Golf recap: Dawson-Boyd blackjacks ready to roll – West Central Tribune

BECKER – In preparation for the state meet, the Dawson-Boyd boys and girls golf teams played a few rounds at Pebble Creek Golf Course on Thursday and Friday.

The Blackjacks liked what they saw.

“I think they're definitely looking forward to it,” said Dawson-Boyd head coach Cory Larson. “I think it's a phenomenal course and a great place for the state tournament.”

For the first time, both Dawson-Boyd teams will participate in the Class A state tournament, which begins Tuesday and ends Wednesday.

This will be the boys' sixth appearance at the state championships, but their first since 2015. The Blackjacks won a state title in 2014 and also have a third-place finish on their record.

For the girls, it is the first state appearance in the school’s history.

Dawson-Boyd's Lindsey Lund tees off on the 17th hole of the Section 5A championship on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Willmar.

Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Larson believes a top-five finish is a realistic goal for the boys. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley appears to be the favorite. A top-three finish is also possible for the girls.

This is based on Dawson-Boyd's performance at the Section 5A tournaments in Willmar.

Dawson-Boyd's six-man boys team headed to the state championship includes Evan Mork, Drew Hjelmeland and Carson Stratmoen, who finished third, fourth and fifth in 5A. Landon Kemen, Evan Menning and Jameson Garcia are also on the team.

The girls are represented by Lindsy Lund, Alyssa Swedzinski, Kylan Hjelmeland, Claire Stratmoen, Laura Schreier and Reese Ochsendorf.

Larson said mentally preparing for the biggest tournament of the season was easy.

“One is trying to convince them that it's just another golf meet,” Larson said. “Obviously there are a few more spectators. But once you leave the clubhouse, it's time to focus on what you're always trying to do.”

Larson said the difficulty level of 5A, with its many excellent teams, helped his team prepare for the state championship. The girls team is battle-tested after beating so many good teams.

“We believe that the competitiveness in our field helps the girls prepare,” he said.

Area golfers competing in the Class A state tournament this year include Section 5A champion Carson Besonen of Lac qui Parle Valley, section runner-up Ryan Schrupp of Renville County West, Grant Pfarr of BOLD, Charlie Graff of Benson and Joseph Graves of Central Minnesota Christian.

Girls who qualified for state include Molly Halvorson and Peyton Sachs of Lac qui Parle Valley, Kenna Henriksen and Alison Kadlec of BOLD and Brooke Brekke of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City.

Minnewaska's girls team missed the Class AA tournament in 2013 for the first time in Tony Janus' 13 years as head coach. Next week, he takes his youngest team to the Class AA state tournament on Tuesday at the Ridges of Sand Creek in Jordan.

The six golfers heading to state include junior Arivia DeBoer, sophomore Ava Kollman, ninth-grader Annika DeBoer and eighth-graders Kyra Nelson, Anna Kollman and Lillie Ogdahl.

“They live up here,” Janu said during a team practice at the Minnewaska Golf Course.

Janu means this both figuratively and literally.

“We have two sets of sisters (Arivia and Annika DeBoer and Ava and Anna Kollman) and both families live right on the square,” he said.

Janu believes that a top three place at the national championships is a realistic goal.

“We'd like to be on the podium, in the top three,” he said. “We've played half the field and the only team we haven't beaten is Detroit Lakes (the tournament favorite).”

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Ava Kollman of Minnewaska/BBE tees off during the Alexandria Area Invitational at Alexandria Golf Club on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Sam Stuve/Alexandria Echo Press

This is Minnewaska's 15th appearance in the girls state tournament. The Lakers have won five state championships, finished second twice and third once. That includes state titles in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Rylie Harrier of New London-Spicer is also competing in the Class AA girls state tournament.

Male competitors in Class AA include Gabe Truscinski of New London-Spicer, Winston Carlson of Paynesville and Thatcher Sherlin of Minnewaska.

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Fernanda Ossa Letelier of Willmar tees off on the 3rd hole of Willows during the New London-Spicer Invitational at Little Crow Country Club in Spicer on Thursday, April 18, 2024.

Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

Fernando Ossa Letelier of Willmar will compete in the Class AAA state tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ossa Letelier, a senior, finished fourth in the Section 8AAA tournament in Sauk Centre. He shot rounds of 82 and 85 to finish with a score of 167 and earn a berth in the state championship.