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Panthers set goal to reach section meet

Seniors will be counted on to lead the Park Rapids boys golf team this spring.

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Leading the Park Rapids boys golf team this spring are seniors (from left) Mason Smith, Blake Simpson, Kenton Klein, Tate Usher, Alec Nordin and Isaiah Phillippi. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Jeff Anderson will be relying on a veteran senior group to lead the Park Rapids boys golf team to a successful season.

The Panthers return five seniors from the 2019 team that finished second in Northern Pines Conference play with 11 points and a 173.0 team average to trail Walker-Hackensack-Akeley’s 6 points and 161.2 average, placed fifth at the Mid-State Conference meet with a 374, and took seventh at the Section 8AA North tournament with a 362 while averaging a team score of 376.1.

“That hurt,” said Anderson about having last season canceled because of COVID. “The kids lost a year of playing competitively, but a few of them played quite a bit of golf last summer.”

Being counted on to lead the Panthers are seniors Tate Usher, Kenton Klein, Alec Nordin, Isaiah Phillippi and Blake Simpson.

Usher led the Panthers with an 84.3 average in seven 18-hole rounds in 2019. Usher carded an 83 at the Mid-State meet and an 88 at the Section 8AA North tournament. In the nine-hole Northern Pines Conference play, Usher had a 39.4 average (and was the medalist in two of the five meets) to earn First Team honors.

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Nordin carded a 100.0 average in seven rounds, including a 106 at the Mid-State meet and a 100 at the subsection meet. Nordin also had a 46.8 average in five NPC meets.

Phillippi posted a 110.6 average in seven 18-hole rounds and a 49.4 average in five NPC meets. Phillippi carded a 107 at the Mid-State meet and a 100 at the Section 8AA North tournament.

Klein finished with a 110.5 average in four 18-hole rounds and a 49.3 average in four NPC meets.

Simpson carded rounds of 120 and 122 in his only two varsity appearances while posting a 56.0 average in two NPC meets.

To cap off the 2019 season, Detroit Lakes and Crosby-Ironton shared the Mid-State Conference title with 310s. Warroad (329), Crookston (334) and Roseau (334) were the three teams from the North to qualify for the Section 8AA meet. Detroit Lakes carded a 622 to capture the section title for the fourth year in a row. Roseau (647), Pequot Lakes (660), Fergus Falls (666), Crookston (666) and Warroad (725) followed.

Competing for varsity spots are senior Mason Smith; sophomores Nolan Eckmann, Hunter Harrison, Isaac Hartig, Jeremiah Olson and Quincy Squires; and freshmen Conner Hanson, Blake Morris, Jack Moses and Noah Phillippi.

Anderson is expecting this year’s team to win the Northern Pines Conference title and claim one of three spots in the section field.

“We have some potential,” said Anderson. “I think we have a good chance to win the Northern Pines Conference and we could come out of the subsection. A 340 is a good score and I think these kids should get under that. If we can get three kids to shoot low, we have a good chance to be one of the three teams to advance out of the subsection.”

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SEASON SCHEDULE
April 23 - United North Central Invitational at Blueberry Pines, 10 a.m. April 28 - Northern Pines Conference meet at Headwaters Golf Club, 10 a.m. April 29 - Northern Pines Conference meet at Bigfork’s The Edge Golf Course, 5 p.m.
May 6 - Northern Pines Conference meet at Bears Den, 5 p.m. May 7 - Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club, 9 a.m. May 11 - Northern Pines Conference meet at Castle Highlands, Golf Course, 10 a.m. May 17 - Invitational at Longbow Golf Course.
Related Topics: BOYS GOLF
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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