RECENT CONFERENCE HISTORY: COULEE
|2019||Arcadia/Independence||Arcadia/Independence||385||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||395||Rylee Haines, Arcadia/Independence||79|
|2018||Arcadia||Arcadia||376||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||407||Rylee Haines, Arcadia||83|
|2017||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||365||Arcadia||389||Megan Larson, G-E-T||85|
|2016||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||Arcadia||374||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||377||Alayna Tulip, Arcadia||88|
|2015||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau||359||Arcadia||387||Bailey Schmidt, G-E-T||82|
Top 2019 WIAA finishes
Team: Arcadia/Independence shot 411 and finished third at the WIAA Division 2 Prairie du Chien sectional. The Raiders were 60 shots behind eventual state champion Madison Edgewood and eight shots shy of the second state berth. Individual: Arcadia/Independence senior Rylee Haines shot 96-90 at the WIAA Division 2 state tournament and finished tied for 13th at 186. She finished 28 strokes behind champion Grace Welch of Madison Edgewood.
When They Are Playing: Coulee
|Black River Falls||✓|
Preseason top three
Arcadia, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Black River Falls.
Preseason fall all-conference
First team: Emily Nelson, jr., Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau; Zoie Pehler, sr., Arcadia; Ava Pronchinske, sr., Cochrane-Fountain City; Whitney Sonsalla, so., Arcadia; Hallie Tulip, jr., Arcadia.
Second team: Hayley Andersen, sr., Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau; Gabbi Antonelli, sr., Black River Falls; Ahnna Bautch, so., Arcadia; Kaylee Sweno, jr., Black River Falls; Kenzie Wolfe, jr., Arcadia.
What to watch
Graduation losses hit Arcadia as little as perhaps any WIAA Division 2 team in the state, which means an eighth state tournament berth — if local health agencies allow the Raiders to make a postseason run — is a possibility.
They return three of the five golfers off last year's team that finished third at the WIAA Division 2 Prairie du Chien sectional, missing a state berth by eight strokes. State qualifier Rylee Haines will be hard to replace, but veterans Hallie Tulip, Zoie Pehler and Whitney Sonsalla have all shown great promise in the early going and junior Kenzie Wolfe has been a consistent No. 5 golfer.
For now, though, Arcadia's focus will be on its place in the Coulee Conference.
Only three of the six teams in the conference have full varsity lineups, but the top two are poised to wage a spirited battle for the top spot. That other team would be Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, where alum Bailey Schmidt — the 2015 Coulee champion who played collegiately at Viterbo — has returned for a one-year gig as head coach at her alma mater before leaving for medical school.
Schmidt's team has pushed Arcadia for the top spot in both of its Coulee mini-meets. No. 1 golfer Emily Nelson and No. 5 golfer Alexis Murphy have starred in both of them, averaging 45 and 47.5, respectively, as the Red Hawks have dropped the two matches to the Raiders by an average of three strokes.
Black River Falls, the only other school able to count four scores, is a sub-60 fourth score away from possibly joining the mix at the top of the conference. Nos. 1, 2 and 4 golfers Gabby Antonelli, Kaylee Sweno and Natalie Rave have been around the 50 mark in each of their first nine-hole Coulee mini-meets.
2020 calendar: Click here
▶ Coulee Conference Championship: Sept. 24 (Drugan's Castle Mound GC-Holmen).