Sheboygan Lutheran made golf history twice in one day.
On June 4, the Crusaders took third place at Division 3 state for their best finish ever at the WIAA meet, and junior Drake Wilcox became the school’s first state champion.
Wilcox, who was second as a freshman and third last season, finished with a 27-hole total of 1-over-par 109 at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona.
He finished three strokes ahead of second-place Jack Rollins of Abundant Life/Madison County in the two-day event.
“It really comes back to how hard I worked,” Wilcox said. “I really don’t think that there’s anybody at my school ever that has worked nearly as hard as I have in this sport. I’ve been playing golf since I was 4 and it’s all really paying off. I was really confident out there and it really does feel amazing to be a state champion. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
As a team, Lutheran ended with a total of 515 to finish 22 strokes behind champion Manitowoc Roncalli and 11 behind runner-up Abundant Life/Madison Country.
This is Lutheran’s third state meet in the last four years and its fourth overall. The Crusaders’ previous best finish at state was fourth in 2016.
Senior Emma Egbert tied for 23rd individually with a 131, and she was followed by teammates sophomore Andrew Meador (29th, 138), senior Devon Madson (30th, 139) and junior Joel Hacker (39th, 144).
Last year, the Crusaders placed fifth and all five golfers returned this season.
“We came in with high expectations,” Lutheran coach Larry Kettle said. “We thought we had the firepower to be able to compete.”
North has pair at state, too: It was one last hurrah at the Division 1 State Championship for North’s trio of Andrew Delong, Max Schmidtke and Austin Thyes.
This was Delong’s final season as the Golden Raiders’ coach, and Schmidtke and Thyes are seniors.
“We all have developed a strong bond and unforgettable memories throughout these last four years,” Thyes said.
Schmidtke finished tied for eighth after he shot 74s on both days of the tournament for a 148 after placing 28th last year.
Thyes tied for 20th (75-78-153) after talomg 25th last season.
“I knew I was in contention to finish in a respectable position on the leaderboard, so I was still focused on playing the last 18 holes as well as I could,” said Schmidtke, who will golf at Illinois-Springfield next season. “But definitely on Hole 18, I got a couple of tears in my eyes walking off the fairway. Once I tapped in for a bogey and all the other guys were putting out, then everything kind of went loose and I think that’s when it finally hit me, that was the last hole I played as a Raider.”
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