Sports

North almost has first golf champ

Schmidtke takes second at state

NORTH’S GOLF TEAM wins another sectional championship this year. – Submitted photo

Mason Schmidtke came extremely close to becoming North’s first state champion in boys golf.

The junior finished as Division 1 runner-up, just one stroke behind Memorial’s Will Schlitz, on June 7 at Blackwolf Run (Meadow Valley Course).

“I went out there and played my game,” said Schmidtke, who took fifth a year ago. “I was in my process the whole tournament. I had a couple of bad breaks and a couple of missed putts. It only took one, right? Just one short. With a game like this on a course like that, it’s always going to come down to something close at the end, and it just didn’t go my way this time. I’m still happy with the growth I’ve had from last year to this year. I think I’ve grown a lot. Last year I had to rely on my putter a lot more. This year I just kind of got out there and felt comfortable on the course, didn’t really have to force anything.”

He had a 73 each day of the tourney to finish with a 2-over-par 146.

After the first day, he was fourth and three behind Kettle Moraine’s Alex Koenig.

Schlitz shot a 69 on Day 2 to rally to take first.

“What an impressive round it was,” Schmidtke said. “A 69 from a sophomore to win it, that’s something you don’t hear very often.

North junior Hogan Miller’s 151 put him in a tie for 10th; he placed 25th in 2021.

Team takes fourth

North wanted to send retiring coach Craig Walters out on top.

The Golden Raiders came close by tying for fourth place. They were eighth after the first day but managed to move up to tie with Lakeland, 17 strokes behind champion Eau Claire Memorial.

“We knew we had the home course advantage coming in and maybe we’d have a little edge over some of these guys,” Schmidtke said. “But there was a lot of good golfers there. We definitely played our hearts out, that’s for sure. I know some of these guys wanted it really bad – I sure did. I mean you talk about a guy who’s been coaching for over 20 years, what a way that would’ve been to go out. But we’re still sending him off strong. He’s happy we made it there. We had three goals coming into the year, we achieved all three of those goals.”

North, which placed sixth last year, was at state for the fourth time in five seasons.

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