Golfers third at conference

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton freshman Emmet Herb tied for fourth with a 76 at Thursday's Big Eight Conference meet./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

It wasn’t the final result that Middleton’s boys golf team wanted.

But there were signs of progress and traces of hope.

And that certainly bodes well for what lies ahead.

The Cardinals finished third at the Big Eight Conference meet Thursday at Evansville Golf Course. Verona won the meet at 308, while Madison Memorial was second at 310 and Middleton was third at 314.

“I was very pleased with a 314,” Middleton coach Tom Cabalka said. “That is a good team score on that golf course. Evansville makes players think and use all your clubs in the bag.”

Middleton junior Josh Haunty and freshman Emmet Herb both had outstanding days, carding 76s and tying for fourth overall. Verona’s Caleb Baltes won medalist honors with a 72.

Haunty recently moved to No. 1 in Middleton’s lineup and showed why.

“I have played him as our No. 1 the last couple matches and he has responded well in that position,” Cabalka said.

Herb had quite a day, as well. The standout freshman has been a solid addition throughout the year, and has steadily improved his game all spring.

“Emmet is just a super young player,” Cabalka said. “He is not long off the tee. His ball is often 40-50 yards behind his fellow competitors, but this does not bother him.  

“He plays his game and does not get bothered by what his opponents are doing. He has a great game with his approach shots and on the green.”

Middleton also counted 81s from freshmen Brady Thomas and Joey Levin. The performances of the two youngsters left Cabalka quite pleased.

“We are beginning to get some very good play from our other two freshmen,” Cabalka said. “Just a couple mistakes cost them from being in the 70’s. They are both gaining confidence and learning how to play to score well by eliminating mistakes and big numbers on a couple holes.”

Verona and Madison Memorial will be in Middleton’s regional and sectional. And the Cardinals fully understand they need to keep improving to make a postseason run.

But the conference meet did provide plenty of encouraging moments.

“As is always the case in the game of golf, each one of our five players gave away some strokes to the field,” Cabalka said. “When you are as close as we were to challenging for being the best in the Big Eight, it makes it easy for our golfers to work on their game to each shave a couple strokes.  

“We're creeping closer to Verona and Memorial and our goal is to get through our regional with improved play and continue to outwork the other teams. Hopefully, with 12 more days of improving, we will be ready to compete and challenge the best teams in our very tough sectional.” 

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