Joe Forsting 2019 WIAA

Edgerton’s Joe Forsting strikes an iron shot during the 2019 WIAA state tournament.

The transfer options Joe Forsting had in front of him this past fall in plotting his next move before his time at Iowa Central Community College come to an end weren't what the Edgerton native figured they'd be when he arrived in Fort Dodge, Iowa, two years ago.

Fortunately for Forsting, he found an opportunity with an NCAA Division II program that has lost golfers to Division I programs through the merry-go-round that has been COVID-19 extended eligibility. The 2019 WIAA Division 2 state champion recently decided that he will transfer to Winona (Minn.) State and play for Warriors coach Jeff Straight starting in the fall.

"Most of the (NCAA) Division I schools in the Midwest that I contacted told me they weren’t sure yet if they even were going to have room until they for sure found out in the spring," Forsting explained in an email interview with Wisconsin.Golf after becoming the first of the Wisconsin golfers recruited to ICCC by coach Kris Graewin, a Prairie du Chien native, to move onto a higher level of college golf.

"This is because of the extra years of eligibility from the pandemic allowing seniors to choose if they would like to stay an extra year or not. Due to this, it made my transfer process much harder in the same way that this year’s high school seniors may have difficulties."

Indeed, never in the sport have this many student-athletes been eligible to play college golf.

Forsting, for example, gained back his freshman year at ICCC last spring when COVID-19 canceled the spring season and the National Junior College Athletic Association announced in May it would not charge spring sports athletes a season of eligibility. Although the Tritons were able to play a fall schedule, the NJCAA announced in October that it would waive waived eligibility for athletes in all sports for the 2020-21 school year due to widespread cancellation of sports and seasons in its membership.

Therefore, Forsting technically has four years of eligibility with the Warriors, who are eligible to return all nine golfers on their 2020-21 roster under the same COVID-19 NCAA eligibility extensions identical to those in place for the NJCAA. However, they did lose Brady Madsen to Florida Gulf Coast University and Sheboygan Falls native Tyler Beeck to Charleston Southern after last spring's hiatus.

Winona State, which has not competed since winning an 11-team event it hosted in Las Vegas last March, is scheduled to resume competition with its title defense March 8. The Warriors will then play five events after that with hopes of qualifying for an NCAA Division II regional.

"For me, the process for finding a college for next year pretty much stretched out over a couple of months this past fall leading into the winter," Forsting wrote. "I was able to talk with and meet Coach Straight at Winona and I eventually found that this college was the one for me. In the end, this college was perfect for me because they have a strong golf program, a very strong academic program and a great city ... as well as the price of the college being very reasonable compared to other colleges advertising similar things."

Forsting was a four-time WIAA Division 2 sectional qualifier and two-time WIAA state qualifier. As a senior, he shot 67-41 at the weather-shortened 2019 WIAA state tournament to earn medalist honors by one stroke.

Before that, Forsting enjoyed a breakout season in 2018 on the WPGA Junior Tour, winning three one-day events — at Janesville Riverside, The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove and Pleasant View Golf Course in Middleton — in addition to top-30 showings at the WPGA Junior Championship in Milwaukee and the WPGA Morgan Stanley Junior Tour Championship at Washington County Golf Course in Hartford.

"I think (and hope) I will fit in with the golf program well at Winona," wrote Forsting, who will also continue work toward a business degree, which he started at ICCC. "From what I can tell so far, they are a great group that is more like a family than a team and I hope I am able to contribute to the team during my time there. As they have been a very powerful team in recent years, I know their team is looking to continue that tradition."

