Piercen Hunt | 2019 Lake Arrowhead Invitational | boys champ

Piercen Hunt of Hartland, right, is congratulated by Mequon's Josh Teplin while Pewaukee's Drew Sagrillo looks on after Hunt wins the 2019 Lake Arrowhead Invitational.

Like the grip on my circa-1980s Arnold Palmer putter, the wear and tear on one of sports' most worn adages suggests it might be ripe for replacement.

But not quite yet. It fits too perfectly the narrative of a prominent Wisconsin junior golfer whose recent rise from the proverbial ashes of disappointment served up a timely reminder that losing doesn't build character; it reveals it. 

Here's what losing revealed last month about Piercen Hunt: The rising senior at Hartland Arrowhead will never be defined solely by his work in the WIAA state boys golf tournament. There are too many other tournaments to win.

That was the statement Hunt made after his quest to become the first golfer to win the WIAA Division 1 state tournament each of his first three years in high school ended with a 71-76 effort that was no match for Merrill's Russell Dettmering. The Bluejays junior shot 71-66 and grabbed medalist honors by six shots over two golfers while Hunt watched the awards ceremony from the other end of the medalist line after finishing in a tie for sixth, 10 shots back.

When I caught up with Hunt the following week on a remote tee box in central Wisconsin, I wondered if I'd see any residue from his unprecedented setback at University Ridge. A long face. A dour look. A prolonged sense of mourning.

Try none of the above.

It didn't take his best golf to produce rounds of 72 (Pines) and 74 (Lakes) and earn his way into a four-way playoff at the Lake Arrowhead Invitational near Nekoosa. But he uncorked some of his best stuff to win it, birdieing the first extra hole to eliminate friends Cameron Huss of Kenosha, Joshua Teplin of Mequon and Drew Sagrillo of Pewaukee as thunder rumbled in the distance.

We should have recognized that as a warning that Hunt was back (of course, it wasn't like the Illinois commit was ever gone in the span of seven days).

One week after his bounce-back victory at Lake Arrowhead, which earned him a berth in the upcoming National PGA Junior Championship later this month, Hunt added yet another victory to his resume and this one was major. He fired rounds of 69-67-72-70 and won the Western Junior Championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois — and by a seven-stroke margin.

It is the first time a Wisconsin golfer has won that event since former UW golfer Craig Darlington won in 1989. The Western Junior is one of those rich-in-history events that has launched many a rising star to prominence on the PGA Tour, but — for now — Piercen Hunt is happy being Piercen Hunt.

In fact, he might never have been happier than he was this past weekend when he partnered with the American Junior Golf Association to stage the Wisconsin Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event played at Whistling Straits in Haven that served as a fundraiser for the MACC Fund. It not only raised money for a good cause, but it celebrated the friendships that Hunt has made with so many of his peers in the junior golf community.

Hunt and 19 other prominent Wisconsin junior golfers teamed up to raise $25,000 and will continue those efforts through Dec. 1. Each player in the event has a fundraising website similar to this one for the tournament host.

And, once again, Hunt made it clear who is No. 1 in Wisconsin junior golf — not only in the boys Class of 2020 in Wisconsin.Golf's first-ever midseason rankings update — but, this time, in his own event. He knocked off former Arrowhead teammate Matthew Raab on the first hole of a sudden death playoff after the Team MACC Fund and Team WPGA Junior Foundation halved the 15 matches played in the two-day gathering along Lake Michigan.

Still, Hunt's impact on junior golf stretches far beyond the results.

In June alone, he showed us how how to be as gracious and humble in victory as he was at the start of the month in defeat. He reminded us there are too many opportunities to reveal one's character in junior golf these days and — in that spirit — we reveal our rankings updates knowing that the character revealed the rest of the summer will be reflected in our annual update this fall.

In the meantime, here are a few observations about each class coming out of the spring high school season one month into the summer schedule:

Class of 2019: The biggest change, of course, is that this class now features a University of Wisconsin recruit in Jack Blair, the Milwaukee Marquette grad whose hopes of attending Brown University fell through before he was scooped up in recruiting's 11th hour by the Badgers. ... Kaukauna's Brock Hlinak continues to lead the way after a solid spring season that followed his epic summer of 2018 highlighted by his third-place finish at the 117th Wisconsin State Amateur in Minocqua. It'll be worth watching next week at the 118th State Am at The Links Course at the Golf Courses of Lawsonia in Green Lake whether high schoolers can make the same impact on this year's leaderboard that they did a year ago. ... Keep an eye on the rising stars of WIAA Division 2 state champion Joe Forsting and his Edgerton teammate Kyle Wille, both headed to Iowa Central Community College with the hopes of using the stop as a springboard to an NCAA Division I opportunity. Their work so far in 2019 suggests they're headed in the right direction.

