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Frazee boys' golf lives to play another day

The Frazee boys' golf team already has one victory marked up for the season, without even playing one hole on the links.

After being cut from the Frazee School District budget last year, the Hornet boys' golf team -- led by players and their parents -- stepped up a fundraising campaign to earn the team enough monies to have a season for 2008.

Mission accomplished.

The boys' golf sports boosters held a golf scramble at the Frazee Golf Course, which earned just over $7,000, more than enough to cover the costs to run a golf season this spring.

"There were four to five key parents who got things going," said Frazee head coach John Olson.

"We needed around $5,000-$6,000 to run the program. It was a tremendous turnout (for the fundraiser)."

There was enough money raised to even employ an assistant coach, something the Hornets haven't had the luxury of having for many years.

Dave Conzemius is now helping Olson to coach the team.

"We can now go to junior varsity meets and have an extra coach to help out the players," Olson said.

Costs incurred during the season include coaches' salary, travel costs, entry fees and some equipment such as golf balls.

The interest for the boys' team was high, with 18 out, so it was an obvious decision to try and keep the team alive.

Unfortunately for the girls' team, interest wasn't as high, and it was decided not to pursue a 2008 season for the Hornet girls.

But with the fact that there almost wasn't a season, the players have a new appreciation for the spring sport, Olson said.

"They realized that having golf isn't an automatic thing anymore," Olson said. "They have a new appreciation for it now."

As for the future, it is unknown.

With the levy referendum passed this fall, there was thinking that the sports which were cut last year would be re-added to the budget.

Although there hasn't been any official decision by the Frazee school board, there is a good possibility none of those cut sports will be reinstated in the school budget.

"My feeling is that we will be on our own again (next year)," Olson said.

"So we'll be responsible to raise funds (for the future), as well."

But this year, golf is on for the Frazee boys, and they have some good experience coming back.

The Hornets will be led by junior Cody Nunn and eighth grader Beau Hanson, with each playing lots of golf over the course of last summer.

Hanson had the lowest scoring average on the team in 2007 as a seventh grader, and Olson is expecting more progress from the young linkster.

From there, Frazee has three experienced golfers returning in Logan Grossman, Cody Sandau and Addison Buhl.

"We then have several other younger golfers for our sixth spot," Olson included.

In 2007, the Hornets finished sixth in the competitive Heart O'Lakes Conference, one of their better finishes of the last several years.

"I'm hoping to keep climbing up this year and finish in fourth or fifth this season," the Frazee coach said.

The Hornets also were affected by the third class added by the MSHSL.

Frazee was bumped up to Class 2A, in which it will be one of the smaller schools in Section 8-2A.

The section includes Detroit Lakes, Breckenridge, Crook-ston, Thief River Falls, East Grand Forks, Park Rapids, Pelican Rapids, Perham, Ros-eau, Walker-Hackensack-Ake-ley, Warroad and Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal.

There will be a sub-section meet and then a section meet, both being played at Walker's Longbow Golf Course.

"The section will be tough and tough for our kids to advance through," Olson said. "We have a presection meet (April 22) at Longbow and every team in the section will be there, so we'll find out where we fit in."

But no matter where the Hornets fit in the section, at least they have a season where they can play a part.