MHS' boys golfers had sights on a state title

MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Carson Frisch and Middleton's boys golf team were poised for a big year./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Editor’s Note: The WIAA recently canceled spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Times-Tribune, we’d like to give recognition to the athletes and coaches who had their seasons stopped prematurely.

So over the next few weeks, we’ll run a series of stories on the teams that didn’t get a chance to perform in 2020.

 

June 16, 2020.

This was the date Middleton’s boys golf team had been thinking about since the 2019 season ended.

The Cardinals finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state meet last spring. And with all five of its golfers back, Middleton believed it was positioned to hoist a state championship trophy in mid-June.

“After finishing second at state last year and not losing a player, our expectations were no doubt the highest they could be,” Middleton senior Carson Frisch said. “We wanted to win state and maybe even one of us could win it individually. We had all been practicing hard over the offseason to prove what we are capable of, but we never got to put it to the test.”

No they didn’t.

The WIAA voted to cancel spring sports on April 21 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And teams like Middleton’s golfers — who had state title aspirations — took the news hard.

“Our team goal was to win state,” Middleton senior Kip Sullivan said. “We believed that we were the best team in the state and had only one goal in mind. Our guys put in a lot of work over the summer and the offseason, and frankly they all were all playing as good as I’ve seen them.”

Middleton certainly returned a loaded group.

Sullivan was named first-team all-Big Eight Conference last year and second-team all-state by the Wisconsin Golf Coaches Association. Junior Jacob Beckman was named first-team all-Big Eight and third-team all-state.

Frisch was named first-team all-conference and honorable-mention all-state in 2019. And senior Tommy Kriewaldt was named second-team all-Big Eight and honorable-mention all-state.

In addition, Tim O’Malley improved by leaps and bounds last season and seemed poised to have a big junior season.

“This team was certainly one of the better, and possibly the best team that I have been associated with,” said Middleton coach Tom Cabalka, who has led the Cardinals to one state championship and three runner-up finishes. “They all love to practice and are good friends who support each other on and off the course.  

“All are great students and certainly students of the game. It’s really sad that Tommy, Kip and Carson will not be able to finish their careers.”

The Cardinals entered the 2020 season full of hope after a memorable 2019 campaign.

Sullivan tied for 12th individually at state and led the 2019 Cardinals with a team-best average of 75.27. Sullivan improved his score by 2.5 strokes from 2018 and had three rounds below par.

Beckman, the No. 1 rated golfer in the Class of 2021 by Wisconsin.golf, committed to play at the University of Wisconsin in December. Beckman averaged 75.54 last season — a four-shot improvement from 2018 — and tied for 12th individually at state.

Frisch averaged 77.64 last year, a one-stroke improvement from 2018. Frisch tied for 34th place at state, tied for fifth at sectionals and was sixth at regionals.

Kriewaldt averaged 78.23 last year, a two-shot improvement from 2018. Kriewaldt then had a sensational postseason in which he was the medalist at the Waunakee Regional, was fifth at the Wisconsin Rapids Sectional and tied for 26th at state.

O’Malley didn’t receive any postseason accolades in 2019. But he shot a second-day 80 at the state tournament, which helped Middleton hold onto second place.

“It makes me sad to think that I literally have been looking forward to this season since the day after last season ended just for it not to happen,” Frisch said. “Obviously it is not fair that I can’t be out on the course with my team right now, but this situation is out of my control. I just really wished we would’ve had the postseason at least.”

Sullivan agreed.

“For how well we were playing and how ready we were this season, it’s hard to describe the disappointment I felt and I’m sure the whole team felt when the season was canceled,” said Sullivan, who plans to study Computer Engineering at UW-Madison. “It’s extremely difficult because I often think back to last year and all the awesome things that were happening at this time of year, and being a senior thinking of all the super fun things I would be doing right now. The more I think, the more the disappointment and pain kind of keeps growing.”

While Cabalka was obviously saddened for his varsity group, there were several other golfers he was anxious to watch this spring.

That list included seniors Josh Cochrane, John Douglas and Jonah Pavek, juniors Beau Dahmen and Jaden Lee, sophomores Alec Sosnowski and Kyle Jessie, and freshmen Robbie Warda and Alex Weiss.

“Tommy, Carson, Kip and Jacob were definitely some of the best returning players in the state,” Cabalka said. “Our top nine or 10 players from last season would be playing this spring, as they were all underclassmen.

“There are always a few surprises, too, from kids who have worked hard on their game over the past year. It’s a tough deal, especially for our seniors.”

While everybody in the program was heartbroken to lose the season, the Cardinals did keep things in perspective. And perhaps Sullivan summed it up best.

“There are way more people who are becoming unemployed and struggling to pay their bills just to stay afloat,” Sullivan said. “So in that way, missing the golf season isn’t nearly as bad as some people have it. Nonetheless, it’s still very disappointing.”

 

BOYS GOLF ROSTER

Seniors: Raad Allawi, Aaron Boorstein, Josh Cochrane, John Douglas, Nicholas Federer, Carson Frisch, Jack Kjentvet, Tommy Kriewaldt, RJ Lavallee, Jonah Pavek, Dylan Rankin, Connor Shanley, Matthew Stormer, Kip Sullivan, Bret Thomas, Jackson Wozniczka, Roman Ystenes.

Juniors: Jacob Beckman, Mitchell Braun, Jakob Covey, Beau Dahmen, Michael Go, Chandler Gussel, Jayden Lee, Jaden Liegel, Jack Mulligan, Josiah Nelson, Tim O’Malley, Andrew Ozers, Jackson Pertzborn, Chase Quamme, Sean Ruhly, Carter Schweitzer, Nicholas Stott, Sam Svendsen, Aidan Toney.

Sophomores: Ryan Carr, Drew Fait, Kyle Jesse, Braden Peiffer, Joseph Robinson, Jack Sigler, Alec Sosnowski, Zach Toney.

Freshmen: Majd Allawi, James Baker, William Boettinger, Gunnar Brakel, John Chafe, Tyler Charnholm, Will Comerford, Oliver Ehrhardt, Lucas Francois, Aidan Grosse, Nathan Hare, Parker Huff, Gavyn Hurley, Michael Jagoe, Justin Kalsbeek, Benjamin Keith, Daniel Kim, Kyle Krantz, Maddox Lee, Colby Livezey, Carson Lyons, Conner Moore, Andrew Murray, Dmitri Natachu, Devon Noak, Colin Ryan, Jack Sanderson, Owen Sheehan, Aidan Sippel, Drew Sjowall, Eliot Spence, Nathan Wagner, Robert Warda, Alex Weiss, Caden Wisinski.

 

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)