Class of 2020: We reluctantly moved Russell Dettmering ahead of the pack behind Hunt on the strength of a WIAA Division 1 state championship showing that came within a shot of equalling a tournament record shared by former Mequon Homestead golfers Andy Hansen and Jordan Niebrugge. Since ending Hunt's reign, Dettmering has had his ups-and-downs in his first extensive taste of Wisconsin PGA Junior competition. But that's why he took heed of others' suggestions and expanded his schedule. ... But the talent around him is still notable. Jack Lutze of Milwaukee Marquette is ever-present near the top of leaderboards, Kenosha Tremper's Cameron Huss has proven worthy of his scholarship offer from the Badgers and Sheboygan Lutheran's Drake Wilcox continues to make it difficult for college coaches to overlook a guy whose consistency in big tournaments speaks volumes. ... Meanwhile, the depth of this class is becoming exceptional. For example, No. 6-ranked Jamozzy Skenadore of West De Pere has not only played well in junior golf majors this summer, but he has been tabbed via the First Tee of Northeast Wisconsin to play in the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach (California) in September in a PGA Tour Champions event that matches First Tee participants with amateurs and senior professionals.

Class of 2021: Besides Hunt, it's hard to imagine a golfer having a better summer than Middleton's Jacob Beckman. After a 12th-place showing at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, Beckman played well at the Lake Arrowhead Invitational (78-74) and then won the overall title at the WPGA Junior Championship out of the 13-to-15 age division with a 71 at Brown Deer Park and a 72 at Dretzka. Just last week, Beckman won the Wisconsin-only local qualifier for the upcoming AJGA event in the Milwaukee area with a 74. That said, the jockeying for position behind Beckman could prove interesting among a class that features a unique diversity when it comes to athleticism.

Class of 2022: Still four-plus months from teeing it up in high school when we did our inaugural rankings of this year's freshman class in November, several golfers had an immediate impact on their teams this spring. Hayden LeMonds' work as the No. 4 golfer at Milwaukee Marquette, however, clearly stood out. His 76 was the fourth counting score in the Hilltoppers' 290 that won their own sectional and his 1-under showing over the final three holes on the final day of the state tournament helped him rally for a 77 that was the fourth counting score in a final-round 298, which helped Marquette set the Division 1 state scoring record for 36 holes with its 18-over 594 total.

Boys Class of 2019

The Wisconsin.Golf class-by-class rankings are compiled by digital editor Rob Hernandez based on an analysis of tournament results and overall impact of golfers within their class. Opinions and insight on golfers in this class are welcome and will be used for future rankings. They can be shared via email at robhernandezdotgolf@gmail.com.  


