MHS boys golf gets fitting finish with fifth at Class AA boys state golf
Asher Dannenbring had the highest finish for Mitchell, placing tied for 13th
MITCHELL — When play was all said and done, the Mitchell Kernel boys golf team picked up a deserved finish at the Class AA state golf tournament on Tuesday.
The fifth-place finish was an appropriate finish for the ups and downs the Kernels had over two days of play, coach Ryker Kreutzfeldt said of the tournament at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell.
“To get fifth here, it's a good result. That's not ultimately where we wanted to be but that's probably where we should have been,” Kreutzfeldt said. “It was a good tournament by our guys.”
Mitchell sat in fifth place after the first day of the two-day tournament and entered Day 2 two shots behind Watertown for fourth and five shots ahead of Brandon Valley. Eighth-grader Asher Dannenbring led the way for the entire tournament for the Kernels, shooting a 75 on Monday and a 77 on Tuesday to finish tied for 13th overall with a 152.
“He played well when it mattered,” Kreutzfeldt said of Dannenbring. “Our two biggest tournaments, ESD and state, he played three of his best rounds of the year. So that was great to see and I think he's just going to keep getting better.”
Lincoln Bates shot a 79 on the second day after putting down a 76 on Day 1 to finish tied for 19th, while Noah Larson’s 77 on Tuesday helped propel him to a tie for 23rd with a 157 overall.
Jackson Childs tied for 34th with a 161, Jager Juracek tied for 38th with a 162 and Marshall Widstrom tied for 41st with a 163 to round out the event for the Kernels. Bates picked up five birdies on Tuesday, while Dannenbring tallied four, Childs and Juracek had three each and Widstrom and Larson each holed two.
Mitchell finished the event shooting a 624 as a team, and despite entering the day two shots off of fourth place, the Kernels finished 25 strokes behind fourth-place finisher O’Gorman, which shot a 599. However, they extended their cushion over Brandon Valley (638) for fifth from five to 14 strokes.
With the event at Mitchell’s home course, there were some advantages for the Kernels. Dannenbring said he felt an edge knowing where to place tee shots and where water may come into play, and Kreutzfeldt noted his team being more comfortable with pin positions.
Even as Dannenbring hunted for a top-10 finish, he said he was “just having fun,” and the high finish gave him confidence for what lies ahead the next four years.
“(It) makes me feel like I can do a lot better,” he said, “and win in the future when I'm in high school.”
With the season officially in the rearview mirror, Mitchell loses both Bates and Childs — the two seniors on the team. With Widstrom and Juracek stepping up to fill roles that were question marks at the beginning of the season, as well as Dannenbring and Larson returning, Kreutzfeldt has high hopes for what’s to come.
“It was a solid year and we saw a lot of improvement,” he said. “Hopefully with the experience — some of these guys have now played in a couple of state tournaments — we'll be up higher in the standings next year.”