Weather Forecast


Successful tradition continues for Lakers

The Class 2A state runners-up included Laker head coach Bob Gorden, Christian Hedstrom, Austin Rusness, Karter Smith, Michael Herzog, Ben Mallow and Tanner Schnathorst. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE

A three-peat was not to be for the Detroit Lakes boys’ golf team, but the year 2013 still produced a Class 2A state runner-up title and a successful regular season, which featured one of the deepest teams in Minnesota.

Although disappointment was felt by the Lakers for not taking their third-straight state title, it was a season where depth reigned supreme.

All six of the Laker players captured at least one medalist position during the regular season, as DL held the No. 1 ranking in Class 2A for the entire season.

“I felt this was the deepest team I ever coached, from top to bottom,” said DL head coach Bob Gorden. “So we were disappointed in finishing second in the state.”

The Lakers won the most tournaments in the program’s history with that depth, which was led by their two seniors in Austin Rusness and Karter Smith, along with junior Michael Herzog.

Smith, who will be playing Division I golf at Drake University in Iowa, averaged near par with a stroke average of 72.2.

Rusness had a 76.3 average, but really came on strong towards the end of the season.

“Both Austin and Karter played in four state tournaments and both are very talented golfers,” Gorden said. “Karter was playing varsity since seventh grade and he only got better each year. Both were just very consistent through all these years.”

Herzog will be the undeniable leader next season after helping win two state championships and averaging 73.1 strokes per round this season.

With three sophomores also returning in Tanner Schnathorst (77.3), Chris-tian Hedstrom (80.0) and Ben Mallow (76.6), along with Herzog, the Lakers will still be one of the top teams come 2014.

“Michael will be the leader of the team next year and he is as a good a talent as DL has seen in a long time,” Gorden said. “We still have four back next season and they will have the tradition which has been built through the years, beginning with the 2008 state championship team, on their shoulders.”

There will be plenty of competition on varsity for 2014, but one can’t deny the 2013 season was still a successful one, despite falling short of their main goal of winning a state title.

“I don’t think we shot as low as we could have during the season,” Gorden said. “Staples-Motley went low on the first day and you have to give them credit for that.”

The tradition of success will certainly continue next season, even though there will be a couple of new faces on the Laker squad.

Gorden also wanted to acknowledge the community support the team has received over the years, as well.

“When people talk of Detroit Lakes, they mention the golf here and that’s pretty special,” Gorden said. “Having a great coach like Vern Schnathorst also helps the program immensely, along with a very supportive golf course like the Detroit Country Club.”

Laker results - The 2013 Detroit Lakes boys’ golf results:

Laker stats (number of rounds-stroke avg): Karter Smith 306-72.2; Austin Rusness 288-76.3; Michael Herzog 288-73.1; Christian Hedstrom 288-76.6; Ben Mallow 306-76.6; Tanner Schnathorst 270-77.3; Sam Goral 162-80.0; Isaac Cihak 162-85.3; Austin Dodd 126-88.6; Reid Lakin 72-95.0; Logan Larson 72-97.5; Dahlen Olson 126-90.6; Luke Payne 126-88.4; Ben Unruh 18-95.0. TEAM: 2610-79.5.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.