Golfers finish fifth at state

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Emmet Herb and Middleton’s boys golf team finished fifth at state earlier this week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Verona — The disappointment should increase their drive.

The frustration figures to be an enormous motivator.

Middleton’s boys golf team will now try turning a negative into a positive.

The Cardinals finished in fifth place at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament held at University Ridge Monday and Tuesday. Middleton, which finished in fourth place a year ago, had much greater aspirations in 2015.

Instead, the Cardinals couldn’t find a branch of consistency to grab onto.

“It’s definitely disappointing,” said Cardinals junior Brady Thomas. “We had very high hopes, just like last year. But we just kind of laid a dud.”

Hartland Arrowhead won its sixth state team title in nine years, posting a 623. Green Bay Notre Dame was a close second at 624, while Bay Port (637), Badger (641) and Middleton (642) rounded out the top five.

“We didn't play like we’re capable of playing,” Middleton coach Tom Cabalka said. “It was unexpected, but it’s just one of those things.”

In 2014, Middleton struggled on the first day and sat in ninth place. The Cardinals charged back and finished fourth, but they were hoping to avoid a treacherous beginning in 2015.

Unfortunately for Middleton, it experienced a case of déjà vu.

The Cardinals shot an opening round 320, which was good for third place overall. But Middleton found itself 14 shots behind first-day leader Arrowhead (306).

“Well, we dug a hole and we’ve got to dig ourselves out,” Cabalka said. “But the good thing is we know we can do it.

“These kids all know they have a lot better game than they showed today. We just have to come out and play a lot better (Tuesday).”

Middleton junior Joey Levin, who led the Cardinals with a first day 77, agreed with his head coach.

“We’re going to need a really good day (Tuesday),” Levin said. “We have to hope Arrowhead feels the pressure and we all play the round of our lives.”

Middleton, which entered the tournament with a season-average of 312, certainly wasn’t at its best Monday.

The Cardinals started on the back nine, and Levin shot an even par, 36, there. But Levin took a triple bogey 8 at the par-5, No. 2 after his ball was plugged in a bunker.

Freshman Henry Taylor, playing in the No. 5 spot, had a spectacular day with a 7-over-par, 79. Taylor shot a 37 on the front nine that featured birdies at No. 2 and 4.

But junior Emmet Herb, Middleton’s No. 1 player, struggled with an 82. And junior Brady Thomas, the Cardinals’ No. 3 player, also shot an 82.

Middleton tossed Nils Arneson’s 83.

“We can all play a lot better,” Levin said. “We know it's going to be a tough task to come all the way back. But on any given day, anything can happen.”

Middleton certainly seemed capable of making a charge. The Cardinals shot a 295 at regionals and a 300 at the Lake Country Charity Invitational held at Erin Hills earlier in the year.

And the Cardinals tried drawing on those experiences before Tuesday’s second round.

“We’re certainly capable,” Cabalka said. “We just need four really good rounds and everybody at their best.

“We’ve had days like that throughout the year. We just need another one (Tuesday).”

That didn’t happen, though.

Thomas and Herb both shot second-day 78s. But Middleton also counted 83s from Levin and Taylor.

“I don't know if it’s the mental side of the game,” Thomas said. “Maybe we’re feeling the pressure. But I think this will drive us for next year.”

The finish should certainly motivate the senior-less Cardinals moving forward.

The trio of Herb, Levin and Thomas are all juniors that have played varsity golf since their freshman year. A state title has been at the top of their “to-do” list since they arrived at MHS.

Arneson, another junior, joined the team this year. And Taylor, a freshman, made a late-season charge and has a bright future.

The Cardinals now hope that experience — and the disappointment of this year’s state meet — leads to future gains.

“These guys already work so hard, that I don't know if I can ask them to work any harder,” Cabalka said. “But they’ll find a way to get better. That’s the kind of kids they are.”


