Benjamin Pausha | 2020 Junior Boys Championship

Benjamin Pausha | Kettle Moraine

Wisconsin.Golf's Rob Hernandez sizes up the WIAA Division 1 boys sectional golf tournaments being contested across the state this week. The top two teams in each sectional advance to next week's state tournament, along with the top three golfers not on those teams. The Division 1 state championships are scheduled for June 14-15 at Wild Rock Golf Club.

WAUSAU EAST SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Antigo 355 3 1985
D.C. Everest (Schofield) 337 4 1991
Eau Claire Memorial 290 49 2019
Hudson 299 3 2019
New Richmond 311 22 2001
River Falls 305 16 2018
Stevens Point 338 27 2016
Wausau West 352 4 2007
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Jaxon Bulgrin, Marshfield 85
Carter Cygan, Wausau East 79
Jamin Dufree, Superior 79
Brett Elkin, Chippewa Falls 71
Koldyn Gechas, Rhinelander 81
Andrew Henrichs, Rhinelander 89
Matt Nault, Superior 77
Andrew Rude, Superior 77

When, where: 9 a.m. Tuesday at Greenwood Hills CC-Wausau, par 72.

That was then (in 2019): Hudson senior Charley Chase and sophomore Bennett Swavely shot matching 76s at New Richmond Golf Course as the Raiders shot 316 and edged Big Rivers Conference rival Eau Claire Memorial (320) to win the 2019 WIAA Division 1 New Richmond sectional. New Richmond sophomore Owen Covey shot 71 to slip past eventual state champion Russell Dettmering of Merrill by one shot for medalist honors. Stevens Point senior Evan Thomas joined Covey and Dettmering in qualifying for the state tournament at University Ridge GC in Madison. Covey and Swavely were the top performers among golfers currently competing in the 2021 high school season.

This is now (in 2021): There is nothing like a 290 to get people's attention and that's exactly what Eau Claire Memorial did last week in winning the WIAA Division 1 Superior regional at Nemadji GC in Superior. Freshman Will Schlitz shot 4-under-par 68, one of just three sub-70 rounds in the state, to edge Hudson senior Bennett Swavely, a University of Minnesota recruit, by one shot for medalist honors as the Old Abes outscored Hudson 290-299 for the team title. History would suggest that it will be a much different story on the scoreboard at Greenwood Hills, which last played host to a sectional in 2011 when Hudson (323) knocked off Superior (336) and Eau Claire North (339) for the team title. Memorial, the Big Rivers Conference champion, has a freshman (Schlitz) and two sophomores (Ben Christensen and Parker Etzel), for whom this sectional will be their first. Could that open the door for Hudson, which has three seniors in its starting five with one of them a tournament veteran in Swavely. Much like Memorial and Hudson dueled in the Big Rivers, Stevens Point and Wausau West went back-and-forth in finishing 1-2 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference only to finish second and third, respectively, behind D.C. Everest (Schofield) at the Everest regional at Wausau CC. On paper, none of the three WVC favorites have the scoring punch of Eau Claire Memorial and Hudson, but that may not be as important if the sectional plays out the way Leg 5 of the WVC tournament series did May 14, when Stevens Point (346) outlasted Wausau West (348) and D.C. Everest (352) for team honors in a high-scoring affair on the challenging Greenwood Hills layout.

Projected state team qualifiers: Hudson, Eau Claire Memorial.

Projected state individual qualifiers: Logan Pechinski, Stevens Point; Carter Cygan, Wausau East; Owen Covey, New Richmond.

