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11 area girls, boys teams set out for state golf titles

Many of the Mitchell area golf teams are familiar with Lakeview Golf Course and Wild Oak Golf Club, the two hosts of this year’s Class B girls and boys state tournaments.

After playing those courses several times this season, area coaches hope that gives their teams an advantage heading into the tournaments, which begin at 9 a.m. today at both sites.

“We know where to keep yourself out of trouble and being able to play the greens before is helpful,” said Platte-Geddes coach Frank Cutler, whose girls and boys squads qualified as a team. “We’ve played those courses four times this year and it should give us an advantage, but you still have to perform and be able to play well.”

Niki Nelson leads the Platte-Geddes girls and will tee off in the second group at 9:10 a.m. today. Other area golfers who will be in the running for a state title are Burke/South Central’s Sydney Benter, Scotland’s Maggie Fiscel and Howard’s Kelsey Dawson, along with several others.

“Niki had a nice region round and hopefully she can do that again,” Cutler said. “She’s got to focus on the little things and stay away from big scores.”

Three of last year’s top five golfers return to the field this season, including Deuel’s Kali Trautman, Benter and Hamlin’s Molly Koisti.

Burke/South Central’s girls team finished fifth last season and looks to make another run at the title.

“We would like to get into the top five again this year,” Burke/South Central coach Billie Jo Indahl said. “Looking at our scores throughout the season, we feel like we’re pretty comparable. We have high hopes of placing.”

Other area teams competing today are Mount Vernon/Plankinton, Lyman, Howard, Freeman, Bridgewater-Emery and Wessington Springs.

AC boys look to make most of first-ever state tourney

Today marks the first time the Andes Central boys golf team will play in a Class B state tournament.

Despite never having state tournament experience as a team, the Eagles hope to put themselves in contention to place heading into Tuesday’s round.

Andes Central is led by J.J. Cooney, who will tee off in the leadoff group at 9 a.m. at Wild Oak Golf Club in Mitchell.

“If he plays the way he has been, I think he gives himself a very good chance and that sets the tone for the rest of our team,” Andes Central coach Tom Cooney said.

J.J. is joined by Canistota’s Drew Seubert, Hamlin’s Ben Koisti and Frederick’s Dane Campbell. Last year, Seubert finished 10th, Cooney was 15th, Koisti took 16th and Campbell finished just outside of the top 25.

“There aren’t a lot of kids who have the opportunity to win the tournament, and I think he’d be one of them who does,” Cooney said about his son’s chances. “You can’t win the tournament on the first day, but you can sure lose it. All you have to do is stay in the tournament.”

Garretson won the Class B boys state tournament last season and return to defend its title. A new individual champion will be crowned as last year’s champion Garretson’s Dereck Dillon graduated.

Along with Andes Central and Platte-Geddes, other area teams competing for a team championship are Wessington Springs, McCook Central/Montrose, Howard and Bon Homme.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.