Lakers finish season with third place state finish
After finishing the opening day of the Minnesota Class AA state golf tournament, the Detroit Lakes boys golf team finished in third place Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
First round leaders and defending champions from The Blake School held the lead and won by 13 strokes over Holy Family with a winning score of 587.
The Lakers shot a combined score of 605 to finish four strokes behind Holy Family. The top two teams remained the same from 2016. Detroit Lakes moved up two spots from a fifth place finish last year.
“We just didn’t have anybody get down around par to sneak in there,” said Lakers head coach Bob Gorden. “If we would have had a couple of those, like yesterday, it would have been a different story.”
Senior Isaac Cihak led the Lakers with a 77 (+5) rebounding from an opening nine 42 to shoot a one-under 35 on the back side.
Cihak and junior Wyatt Blomseth were both around par on the troublesome back nine, but the final nine holes proved to be the undoing of DL, especially on holes no. 13-16.
“We’re proud of the kids; they worked hard even when they weren’t on,” Gorden said. “They came back and were solid and we’re happy with bringing some hardware back “We happened to fall into quality teams like Blake and Holy Family. Some years the score we shot could have won the tournament.”
The Lakers finished a season with a lineup that was set aside from the final spot and finished the year with a full roster of six players who could contribute on any given day.
“We had a real good season from start to finish; our schedule is pretty strong,” Gorden said. “I was happy with what the kids did. The three juniors have to find a way for one of them to be under par and Hunter (Burnside), as a freshman, look what he did down here. I think he was a little nervous that first day and made a funny comment to me today on no. 6, he said, ‘Hey, Mr. Gorden, I’m playing a lot better than I thought I could.’”
Burnside shot even rounds on both sides of 39 to finish with 78 (+6), along with Blomseth (41-37) and Ben Unruh (38-40).
“Hunter’s a good player,” Gordon said. “He battled all year to get that six spot and he counted at sections and state second day. He earned the spot to do that and made hay with it.”
Red Wing’s Cecil Belisle was under par both days shooting a winning score of 139 (-5) to defeat three players, Brandon Nelson of Litchfield, Paul Stankey of Providence Academy, and Lincoln Cizek from Holy Family by two strokes.
Cizek and Belisle were tied atop the leaderboard after day one.
The 2016 champion Derek Hitchner led Blake to the title with a fifth place score of 143, tied with Byron’s Hunter Fjerstad.
Cihak placed 13th overall to lead DL after sitting in eighth place after the opening day of play. Cihak shot 148 to tie with two other players. Blomseth (150) finished in a tie for 18th; Unruh was 21st (151); Aaron Schnathorst finished his Laker career in 42nd place (158); Ryan Paskey was 55th (160) and Burnside was two strokes back (162) in a tie for 62nd.
Both Cihak and Schnathorst signed to play golf this fall for Bemidji State University. Next season, DL will be led by three seniors: Unruh, Paskey and Blomseth, along with Burnside in his sophomore season with plenty of junior varsity players in the wings to fill the final two spots.
Minnesota Class AA State boys golf tournament,
Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan, Minn. Wednesday, June 14
1 The Blake School 587
2 Holy Family 601
3 Detroit Lakes 605
4 Hermantown 616
5 St. Cloud Cathedral 626
6 Lake City 630
7 New Ulm 658
8 Blue Earth Area 666
Top five individuals
1 Cecil Belisle, Red Wing 139
2 Brandon Nelson, Litchfield 141
2 Paul Stankey Providence Academy 141
2 Lincoln Cizek Holy Family 141
5 Hunter Fjerstad Byron 143
13 Isaac Cihak 35-36 42-35 148
18 Wyatt Blomseth 36-36-41-37 150
21 Ben Unruh 38-35 38-40 151
42 Aaron Schnathorst 36-42 38-42 158
55 Ryan Paskey 41-38 39-42 160
62 Hunter Burnside 45-39 39-39 162