NOTRE DAME (GREEN BAY) SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Appleton North 345 3 2001
Appleton West 352 4 2003
Ashwaubenon 330 3 2008
Bay Port 342 7 2019
De Pere 316 6 2015
Green Bay Preble 340 15 2010
Notre Dame (Green Bay) 317 15 2018
West De Pere 325 3 2004
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Aiden Cudney, Kimberly 82
Sam Knapp, Kaukauna 87
Kaden Marcell, Shawano 81
Jake Prestigiacomo, Appleton East 87
Quinn Process, Pulaski 81
Connor Schaefer, Hortonville 89
Lucas te Plate, Shawano 86
Aaron Tonn, Pulaski 86

When, where: 9 a.m. Wednesday at Thornberry Creek at Oneida GC, par 72.

That was then (in 2019): Kaukauna's dynamic senior duo of Tyler Cleaves (74) and Brock Hlinak (75) paved the way, but fellow seniors Zachary Klingseisen (76) and Reis Schweiner (77) weren't too shabby, either, as the Galloping Ghosts fired a 302 and rolled to the Notre Dame (Green Bay) sectional at Thornberry Creek at Oneida GC. Bay Port (319) edged host Notre Dame (Green Bay) by one shot for the second state berth behind junior Preston Cedergren, who shared medalist honors with Appleton East senior Ben Gilkay and Cleaves. Gilkay, Green Bay Preble senior Cole Hanke (75) and Green Bay Southwest senior Trent Thomas (75) earned the individual state tournament berths. Appleton West sophomore Austin Georger, who lost to birdies from Hanke and Thomas on the second playoff hole for the last two berths, shot 75 and was the top finisher among current high school golfers.

This is now (in 2021): It must be the WIAA postseason because sectional host Notre Dame (Green Bay) turned in one of its finest performances of the season last week in winning the Ashwaubenon regional at Brown County GC in Oneida. Junior Ryan Darling had a lot to do with that, firing a 1-under 71 to earn medalist honors by seven strokes and help the Tritons (317) roll past Fox River Classic Conference rival Ashwaubenon (330) for the title. Lost, perhaps, in Darling's work up front was the fact Notre Dame had all five golfers shoot 85 or better on a tough layout. Two years ago Notre Dame packed its four scoring golfers between 78 and 84 only to fall one shot shy of Bay Port in its bid for a 16th state tournament berth. This year, De Pere figures to be the team the Tritons and everyone else will be chasing. The FRCC overall champion Redbirds looked strong at its own regional at Ledgeview GC in De Pere with seniors Ben Busick (78) and Grady Coppo (79), junior Sam Mehlberg (79) and sophomore Jack Weisenberger (80) setting a tone that will be tough to beat if they can replicate that balance at Thornberry Creek. Lurking out there, too, is Fox Valley Association champion Appleton North, which won the FVA Championship with a 327 but finished third (345) at the De Pere regional.

Projected state team qualifiers: Notre Dame (Green Bay), De Pere.

Projected state individual qualifiers: Austin Georger, Appleton West; Max Reis, West De Pere; Aiden Cudney, Kimberly.

MADISON MEMORIAL SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Holmen 331 6 2019
Madison Memorial 321 17 2017
Middleton 310 21 2019
Onalaska 327 21 2013
Reedsburg 358 7 2008
Tomah 333 4 1983
Verona 323 1 2018
Waunakee 309 1 2017
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Dominick Fetterer, Wisconsin Rapids 88
Charlie Gibbs, Baraboo 84
Finn Jackson, Madison West 88
Dane Kubisiak, Wisconsin Rapids 88
Sonny Lombardo, Mount Horeb 88
Kaleb Lycke, La Crosse Central/Logan 83
Jack Morgan, Madison West 85
Brandt Wilson, Sauk Prairie 89

When, where: 9 a.m. Monday at Blackhawk CC-Madison, par 72.

That was then (in 2019): Historically a mix of Madison- and La Crosse-area teams, this sectional welcomed Wisconsin Rapids to the mix for the first time and went to the Ridges GC in Wisconsin Rapids to determine state qualifiers. The results, however, looked a lot like those when the sectional is played in Madison or La Crosse. Four Middleton golfers broke 80, led by junior Kip Sullivan (75), as the Cardinals shot 306 and topped Holmen by five shots for the team title. Mount Horeb's Kasen Fager (72) earned medalist honors by two strokes over Verona senior Austin Gaby. They joined Sparta junior Austin Erickson (76) in advancing to the state tournament as individuals. Middleton sophomore Jacob Beckman (79) tied for 10th and was the top finisher among golfers still competing at the high school level in 2021.

