jr boys Simon Cuskey.jpg

Rice Lake's Simon Cuskey

To say that Simon Cuskey sought a college where the sky was the limit for his college golf and aviation career would be the 747 of understatements.

"I was looking for a place that I could imagine myself having the best four years of my life," the Rice Lake senior wrote in an email interview with Wisconsin.Golf. "And that place was Mankato (Minn.)."

Indeed, looking to major in aviation, Cuskey decided last fall that his college experience — on and off the golf course — would best be able to take flight at Minnesota State-Mankato and he promptly signed his National Letter of Intent to play for coach Bryant Black. Cuskey said he chose the NCAA Division II Mavericks over interest from NAIA Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Cuskey, who is ranked 12th in the Wisconsin.Golf boys Class of 2020 state rankings, was the WIAA Division 2 state runner-up in 2019 when he shot 72-37 in the weather-shortened, 27-hole state tournament at University Ridge. He finished one shot behind state champion Joe Forsting of Edgerton (67-41).

Following the state tournament, Cuskey enjoyed a consistent summer in WPGA Junior points events.

He finished in the top 25 at the Lake Arrowhead Invitational and the Wisconsin PGA Junior Championship before turning in his best showing of the summer at the WPGA Players Tour event at Blackwolf Run GC in Kohler where he shot 76-80 and placed ninth. He closed out the summer with a 17th-place showing at the WSGA Junior Boys Championship.

"Many schools reached out to me, but I want to become a pilot, so it is hard to find solid golf programs built in with an aviation degree," Cuskey wrote. "Minnesota State is the right choice for me because it is not too far from home, has the degree I want to pursue and they have a good golf team.

"Eventually, coach (Black) and I set up a time where we could meet. When we first met ... I could tell he was a cool guy. He showed us around the school and talked about how the golf season goes and how they schedule their time. He mentioned that they have a very close team and they do a lot of things together.

"Also, he said every time that the team golfs, they are competing for something, big or small, which I really like so I stay focused."

The Mavericks graduated two golfers off their 2019 team that finished fourth at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship. Their 2019-20 team showed glimpses of great promise — twice shooting 280 last fall  — but also great inconsistency, following up both 280s with rounds north of 300.

MSU-Mankato was scheduled to graduate four golfers off its roster this spring before the season was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. How that shakes out remains to be seen, but Cuskey is confident he can make a quick impact.

"I see myself coming in and contributing to a positive environment and putting up some solid scores," Cuskey wrote. "I don't see myself coming in and being the No. 1 guy right away, but I want to be a guy that coach can rely on to shoot consistently solid numbers. They always are in the running for the conference title and have won it several times (most recently in 2018). They have made it to (NCAA Division II) regionals on numerous occasions and I hope I can help them keep that trend."

Boys Class of 2020

No. First name Last name High school College July
1, Piercen Hunt Hartland Arrowhead Illinois 1 1 1
2, Cameron Huss Kenosha Tremper Wisconsin 4 4 4
3, Drake Wilcox Sheboygan Lutheran Queens (N.C.) University 5 3 2
4, Jamozzy Skenandore West De Pere TBD 6 13 7
5, Russell Dettmering Merrill Western Texas
Community College
2 5 8
6, Kyle Bengtson Lakeland (Minocqua) UW-Green Bay 7 10 12
7, Jack Lutze Milwaukee Marquette Wisconsin (academics) 3 2 3
8, Sam Nielsen Fond du Lac Dominican (Calif.) 19 14 15
9, Austin Erickson Sparta Iowa Central CC 8 27 NR
10, Karl Gilmore Madison Edgewood DePauw (Ind.) 14 16 17
11, Josh Teplin Mequon Homestead Wisconsin (academics) 9 17 13
12, Simon Cuskey Rice Lake Minnesota State-Mankato 16 8 10
13, Marty Swab Menomonee Falls Lake Forest (Ill.) 10 9 6
14, Brice Klabunde Cameron Viterbo University 26 30 NR
15, Tommy Kriewaldt Middleton Wisconsin (academics) 11 9 24
16, Ansen Nomm Lakeland (Minocqua) UW-Stout 15 24 18
17, Carson Brock Holmen UW-Eau Claire 23 31 NR
18, Logan Lillehaug Luck/Frederic St. Thomas (Minn.) 13 6 11
19, Preston Cedergren Bay Port Nebraska-Omaha 20 7 9
20, Charlie Somers Wauwatosa East/West Wisconsin (academics) 18 NR NR
21, Kip Sullivan Middleton Wisconsin (academics) 17 15 NR
22, Mickey Keating Sun Prairie UW-La Crosse (swimming) 31 28 NR
23, Ben Monty Wauwatosa East/West WIsconsin (academics) 21 21 NR
24, Paul Lynch Westosha Central 12 12 5
25, Liam More O'Ferrall Milwaukee Marquette Loyola-Ill. (club golf) 22 NR NR
26, Nolan Wagner Hudson Iowa State (club golf) NR NR NR
27, Jack Summers Slinger Wisconsin (academics) 29 20 NR
28, Aiden Duchelle Slinger Florida Gulf Coast (PGM program) 30 NR NR
29, Jacob Decker Appleton East Wisconsin (academics) 28 NR NR
30, Simon Mitchell Mineral Point Iowa Central CC 35 32 NR
31, Travis Bentley Pewaukee
32, Stanford Swid Mosinee Winona (Minn.) State 32 NR NR
33, Carson Frisch Middleton UW-La Crosse 24 18 25
34, Josh Koszarek Waterford Madison College 27 29 NR
35, Mark Schaefer Wauwatosa East/West Wisconsin (academics) 25 NR NR
36, Jonah Duwell Fond du Lac NR NR NR
37, Spencer Tank Mequon Homestead 36 26 NR
38, Carter Parent Lake Geneva Badger 37 23 16
39, Dan Soboleski Wauwatosa East/West Workforce (carpentry) 39 NR NR
40, Ben Gilkay Appleton East 40 NR NR
41, Jake Collins Minocqua Lakeland UW-Stout NR NR NR
42, Bryce Pautz Roncalli (Manitowoc) NR NR NR
43, Joel Meglic Green Bay Notre Dame Cornell (N.Y.) University (football) NR NR NR
44, Alex Borgen Neenah 33 39 NR
45, Austin Lietha Columbus UW-La Crosse (academics) 34 NR
46, Ryan Batterman Sun Prairie Methodist (N.C.) NR NR NR
47, Dane Hinz Baraboo NR NR NR
48, Kadin Kleman Janesville Parker NR NR NR
49, Drew Jeffery Cambridge UW-La Crosse (academics) NR NR NR
50, Cale Rufenacht Verona Kentucky (academics) NR NR NR

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