Boys Class of 2019

No. First name Last name High School College choice July
1, Brock Hlinak Kaukauna Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.) 1 1 1 1
2, Jack Blair Milwaukee Marquette Wisconsin 2 2 T1 3
3, Blake Wisdom Lake Geneva Badger Bucknell University 4 5 15 23
4, Zak Kulka Beaver Dam UW-Green Bay 7 7 9 9
5, Matthew Raab Hartland Arrowhead St. Thomas (Minn.) 15 3 6 10
6, James Gilmore Madison Edgewood Miami, Ohio (academics)/
St. Thomas (Minn.)
6 10 20 17
7, Danny Sanicki Menomonee Falls UW-Parkside 14 8 16 18
8, Lukas Heckmann Lakeside Lutheran University of New Orleans 8 9 3 14
9, Max Schmidtke Sheboygan North Illinois-Springfield 5 13 23 7
10, Drew Sagrillo Milwaukee Marquette Dominican (Calif.)/St. Thomas (Minn.) 3 4 8 NR
11, Tyler Cleaves Kaukauna Willmington (Del.) University 9 11 4 4
12, Austin Gaby Verona UW-Stout 21 37 NR NR
13, Jack Anderson Brookfield Central Wisconsin (club golf) 19 15 5 5
14, Sean Murphy Waunakee UW-Eau Claire 43 12 7 8
15, Joe Forsting Edgerton Iowa Central CC/
Winona (Minn.) State
10 30 37 NR
16, Kyle Wille Edgerton Iowa Central CC 11 25 36 NR
17, Connor Brown Union Grove UW-Eau Claire 12 14 25 NR
18, Steven Sanicki Menomonee Falls UW-Parkside 13 18 12 22
19, Zach Walsh Brookfield East Arizona State (academics) 29 31 NR NR
20, Doyle Kelly Fond du Lac Springs Marquette (academics) 23 16 10 12
21, Ethan Wilkins Lake Country Lutheran Illinois Wesleyan 24 45 NR NR
22, James Johnson Greendale Lake Forest (Ill.) 46 21 NR NR
23, Austin Thyes Sheboygan North Wisconsin (club golf) 17 6 19 25
24, Billy Peterson Eau Claire Memorial Augsburg (Minn.) 16 23 17 20
25, Ethan Carrick Sun Prairie UW-Eau Claire 48 19 13 15
26, Ian Behringer Manitowoc Roncalli UW-Green Bay 18 28 NR NR
27, AJ Gray Milton Madison College 31 36 27 NR
28, Cody Dirks Holmen Iowa Central CC 20 26 NR NR
29, Ben Peloquin Schofield D.C. Everest UW-Parkside 50 43 NR NR
30, Charley Chase Hudson Wisconsin (club golf) NR NR NR NR
31, Jack Rollins Madison Abunant Life/Country Day Wisconsin (academics) 22 48 33 NR
32, Trent Thomas Green Bay Southwest Marian (Wis.) NR NR NR NR
33, Cole Hanke Green Bay Preble St. Norbert NR NR NR NR
34, Brad Buechel Kewaskum Univ. of Dubuque NR NR NR NR
34, Matthew Hach New Glarus Madison College 40 35 NR NR
35, Kasey Casper Coleman St. Norbert 32 29 14 NR
36, Adam Lazaroff Lakeland (Minocqua) UW-Stout 38 44 NR NR
37, Isaac Larrabee Eleva-Strum UW-Stout 41 NR NR NR
38, Kyle Kahl Fond du Lac Dominican (Ill.) NR NR NR NR
39, Kasen Fager Mount Horeb Edgewood College 26 HM NR NR
40, Austin Ramos Greendale Martin Luther Concordia-Mequon NR NR NR NR
41, Zach Bernhardt Eau Claire Memorial Wisconsin (academics) 28 24 18 NR
42, Nick Schroeder Mukwonago Not available 25 NR NR NR
43, Boomer Zierath Madison Abunant Life/Country Day Wisconsin (academics) 42 47 33 NR
44, Jacob Schlosser Kewaskum Workforce (electrician) 33 42 22 NR
45, Evan Thomas Stevens Point UW-La Crosse (academics) 30 22 31 11
46, Nolan Ruffing Franklin UW-La Crosse (academics) 34 27 21 13
47, Cade Rohrbach Platteville UW-La Crosse (academics) 35 NR NR NR
48, Vince Omernik Amherst UW-Whitewater (club golf) 36 HM NR NR
49, Bryce Peters Winneconne Northern Michigan (academics) 37 49 29 NR
50, Andrew Clement Pewaukee Wisconsin (academics) 30 17 11 2

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