This is now (in 2021): Middleton, which finished second to Milwaukee Marquette at the 2019 WIAA Division 1 state championship, was reminded last week that it's as tough to get to the state tournament out of this sectional as it is to contend once there. The Cardinals shot 310 at their own regional last week at Pleasant View GC, but finished second to Waunakee (309), which boasted the medalist in junior Max Brud (73) and had all five golfers break 85. Middleton's four scoring golfers ranged from 75 to 80 with a lineup that had just one senior (University of Wisconsin recruit Jacob Beckman) in it. While they would appear to be the teams to beat, Onalaska's winning 327 at its own regional came on a demanding La Crosse CC and will no doubt send the Hilltoppers into the sectional with confidence. However, qualifiers from both regionals will find a much different challenge at Blackhawk CC, a tight layout with fast greens that is playing host to a boys sectional for the first time in recent memory. When the course held a Division 1 regional in 2017, Middleton won with a 311, but none of the other schools in the eight-team field broke 325 and only one golfer bettered 76. To further muddy the waters, three schools ranked in the top 10 — No. 4 Middleton, No. 8 Waunakee and No. 9 Madison Memorial — are in the field as are the top two teams also receiving votes (Verona and Holmen).

Projected state team qualifiers: Middleton, Madison Memorial.

Projected state individual qualifiers: Will Meganck, Waunakee; Hunter Neumann, Tomah; Sam Evenson, Holmen.

PLYMOUTH SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Arrowhead (Hartland) 302 30 2019
Fond du Lac 345 39 2019
Hartford 340 12 2003
Manitowoc 341 21 2007
Neenah 344 10 2014
Plymouth 346 15 2017
Sheboygan North 307 27 2018
Slinger 321 5 2014
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Owen Beumler, Sheboygan South 89
Isaac Geffers, Oshkosh North 88
Joseph Held, West Bend West 88
Tristan Helgeson, West Bend West 89
Nic Kolar, Sheboygan South 89
Boden Memmel, West Bend East 90
Dakota Rezachek, Two Rivers/Mishicot 89
Evan Spaeth, West Bend West 86

When, where: 9 a.m. Wednesday at Quit-Qui-Oc GC-Elkhart Lake, par 71.

That was then (in 2019): Two-time defending WIAA Division 1 state champion Piercen Hunt shot 70 at Washington County GC in Hartford as Arrowhead (Hartland) shot 308 and edged Fond du Lac by four shots for the team title at the WIAA Division 1 Hartford regional. Beaver Dam senior Zak Kulka, a UW-Green Bay recruit, finished second with a 72 and joined Plymouth senior Charlie Aschenbach (74) and De Pere senior Cole Griffin (76) in qualifying for the state tournament individually. Slinger sophomore Addison Raimer and West De Pere freshman Max Reis shot matching 80s and were the top finishers among those golfers who are still competing during the 2021 season.

This is now (in 2021): Sheboygan North moves into this sectional from what this year is the Mequon Homestead sectional and promises to give perennial power and top-ranked Arrowhead (Hartland) a run for the team title. The Golden Raiders are coming off of a Neenah regional championship where sophomore Mason Schmidtke's state-best 66 fueled their 307 winning score. Overshadowed by Schmidtke's remarkable round was the fact that all five North golfers, three of them seniors, shot 86 or better. That experience will be critical against Arrowhead and Slinger, whose senior standouts are at the top of their lineups and promise to make the road to Wild Rock GC in Wisconsin Dells difficult for North. Arrowhead seniors Nick Amtmann and Andrew Fickel shared regional medalist honors with 73s at Washington County GC last week as the Warhawks, who also got a 74 from sophomore Bode King, shot 302 to top Slinger by 19 strokes. Raimer, however, is playing some of the best golf of his high school career and has formed a solid nucleus with junior Will Summers and senior Tyson Miller. 

