Middleton's girls golfers thinking big again

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Amanda Beckman and Middleton's girls golf program have high hopes again this fall./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

The 2022 golf season marks the 10th year Becky Halverson has led Middleton’s girls program.

And what a decade it’s been.

In Halverson’s first nine seasons, Middleton has reached the WIAA Division 1 state tournament every year.

In that time, Halverson’s Cardinals have won three Division 1 state tournaments, matching Hartland Arrowhead for the most in the state. Middleton also has two second place finishes and three thirds — making it the state’s most successful program since 2013.

Look for Halverson’s 10th season to be every bit as enjoyable as her first nine.

Middleton returns three golfers from last year’s team that finished third at state and has a handful of other players ready to make their mark. And when the Cardinals begin their season at the Washington County Invite Thursday, expectations will once again be sky high for White’s sensational program.

“We expect to develop tight bonds and strong relationships,” Halverson said. “It’s fair to expect some amazing days and days that we would like to have back.” 

Middleton hasn't wanted many days back since Halverson took over.

The Cardinals won state titles in 2015, 2019 and the alternate 2020 season. Middleton was also second in 2016 and 2018.

The 2021 Cardinals were on the brink of historic greatness after going undefeated during the regular season last year, then winning regionals and sectionals, as well. But Middleton — ranked No. 1 in the state heading to the postseason — struggled at the state tournament and settled for third.

The Cardinals bring back a solid nucleus that hopes to return to state — and eventually improve upon last year’s performance.

Junior Vivian Cressman, who was named third-team all-state and first team all-Big Eight Conference last year, will lead the way.

Cressman averaged 79.6 and had eight 18-hole rounds in the 70s last season. She also broke 40 on 17 different occasions and finished the year with 28 birdies.

“Vivian’s game has progressed greatly through the summer,” Halverson said. “This may have been the best summer she has had to date. As we head into the season, she seems incredibly driven to continue excelling in her high school career. She is going to be a solid leader on our team.”

Senior Amanda Beckman, who was named honorable-mention all-state and first-team all-Big Eight last year, should also be poised for a terrific season.

Beckman averaged 81.2 and has improved nearly 6.0 strokes per round since her freshman year. Beckman broke 40 on 13 different occasions and had 17 birdies in her 13 18-hole rounds.

“Amanda has proven to be a natural leader and that skill will be put to good use this, her senior season,” Halverson said. “We are looking for Amanda to pick up where she left off last spring and continue to grow as a player.”

Junior Ellen Close was named second-team all-Big Eight last year after averaging 88.5 — an improvement of 5.10 strokes from her freshman season.

“Ellen showed a lot of growth last year and has put in the work,” Halverson said. “We are really excited to see how the summer treated her game, and can’t wait to see what her junior year looks like with us.”

Abby Schroeder has been on the verge of breaking into Middleton’s top-five in recent seasons. This year, Schroeder should get her chance and Halverson is expecting big things.

“We believe she has the skill set to break into the top five and excited to see her attack that opportunity,” Halverson said.

Other returnees that could break through include Emily Utter, Mackenzie Sloan, Maddy Wilcox, Ellie Bradford and Joie Meuer. Freshmen Sydney Weiss, Annika Jafferis and Addie Sloan should also have a chance to crack the varsity lineup.

Halverson — a former MHS standout herself and the Head Golf Professional and Event Coordinator at Pleasant View — knows what a fickle game golf can be.

But Halverson is optimistic that if her current squad stays the course, big things could await. And Middleton’s decade of dominance under Halverson will continue.

“The crazy thing about golf is you never know when those runs might take place,” she said. “We can do everything right and get beat by someone who did it better. We will have fun and see where we fall.”

 

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