Nick Higley Eleva-Strum

Nick Higley of Eleva-Strum

Looking back

2018 conference champion

Drew Severson and Nick Higley finished 1-2 as Eleva-Strum shot 334 and topped Cochrane-Fountain City (369) to win the Dairyland Conference Championship at Trempealeau Mountain Golf Course in Trempealeau.

2018 conference medalist

Severson, who led teammates Isaac Larrabee and Higley by two shots at the turn after shooting 37 on the front, fired another 37 on the back nine at Trempealeau Mountain GC and won medalist honors at the Dairyland Championship with a 74, five shots ahead of Higley.

Top 2018 WIAA finishes

Team: Eleva-Strum shot 356-351 at the WIAA Division 3 state tournament and, with a 36-hole total of 707, finished 65 shots behind repeat champion Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs (329-313). Individual: Eleva-Strum senior Drew Severson shot 80-75 at the Division 3 state tournament and, with a 36-hole total of 155, finished five strokes behind champion Tyler Leach of Spring Valley.

Looking ahead

Preseason top three

Cochrane-Fountain City; Eleva-Strum; Blair-Taylor.

Preseason all-conference

First team:  Nick Higley, so., Eleva-Strum; Jacob Jandro, jr., Cochrane-Fountain City; Daniel Krause, sr., Cochrane-Fountain City; Isaac Larabee, sr., Eleva-Strum; Nick Shepherd, jr., Blair-Taylor.

Second team: James Breska, jr., Whitehall; Noah Ehlenfeldt, sr., Cochrane-Fountain City; Cody Serum, sr., Gilmanton; Noah Shepherd, jr., Blair-Taylor; Jason Wiersgalla, sr., Cochrane-Fountain City.

What to watch

Eleva-Strum has won 21 conference titles in boys golf and, as much as Cardinals coach Jon Higley would love to find a way to win the Dairyland Conference for title No. 22, he knows that the odds are stacked against his team. First, he lost two golfers to graduation, including 2018 Dairyland champion Drew Severson, and No. 4 golfer Andrew Schoen to track and field. Then, he knows that Cochrane-Fountain City returns all five golfers from last year's Dairyland runner-up team and should be deemed the preseason favorite on volume alone. The Pirates don't have a front-runner to keep up with Eleva-Strum's Nick Higley or, possibly, Isaac Larabee, but junior Jacob Jandro and seniors Jaxon Wiersgalla, Daniel Krause and Nolan Ehlenfeldt showed signs of breaking 90 consistently and will need to take that step this spring if CFC is to live up to preseason expectations of its potential. Blair Taylor has a solid 1-2 punch in juniors Nick and Noah Shepherd, but — like several schools in the Dairyland — need to develop quality depth to keep up with the top two schools in the conference.

Circle these dates

April 9 — Dairyland Conference Mini-Meet #1 (Walnut Grove GC-Cochrane). April 15 — Dairyland Conference Mini-Meet #2 (Viking GC-Strum). April 16 — Dairyland Conference Mini-Meet #3 (Mondovi CC). April 25 — Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Invitational (Ettrick GC-Ettrick); Dairyland Conference Mini-Meet #4 (Whitehall CC).  April 27 — Sparta Invitational (River Run GC-Sparta). April 29 — Black River Falls Invitational (Skyline GC-Black River Falls). April 30 — Dairyland Conference Scramble (Walnut Grove GC-Cochrane). May 3 — Dairyland Conference Mini-Meet #5 (Viking GC-Strum). May 6 — Dairyland/Cloverbelt Conference Challenge (Lake Wissota GC-Chippewa Falls). May 7 — Arcadia Invitational (Trempealeau Mountain GC-Trempealeau). May 10 — Dairyland Conference Mini-Meet #6 (Walnut Grove GC-Cochrane). May 11 — Spring Valley Invitational (Spring Valley GC). May 13 — Dairyland Conference Mini-Meet #7 (Mondovi CC). May 14 — Dairyland Conference Championship (Wabasha GC-Wabasha, Minn.).

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.