Projected state team qualifiers: Arrowhead (Hartland), Sheboygan North.

Projected state individual qualifiers: Addison Raimer, Slinger; Will Summers, Slinger; Wyatt Pfeiffer, Fond du Lac.

JANESVILLE PARKER SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Beloit Memorial 340 28 2013
Fort Atkinson 356 11 2015
Milton 326 1 1987
Monona Grove 346 3 2017
Mukwonago 332 8 2019
Oregon 353 1 2000
Stoughton 358 9 2013
Sun Prairie 351 8 2010
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Nolan Ahler, Elkhorn 85
Will Arkin, Madison La Follette 92
Josh Brogren, Elkhorn 85
Ryan Ertel, McFarland 90
Kai Klass, McFarland 91
Wyatt Marshall, Janesville Craig 73
Ethan Prusakeiwicz, DeForest 88
Bryce Sullivan, Janesville Craig 87

When, where: 8 a.m. Tuesday at Janesville Riverside GC, par 72.

That was then (in 2019): Bucknell recruit Blake Wisdom of Lake Geneva Badger shot 71 while teammates Luke Abram (75), Ben Rademaker (77) and TJ Walton (78) also broke 80 as the Badgers (301) pulled out a two-stroke victory at the Mukwonago sectional at Edgewood GC in Big Bend. Mukwonago won a team playoff over Sun Prairie for the second state berth after the two teams tied for second place at 303, leaving the Cardinals' Mickey Keating (73) to take one of the three state individual berths with Janesville Parker junior Kadin Kleman (73) and Milton senior AJ Gray (75), who won a playoff over Sun Prairie senior Ethan Carrick and Janesville Parker's Zack Milner for the final spot at University Ridge. Badger's Abram, who tied for fifth, was the top golfer among those still competing at the high school level in 2021.

This is now (in 2021): As is often the case with a sectional that encompasses areas south of Madison and west of Milwaukee, this sectional couldn't be more wide open. Milton (326) and Monona Grove (346) come to Janesville Riverside as regional champions, but Mukwonago (332) and Beloit Memorial (340) finished within 14 strokes of Milton at the Mukwonago regional at Edgewood GC in Big Bend and Sun Prairie (351), Oregon (353) and Stoughton (358) finished within 12 shots of MG at the Portage regional at Portage CC. Likewise, only four golfers broke 80 at Mukwonago, led by individual sectional qualifier Wyatt Marshall of Janesville Craig (73), and no one shot lower than 81 at Portage. Beloit Memorial and Monona Grove shot matching 349s to finish T-2 at the Ashenfelder Invitational at Janesville Riverside last month, but history suggests the course is much more forgiving than that so it will likely take a score lower than 320 to advance to the state tournament.

Projected state team qualifiers: Milton, Mukwonago.

Projected state individual qualifiers: Griffin Oberneder, Beloit Memorial; Jacob Frederickson, Monona Grove; Wyatt Marshall, Janesville Craig.

HOMESTEAD (MEQUON) SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Cedarburg 308 4 2016
Germantown 314 2 2010
Hamilton (Sussex) 320 0 NA
Hometead (Mequon) 304 31 2019
Kettle Moraine 295 8 2019
Oconomowoc 332 26 2006
Pewaukee 330 5 2012
Waukesha West 329 1 2004
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Jake Anderson, Whitefish Bay 82
Collin Barry, Whitefish Bay 81
Ben Hilbelink, Menomonee Falls 72
Peter Hoeppner, Waukesha North 82
Jackson Piacsek, Waukesha North 76
Mason Roanhouse, Waterford 79
Cullen Starker, Whitefish Bay 79
Owen Van Galen, Waukesha South 83

When, where: 9 a.m. Tuesday at North Shore CC-Mequon.

