Skibba named state's Player of the Year

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Loren Skibba, second from left, was named the state's Player of the Year in girls golf. From left are Middleton head coach Becky Halverson, Alexis Thomas, Morgan Narowetz, Morgan Miles and Payton Hodson.

The long and proud history of Middleton girls golf — started by the great Dewey Stendahl, then taken to even loftier heights by Jeff Kenas and now Becky Halverson — is one of the most storied in the state.

Names like Lindsey Solberg, Heidi Hinners, Jill Ries and Halverson’s will live in infamy.

But the magnificent career of Loren Skibba rivals any the school has ever seen.

Skibba guided Middleton to the second WIAA Division 1 state title in school history this fall. She also finished second at state individually, after winning the crown herself in 2014.

For her sensational season, Skibba was named the state Player of Year by the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin. Ries, the state’s Co-Player of the Year in 2000, is the only other Middleton athlete to win that award.

“I could not be more proud of Loren to be the All-State Player of the Year,” said Halverson, who just finished her third year as the Cardinals’ coach. “She should be very proud of her accomplishment after all her hard work on the course. It’s definitely exciting for our program.”

Skibba’s honor highlighted a bevy of awards that have poured in for Middleton’s golfers since winning state on Oct. 13.

Middleton junior Alexis Thomas was also named first-team all-state, while juniors Morgan Miles and Morgan Narowetz were named honorable mention all-state.

Skibba was also named the Big Eight Conference’s Player of the Year, while Thomas and Narowetz joined her as first-team all-conference selections. Miles was named second-team all-conference and sophomore Payton Hodson was named honorable-mention all-league.

Skibba, a Northern Arizona recruit, averaged 74.65 this season, which was the lowest in the state. Skibba finished first at seven of 13 tournaments during the regular season and was never lower than eighth.

Skibba was then second individually at regionals, sectionals and state.

“Loren had an unbelievable career,” Halverson said. “I’m so proud of her for being named Player of the Year for the Big Eight Conference. It was a privilege being able to coach her these past three years and I think she will do great things for Northern Arizona University.”

Thomas took her game to new heights during a brilliant junior season.

Thomas averaged 78.56, won the Big Eight Conference tournament and finished fourth individually at state. Thomas fired a remarkable 1-under-par, 71, on the second day of the state tournament, which keyed Middleton’s run to the title.

Thomas was in the top-five in 11 of the 14 tournaments she competed in, including eight top-three finishes.

“Alexis really excelled this season,” Halverson said. “She improved almost three strokes from last season to this season. 

“Her winning the conference tournament and then the 1-under-par on day two of state is amazing! I'm thrilled to have Alexis one more year because if she keeps working at her short game, she is going to continue to do great things for us.”

Narowetz had a solid junior year that included three top-three finishes and a fourth place showing at the Big Eight Conference meet. Narowetz’s season average was 86.12.

“Morgan Narowetz had some really good nine-hole scores this season,” Halverson said. “Morgan shot in the 30's seven times this season. She should be very proud of earning first-team all-conference.”

Miles cracked the top-10 at four tournaments during the regular season, then was seventh at regionals and fifth at sectionals. Miles averaged an 88.72, then tied for 27th individually at state.

“Morgan Miles had a great season and I'm very happy that she earned second-team all-conference,” Halverson said. “She shot a 38 twice during postseason play, which was huge for us. Her ability to stay positive out on the course is something that I wish was contagious.”

Hodson was the Cardinals’ most improved golfer. Hodson took more than seven shots off her 18-hole average from 2014 and lowered it to 91.64 by the end of the year.

“I’m so excited for Payton because she has such an itch for the game right now and her drive to improve is so exciting,” Halverson said.

 

2015 Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin Girls’ All-State Teams

First Team

Loren Skibba* – Middleton
Mikayla Hauck – Monona Grove
Speedy Kent – Homestead
Ashley Kulka – Beaver Dam
Claire Lauterbach – Arrowhead
Kate Martin – Mukwonago
Alexis Thomas – Middleton

*Player of the Year

 

2nd Team

Sarah Busey – Racine St. Catherine’s
CheyAnn – Knudsen Milton
Taylor McCorkle – Oregon
Mia Seeman – Milton
Bailey Smith – Verona
Stanley Wang – Thomas More

Third Team

Emily Balding – Brookfield Central
Hannah Braun – Kimberly
Megan Growt – De Pere
Alexa Holland – Arrowhead
Amy Holzer – Hartford
Emily Lauterbach – Arrowhead
Bailey Schmidt – Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau

Honorable Mention

Katie Arneson – Edgewood
Melissa Biesmann – Verona
Elizabeth Bobinski – Green Bay Notre Dame
Erin Ericson – Onalaska
Ivy Fedewa – Wisconsin Dells
Nina Galang – Brookfield East
Rachel Gentile – The Prairie School
Megan Glaeser – Fox Valley Lutheran
Taylor Hakala – Milton
Megan Hessil – Franklin
Jessica Heyrman – Catholic Memorial
Sydney Hubbard – Onalaska
Jenny Johnson – Oregon
Lauren Klauck – Eau Claire North
Trystin Kluess – Fox Valley Lutheran
Mattie Kujawski – Arrowhead
Jessica Kuzniewski – Waukesha
Ilayna Long – Tomah
Isabelle Maleki – Homestead
Clare Matkom – Whitefish Bay
Courtney Matschke – Franklin
Sydney Maule – Appleton North
Lexi Meade – Eau Claire Memorial
Lori Meyer – Freedom
Morgan Miles – Middleton
Taylor Moon – Brookfield Central
Morgan Narowetz – Middleton
Emily Opsal – Verona
Erika Priebe – Fox Valley Lutheran
Hanna Rebholz – Verona
Keaton Schmitz – Arrowhead
Hailey Smoot – Franklin
Stephanie Stead – Green Bay Notre Dame
Mari Suokko – Union Grove
Kayla Thielen – Marinette
Chloe Volden – Hartford 

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