Payton Hodson, Middleton.JPG

Payton Hodson of Middleton High School

Wisconsin.Golf photo/Jim Kelsh

Facts 'n figures

Conference schools

Beloit Memorial, Janesville Craig, Janesville Parker, Madison East, Madison La Follette, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Verona.

Most state appearances

Madison Memorial has made 20 WIAA Division 1 state tournament appearances, the last in 2012 with three state championships (1977, '79 and '80) and three runner-up finishes (1974, '76 and '89).

Looking back

2016 conference champion

Team: Middleton. 

Individual: Payton Hodson (tournament); Alexis Thomas (player of the year). 

Top 2016 WIAA finishes

Team: Middleton shot 334-341 and finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, 51 shots behind champion Hartland Arrowhead (308-316).

Individual: Middleton senior Alexis Thomas shot 69-79 and finished second at the Division 1 state meet, five shots behind champion Emily Lauterbach, a sophomore at Hartland Arrowhead who shot 70-72 . 

Looking ahead

Preseason top three

1, Middleton; 2, Verona; 3, Madison West. 

Preseason all-conference

Sophia Dooman, jr., Janesville Parker; Payton Hodson, sr., Middleton; Kate Meier, so., Middleton; Courtney Shorter, sr., Verona; Lauren Shorter, sr., Verona.

What to watch

Big Eight Conference schools have finished first or second at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament each of the last four years, but the two schools responsible for that run — Middleton and Verona — are at their most vulnerable to keep the streak alive. Locally, though, the Cardinals and Wildcats are still the teams to beat thanks to experience at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions — Middleton with Valparaiso recruit Payton Hodson and sophomore Kate Meier; Verona with UW-Green Bay recruit Loren Shorter and twin sister Courtney. Madison West, which didn't break 460 at last year's Big Eight Championship, has gone as low as 357 already this season. 

Circle these dates

September 6 — Balance & Believe Invitatonal (Blackhawk CC-Madison).  September 8  Madison Memorial, Madison West at Verona (Edelweiss Chalet CC-New Glarus). September 9 — Middleton Invitational. (Pleasant View GC-Middleton). September 13 — Madison West at Middleton (Pleasant View GC-Middleton). September 16 — Janesville Parker Invitational (Riverside GC).  September 18 — Green Bay Notre Dame Invitational (Thornberry Creek GC-Oneida).  September 19 — Big Eight Conference Championship (Evansville GC).