As defending Minnesota River Conference champions, the Central boys’ golf team knows there is a target on its back this season.
In 2012, the Raider boys captured the team’s first ever MRC title after a season-long battle with Jordan, and claimed four of the eight possible All-Conference spots, awarded to Allen VanDien, Connor Sullivan, Reggie Eng, and Tom Messner. Brady Sullivan earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors.
The boys also advanced Connor Sullivan, Eng, and VanDien to the second day of the Section 5AA competition. As a team, the Raiders finished seventh.
The girls finished fifth in the conference, with Haley Sullivan earning All-Conference honors, while Kayla Engelstad was All-Conference Honorable Mention. The girls finished 15th of 15 teams at the section meet, but built a foundation in 2012 for a strong team in years to come.
This year, the Raiders will be led by captains junior Mariah Lueck, junior Nicole Johnson, Eng, and Messner. Messner and Eng are expected to be among the best individual golfers in the MRC this season and will look to make another deep section run in their senior season.
“We’re going to be really good at the top of our lineup,” said head coach Rick Willhite.
For the girls, Lueck, Johnson, and freshman Engelstad will be the top for NYA.
“Those three are going to give us some quality play at the top,” Willhite said. “Our girls team has been building.”
Jordan is Central’s team to beat this season, after making a strong run at the conference title in 2012. The Hubman will return many veteran golfers, and Willhite predicts the team will be favored to oust NYA as MRC champions this season. Behind Jordan, the rest of the conference is a wide open scramble for the top spots, and Willhite hopes the Raiders can finish in the top three or four.
Willhite is assisted by coach Mary Ofstedal.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]