Team scores: Hartland Arrowhead 623, Green Bay Notre Dame 624, Bay Port 637, Lake Geneva Badger 641, Middleton 642, Eau Claire North 643, De Pere 645, Kaukauna 646, Mequon Homestead 649, Madison Memorial 657, Stevens Point 662, Racine Case 666, Glendale Nicolet 669, Fort Atkinson 670, Muskego 671, New Berlin Eisenhower 685.

Top individuals: 1, Galloway, Neenah, 71-71-142; 2, Thomson, Greendale, 72-71-143; 3, J. Baranczyk, Bay Port, 73-73-146; 4, Sicula, Whitefish Bay, 71-76-147; 5, Kuiper, Racine Case, 75-73-148.

Team scores

Hartland Arrowhead — Knapek 77-75-152; Yost 72-82-154; Winston 80-77-157; Frisinger 77-83-160. Green Bay Notre Dame — Ritchay 73-77-150; Konop 79-77-156; Darling 80-80-160; Diestler 82-81-163. Bay Port — J. Baranczyk 73-73-146; Mikesch 82-79-161; M. Baranczyk 82-83-165; Breitenfeldt 84-85-169. Lake Geneva Badger — J. Duggan 73-78-151; Bourneuf 78-76-154; C. Duggan 81-76-157; Rademaker 97-87-184. Eau Claire North — Tolan 72-84-156; Bee 83-75-158; Cramer 85-81-166; Haselwander 82-87-169. De Pere — Mathu 77-76-153; Trupke 78-80-158; Aubry 82-85-167; Pike 84-83-167. Kaukauna — Willman 76-74-150; Thiede 77-79-156; Kimball 88-82-170; Pfile 86-84-170. Mequon Homestead — Maleki 76-75-151; Morway 80-80-160; Pasher 77-83-160; Hobbs 92-90-182. Madison Memorial — O’Loughlin 78-79-157; Weitz 86-78-164; Knecht 82-85-167; Piotrowski 77-93-170. Stevens Point — McDonald 80-83-163; Thomas 83-82-165; Bancker 82-83-165; Hofmeister 83-88-171. Racine Case — Kuiper 75-73-148; Van Tubbergen 71-82-153; Shawhan 80-86-166; Weber 99-100-199. Glendale Nicolet — Spector 84-83-167; Braun 87-81-168; Carruth 84-85-169; Bauman 92-80-172. Fort Atkinson — Glass 87-74-161; Schneider 82-81-163; Kent 86-88-174; Vaillancourt 91-85-176. Muskego — Polivka 88-80-168; Wikel 82-88-170; Pedersen 80-92-172; Horner 93-80-173. New Berlin Eisenhower — Erickson 80-82-162; Russell 80-91-171; Surges 90-89-179; Kraninger 89-91-180.

Individual scores

Galloway, Neenah, 71-71-142; Thomson, Greendale, 72-71-143; Sicula, Whitefish Bay, 71-76-147; Murphy, Waunakee, 75-76-151; Haas, West Bend West, 74-77-151; Church, Holmen, 78-76-154; Kuklinski, Appleton East, 76-81-157; Trasser, Brookfield Central, 78-79-157; Hermsen, Sussex Hamilton, 76-82-158; Rauckman, Eau Claire Memorial, 79-80-159; Hallmark, New Richmond, 80-79-159; Crawford, River Falls, 78-82-160; Prefontaine, Green Bay Preble, 78-82-160; Naumann, Kettle Moraine, 85-76-161; Garski, Wauwatosa East/West, 80-81-161; Torhorst, Oregon, 76-86-162; Saari, West Bend East, 81-83-164; Oehrlein, Sun Prairie, 83-81-164; Campbell, Kenosha Indian Trail, 87-77-164; Conowall, Madison East, 82-83-165; Grunau, Whitefish Bay, 81-84-165; Arbet, Westosha Central, 87-82-169; Maier, Union Grove, 90-87-177; Kennedy, Pulaski, 92-88-180.

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