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Mahnomen-Waubun win its first state golf title

Mahnomen-Waubun's Brady Liebl fires a shot Wednesday during Wednesday's Minnesota Class 1A state golf tournament in Becker. Dave Peterson / Special to The Tribune

As he came off his final hole on the final day of the Minnesota Class 1A state boys golf meet at Pebble Creek Golf Club, Mahnomen-Waubun senior Brady Liebl heard the congratulations from parents of the team. He didn't believe it.

It wasn't until Liebl saw the team photo of the Cougars getting slid into the first-place trophy by Minnesota State High School League officials that it hit him. For the first time in program history, Mahnomen-Waubun was the king of Class 1A boys golf in Minnesota.

"As soon as I saw that, it hit me," said Liebl, who led the Cougars with a 156, finishing tied for fifth overall. "The best way imaginable that I could think to go out, doing something that's never been done before in school history. It was overwhelming. Going into it never in a million years had I thought we'd come out as champions."

And the Cougars left no doubt, winning the state title by 18 strokes Wednesday, June 14. Mahnomen-Waubun finished with a 653 team total over the two-day meet, cruising over Lac qui Parle Valley, which finished with a 671. After back-to-back second-place finishes at the state meet, the wait is over for the Cougars.

"Last two years we thought we put awesome scores together, but we just didn't come away with a title," Mahnomen-Waubun coach Steve McMullen said. "It's kind of like the kids worked extra hard after that to get to that championship level."

Jaycee Clark finished in ninth with a 160, Lucas Clark-Burnette tied for 13th with a 163, and Jon Starkey rounded out the team score for Mahnomen-Waubun with a 174.

No number was going to convince the Cougars. They needed confirmation.

"I honestly didn't believe it until I saw fans giving a thumbs up on the 18th hole," McMullen said. "It was surreal."

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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