By Melissa Marohl, Sports Writer
Third time’s a charm for Waconia junior Matt Rachey, who finished fourth last week in the Minnesota State Boys’ Golf tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. This was Rachey’s third state appearance.
After shooting a 36 in and 36 out on day one of the tournament, Rachey sat alone in fourth place with 72 strokes, just three strokes shy of first place Jon Dutoit of Chaska.
Rachey shot 36-36 again on day two, for 144 strokes in the tournament. He finished fourth overall, tied with Eden Prairie senior Max Rosenthal.
Seniors Ben Weele of Moorhead and Dutoit split the glory of the title with a tie for first at 142 strokes.
Waconia senior Luke Johnson sat in a large tie for 50th position after day one, shooting an 81 on the day, 38 on the front nine, and 43 on the back. Johnson shot a 37-39 on day two, finishing with 157 strokes overall, good enough for a seven-way tie for 35th place.
Waconia head coach Paul Henn said both golfers played great at state.
"A very good way to finish the year for those two after a great regular season," Henn said.
As a team, the Wildcats had a solid regular season, culminating with a second place finish in the section tournament.
Henn said a poor conference meet at the start of the season was a low for the team.
"Unfortunately our low happened in our first conference meet and made it very tough to gain ground in the race for the conference title," he said.
The Wildcats battled through the rest of the season and finished third in the Wright County Conference. Rachey and Johnson both placed in the top five individuals in the conference, finishing third and fifth, respectively. Both received All-Conference honors as well.
Johnson is the team’s lone graduate this season, and Henn said while he will be tough to replace, the team will return five golfers next season, all of whom finished in the top 25 of the conference.
"[Johnson] will be tough to replace as a top five finisher in the conference and state qualifier," Henn said. "We are looking forward to the challenge next year."