No. First name Last name High School College choice Nov.
2018
Nov.
2017
Nov.
2016
1 Brock Hlinak Kaukauna Queens College (N.C.) 1 1 1
2 Jack Blair Milwaukee Marquette Wisconsin 2 T1 3
3 Drew Sagrillo Milwaukee Marquette Dominican (Calif.) 4 8 NR
4 Blake Wisdom Lake Geneva Badger Bucknell University 5 15 23
5 Max Schmidtke Sheboygan North Illinois-Springfield 13 23 7
6 James Gilmore Madison Edgewood Miami (Ohio) 10 20 17
7 Zak Kulka Beaver Dam UW-Green Bay 7 9 9
8 Lukas Heckmann Lakeside Lutheran University of New Orleans 9 3 14
9 Tyler Cleaves Kaukauna Willmington (N.C.) University 11 4 4
10 Joe Forsting Edgerton Iowa Central CC 30 37 NR
11 Kyle Wille Edgerton Iowa Central CC 25 36 NR
12 Connor Brown Union Grove UW-Eau Claire 14 25 NR
13 Steven Sanicki Menomonee Falls UW-Parkside 18 12 22
14 Danny Sanicki Menomonee Falls UW-Parkside 8 16 18
15 Matthew Raab Hartland Arrowhead St. Thomas (Minn.) 3 6 10
16 Billy Peterson Eau Claire Memorial Augsburg (Minn.) 23 17 20
17 Austin Thyes Sheboygan North Wisconsin (academics) 6 19 25
18 Ian Behringer Manitowoc Roncalli UW-Green Bay 28 NR NR
19 Jack Anderson Brookfield Central Wisconsin (academics) 15 5 5
20 Cody Dirks Holmen Iowa Central CC 26 NR NR
21 Austin Gaby Verona UW-Stout 37 NR NR
22 Jack Rollins Madison Abunant Life/Country Day Wisconsin (academics) 48 33 NR
23 Doyle Kelly Fond du Lac Springs Marquette (academics) 16 10 12
24 Ethan Wilkins Lake Country Lutheran Illinois Wesleyan 45 NR NR
25 Nick Schroeder Mukwonago None NR NR NR
26 Kasen Fager Mount Horeb Edgewood College HM NR NR
27 Mason Schulz Mukwonago 20 26 19
28 Zach Bernhardt Eau Claire Memorial Wisconsin (academics) 24 18 NR
29 Zach Walsh Brookfield East 31 NR NR
30 Evan Thomas Stevens Point UW-La Crosse (academics) 22 31 11
31 AJ Gray Milton Madison College 36 27 NR
32 Kasey Casper Coleman St. Norbert 29 14 NR
33 Jacob Schlosser Kewaskum Workforce (electrician) 42 22 NR
34 Nolan Ruffing Franklin UW-La Crosse (academics) 27 21 13
35 Cade Rohrbach Platteville NA NR NR NR
36 Vince Omernik Amherst UW-Whitewater (club golf) HM NR NR
37 Bryce Peters Winneconne Northern Michigan 49 29 NR
38 Adam Lazaroff Lakeland (Minocqua) UW-Stout 44 NR NR
30 Andrew Clement Pewaukee Wisconsin (academics) 17 11 2
40 Matthew Hach New Glarus Madison College 35 NR NR
41 Isaac Larrabee Eleva-Strum UW-Stout NR NR NR
42 Boomer Zierath Madison Abunant Life/Country Day Wisconsin (academics) 47 33 NR
43 Sean Murphy Waunakee UW-Eau Claire 12 7 8
44 Grant Wininger Racine St. Catherine's Kansas (academics) 33 NR NR
45 Sam Schroeder Oregon NA NR NR NR
46 James Johnson Greendale Lake Forest (Ill.) 21 NR NR
47 Noah Monty Wauwatosa East/West NR NR NR
48 Ethan Carrick Sun Prairie UW-Eau Claire 19 13 15
49 Mason Polivka Muskego Bryant & Stratton HM NR NR
50 Ben Peloquin Schofield D.C. Everest UW-Parkside 43 NR NR

Boys Class of 2020

The Wisconsin.Golf class-by-class rankings are compiled by digital editor Rob Hernandez based on an analysis of tournament results and overall impact of golfers within their class. Opinions and insight on golfers in this class are welcome and will be used for future rankings. They can be shared via email at robhernandezdotgolf@gmail.com.  