That was then (in 2019): Sophomore Ty Mueller (78) and junior Josh Teplin (80) turned in top-10 finishes as Mequon Homestead shot 322 and survived arguably the toughest sectional venue in the state on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Haven with the Sheboygan North sectional championship. Kettle Moraine (330) edged Sheboygan North (333) and Germantown (336) for the second state berth. Sheboygan North seniors Austin Thyes (73) and Max Schmidtke (76) and Waterford junior Josh Koszarek (75) qualified for the state tournament individually. Medalist Ben Pausha of Kettle Moraine (72) was the top finisher among golfers still competing at the high school level in 2021.

This is now (in 2021): Top-ranked Kettle Moraine, which shot 295 in winning the Waukesha South regional, and No. 3 Mequon Homestead headline a field that includes a few teams — Cedarburg, Germantown and Hamilton (Sussex) — capable of keeping the favorites from punching their ticket to the state tournament in Wisconsin Dells. It will take a yeoman's effort, however. Kettle Moraine's victory at Morningstar Golfers Club in Waukesha included a 72 from senior Jackson Vinopal, a 73 from freshman Spencer Stuke, a 74 from sophomore Alex Koenig and a 76 from senior Jackson Cain. Pausha, the sectional champion two years ago the last time a WIAA tournament series was held, had his 78 thrown out. Homestead seemed comfortable with the shootout that was its regional at Mee Kwon GC. Mueller's 71 earned him a share of medalist honors with Germantown's Collin Thomey and led the way for the Highlanders (304), who got a 75 from sophomore Hunter Thibert and a 77 from senior Christian Sobczak at the back end of the lineup on a day when No. 2 golfer Joe Fricker shot 82 despite a 37 on the back nine. Cedarburg (Nathan Theama), Germantown (Thomey) and Sussex Hamilton (Michael Addie) all have strong No. 1 golfers who won't be intimidated by a tough sectional venue in North Shore CC, which is the fourth Mequon-area course Homestead has enlisted to host a postseason competition in the last three years.

Projected state team qualifiers: Homestead (Mequon), Kettle Moraine .

Projected state individual qualifiers: Collin Thomey, Germantown; Michael Addie, Hamilton (Sussex); Nathan Theama, Cedarburg .

RACINE CASE SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Franklin 346 5 2019
Kenosha Indian Trail 344 0 NA
Marquette (Milwaukee) 304 11 2019
Muskego 334 4 2017
Oak Creek 329 1 2000
Racine Case 343 13 2015
South Milwaukee 432 36 1989
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Tyson Baldwin, Kenosha Tremper 87
Egan Bedwell, Milwaukee King 109
Michael Cerny, Racine Horlick 83
Tyler Dahl, Kenosha Tremper 76
Peter Iwanowski, St. Francis/Cudahy 82
Josh Koch, Milwaukee King 96
Alex Krowski, St. Francis/Cudahy 105
Kamden Logan, Kenosha Tremper 91

When, where: 9 a.m. Tuesday at Ives Grove GL-Sturtevant, par 72.

That was then (in 2019): Junior Jack Lutze (70) and seniors Jack Blair (72) and Drew Sagrillo (72) swept the top three spots and freshman Hayden LeMonds (76) finished T-7 as Milwaukee Marquette shot 290 and cruised to a 17-stroke victory over Franklin to win its own sectional at Brown Deer Park GC in Milwaukee. No other school finished within 36 strokes of the top two teams. University of Wisconsin-bound junior Cameron Huss of Kenosha Tremper (76) earned his first WIAA state tournament berth as an individual qualifier along with St. Francis/Cudahy sophomore Peter Iwanowski (78) and Greenfield senior Sam Mendoza (79). Franklin sophomore John Mirsberger (73) finished T-4, the best showing by a golfer still competing in the high school ranks in 2021.

