierl has only 13 golfers in grades 9-12 competing this spring.
Those low numbers and lack of varsity experience will provide a challenge for the Panthers.
"Our numbers are down," said Weinzierl. "We have seven letterwinners back and hopefully that experience will carry over and make us competitive this year."
Leading the Panthers this season are the seven returning letterwinners: seniors Ryan O'Mara, Alex Holmen, Tony Schmid, Gairett Johnson and Ben Breitweser; and sophomores Cole Tretbar and Eddie Carlson.
O'Mara finished second on the team with a 48.75 nine-hole average in eight rounds with a low of 90. Holmen played 10 rounds and had a 49.20 average with a low of 87. Tretbar had a 51.08 average in 12 rounds with a low of 94. Schmid also played 12 rounds and had a 53.00 average with a low of 99. Johnson finished the season with a 54.25 average in eight rounds with a low of 104. Carlson also played eight rounds and had a 45.75 average with a low of 101. Breitweser played six rounds and had a 78.00 average with a low of 142.
That group helped the Panthers finish sixth at the Mid-State Conference meet with a 381 and sixth at the North Subsection 8AA meet with a 378. O'Mara (93), Tretbar (94), Schmid (104), Carlson (106) and Johnson (113) competed at the subsection meet last season.
Rounding out this year's varsity are senior Sterling Lindahl; freshmen Tyler Booge, Nate Carlson, Ian Johnson and Jeremy Mitchell; and eighth grader Bailey Mueller.
"We have some good, younger kids who show real promise. A lot of these kids are dedicated to golf. They stay after practice and play and that's encouraging. That's how we're going to get better," said Weinzierl. "Our main goal for this season is to improve meet to meet and see how we end up come subsection time."