No. First name Last name High school College Nov.
2018
Nov.
2017
1 Piercen Hunt Hartland Arrowhead Illinois 1 1
2 Russell Dettmering Merrill 5 8
3 Jack Lutze Milwaukee Marquette 2 3
4 Cameron Huss Kenosha Tremper Wisconsin 4 4
5 Drake Wilcox Sheboygan Lutheran 3 2
6 Jamozzy Skenadore West De Pere 13 7
7 Kyle Bengtson Lakeland (Minocqua) 10 12
8 Austin Erickson Sparta Iowa Central CC 27 NR
9 Josh Teplin Mequon Homestead 17 13
10 Marty Swab Menomonee Falls 9 6
11 Tommy Kriewaldt Middleton 9 24
12 Paul Lynch Westosha Central 12 5
13 Logan Lillehaug Luck/Frederic 6 11
14 Karl Gilmore Madison Edgewood 16 17
15 Ansen Nomm Lakeland (Minocqua) 24 18
16 Simon Cuskey Rice Lake 8 10
17 Kip Sullivan Middleton 15 NR
18 Charlie Somers Wauwatosa East/West NR NR
19 Sam Nielsen Fond du Lac 14 15
20 Preston Cedergren Bay Port 7 9
21 Ben Monty Wauwatosa East/West 21 NR
22 Liam More O'Ferrall Milwaukee Marquette NR NR
23 Carson Brock Holmen 31 NR
24 Carson Frisch Middleton 18 25
25 Mark Schaefer Wauwatosa East/West NR NR
26 Brice Klabunde Cameron 30 NR
27 Josh Koszarek Waterford 29 NR
28 Jacob Decker Appleton East NR NR
29 Jack Summers Slinger 20 NR
30 Aiden Duchelle Slinger NR NR
31 Mickey Keating Sun Prairie 28 NR
32 Stanford Swid Mosinee NR NR
33 Alex Borgen Neenah 39 NR
34 Austin Lietha Columbus NR
35 Simon Mitchell Mineral Point 32 NR
36 Spencer Tank Mequon Homestead 26 NR
37 Carter Parent Lake Geneva Badger 23 16
39 Dan Soboleski Wauwatosa East/West NR NR
39 Jake Gilbert Appleton North NR NR
40 Ben Gilkay Appleton East NR NR

Boys Class of 2021

The Wisconsin.Golf class-by-class rankings are compiled by digital editor Rob Hernandez based on an analysis of tournament results and overall impact of golfers within their class. Opinions and insight on golfers in this class are welcome and will be used for future rankings. They can be shared via email at robhernandezdotgolf@gmail.com.  


No. First name Last name High school Nov.
2018
Nov.
2017
1 Jacob Beckman Middleton 1 NR
2 Ty Kretz Marinette 3 5
tie Benjamin Pausha Kettle Moraine 2 11
4 Christian Staudt Mequon Homestead 5 3
5 Maxamillian Xiong River Falls 4 1
6 Jackson Cain Kettle Moraine NR NR
7 Addison Raimer Slinger 12 2
8 Bennett Swavely Hudson 9 NR
9 Nick Amtmann Hartland Arrowhead 7 NR
10 Owen Covey New Richmond NR NR
11 Elijah Bartel Waupaca NR NR
12 Sam Evenson Holmen 21 NR
13 John Mirsberger Franklin 11 6
14 Austin Georger Appleton West 25 NR
15 Jack Tonnessen Germantown NR NR
16 Braeden Resnick Rice Lake 8 NR
17 Ty Mueller Mequon Homestead 6 NR
18 Dawson Kurth Durand 19 NR
19 Nicholas Higley Strum 10 NR
20 Logan Pechinski Plover 13 4
21 Dylan Moore Kenosha Indian Trail 14 8
22 Brayden LoPiccolo Racine Case 16 NR
23 Luke Abram Lake Geneva Badger 20 13
24 Ben Busick De Pere 23 NR
25 Charlie Schubbe Appleton Xavier 17 7

Boys Class of 2022

The Wisconsin.Golf class-by-class rankings are compiled by digital editor Rob Hernandez based on an analysis of tournament results and overall impact of golfers within their class. Opinions and insight on golfers in this class are welcome and will be used for future rankings. They can be shared via email at robhernandezdotgolf@gmail.com.  


No. First name Last name School Nov.
2018
1 Hayden LeMonds Milwaukee Marquette 2
2 Maxwell Reis West De Pere 1
3 Ryan Darling Green Bay Notre Dame 9
4 Kaeden Nomm Lakeland (Minocqua) 4
5 Caden Jacobson Wisconsin Dells 11
6 Will Summers Slinger 6
7 Noah Kirsch Lancaster 3
8 Jacob Frederickson Monona Grove 15
9 Ben Thomas Pewaukee 10
10 T.J. Walton Lake Geneva Badger 14
11 Benjamin Soboleski Wauwatosa East/West 5
12 Triston Behrend Green Bay Notre Dame NR
13 Luke Lafond Bay Port NR
14 Oliver Maleki Mequon Homestead 12
15 Trey Oswald Orfordville Parkview NR

rob@killarneygolfmedia.com

Rob started covering the Wisconsin golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison & has been the only reporter covering all levels of state golf. He joined Killarney Golf Media in Sept. 2015 & helped launch Wisconsin.Golf in Jan. 2016.