This is now (in 2021): The names may change, but the results remain the same for Milwaukee Marquette, which has won the last two WIAA Division 1 state championships and three of the last four. Senior Riley Simonz (75), junior Sebastian Kasun (76) and sophomore Marco Bamrah (76) swept the top three places and junior Hayden LeMonds shot 77 in his season debut after a long road to recovery from Bankart Repair shoulder surgery last summer as the Hilltoppers shot 304 to win their own regional a Brown Deer Park, a rather stress-free competition with only three schools fielding full teams. That junior Will Hemauer's 78 was thrown out speaks to the depth coach Brad Niswonger's team has again in 2021. There figures to be a wide gap between Marquette and the second-place team at Ives Grove. None of the other six teams in the sectional shot lower than 329 (Oak Creek), paving the way for a spirited battle for the second state berth.

Projected state team qualifiers: Marquette (Milwaukee), Racine Case.

Projected state individual qualifiers: Dylan Moore, Kenosha Indian Trail; Tyler Dahl, Kenosha Tremper; John Mirsberger, Franklin.

WESTOSHA CENTRAL SECTIONAL

TEAM QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE STATE BERTHS LAST
Badger (Lake Geneva) 327 32 2019
Brookfield Central 328 14 2018
Brookfield East 327 4 2008
New Berlin West 345 5 2006
Union Grove 330 0 NA
Wauwatosa East/West 317 38 2019
West Allis Hale 370 14 2002
Whitnall (Hales Corners) 365 0 NA
INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS REGIONAL SCORE
Nolan Bruni, Westosha Central 84
Johnny Hooper, Greenfield 95
Brandon LaBeau, Greendale 81
Sam Olson, Wisconsin Lutheran 93
Nathan Riel, Wisconsin Lutheran 98
Cy Turner, Wilmot 90
Dane Turner, Wilmot 88
Tom Zacher, Greenfield 94

When, where: 9 a.m. Wednesday at Brighton Dale Links GC-Kansasville, par 72.

That was then (in 2019): Junior Dan Sobeleski (76) and Wauwatosa East/West shot 305 at Wanaki GC in Menomonee Falls and won a shootout with junior Marty Swab (72) and Menomonee Falls (308) to win the Brookfield Central sectional. Swab shared medalist honors with UW-Eau Claire-bound senior Connor Brown of Union Grove, who qualified individually Brookfield Central seniors Jack Anderson (75) and Dean Yun (76). Yun won a playoff over Brookfield East's Zach Walsh for the final state individual berth. Sophomore Sam Yun (78), who finished T-12, was the top finisher among those golfers still competing during the 2021 high school season.

This is now (in 2021): Badger (Lake Geneva) moves over from the Janesville Parker regional to take aim at Wauwatosa East/West, which placed all five golfers in the top 11 at last week's Brookfield Central regional at Wanaki GC in Menomonee Falls and shot a 317 to top runner-up Brookfield East by 10 shots for the team title. Junior Ben Soboleski (75) and senior Colin Muellen (79) were the only golfers to break 80 at Wanaki, the kind of scores that will go a long way at Brighton Dale Links in a sectional that is otherwise extremely balanced. Badger won the Union Grove regional at Ives Grove GL in Sturtevant with a 327 behind junior TJ Walton, who played well in the postseason in 2019, and seniors Colton Craig (81) and Chris Bakken (83). Scores are seldom low at Brighton Dale so this sectional will not only test the depth of teams hoping to advance to Wisconsin Dells, but also their patience.

Projected state team qualifiers: Wauwatosa East/West, Badger (Lake Geneva) .

Projected state individual qualifiers: Simon Graham, Union Grove; Sam Sonsalla, Brookfield Central; Charlie Bennett, Brookfield East.

Wisconsin.Golf corrected the day of the Green Bay Notre Dame sectional to Wednesday. We regret the error.

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