Team: Waconia boys’ golf
Coach: Paul Henn
Assistant coaches: Pat Hayes
Conference: Wright County
2012 finish: The Wildcats finished third in the conference in 2012. Both junior Matt Rachey and senior Luke Johnson earned All-Conference honors after finishing third and fifth in the WCC. Varsity regulars Kyle Kauma (17th), Blaine Wilsey (21st), and Ryan Mattson (26th) also finished high in the conference.
The Wildcats finished second in the section tournament, just shy of a team trip to state. Rachey and Johnson qualified as individuals. Rachey finished fourth overall, while Johnson finished in a seven-way tie for 35th.
Key returnees: Three-time state participant Rachey returns for his senior season with the Wildcat golfers, along with fellow seniors Kyle Kauma, Tyler Kuennen, Ryan Mattson, and junior Blaine Wilsey. WHS head coach Paul Henn expects these five to lead the team and succeed on the course.
“Having five out of six of a section runner up team returning is very good,” he said.
Despite returning many varsity regulars, the lack of practice the team has had this season will make the season “fun and interesting,” according to Henn.
“It’s been a miserable spring,” he said. “It’s going to be ugly golf for the first couple meets.”
Coming off a trip to state, Henn expects Rachey to lead on the course, and said Kauma could be in for a big season as well. Wilsey, who played his best at the end of last season, is also expected to make waves.
Teams to beat: Although no one has seen anyone else play this season, because no team has been able to get outside, Henn and the Wildcats are focusing on defending WCC champions Litchfield, who returns all of their top golfers from last season.
Orono is also a team to beat, and Henn said the conference will be decided on which team jumps out to an early season lead.
Goals: Henn hopes the Wildcats can be as competitive during this season as they were last year, especially at sections. With that said, the two best rounds of Wildcat golf in the last three years came on back-to-back days at last season’s section tournament.
First meets: The Wildcats are finally outside for tryouts this week and are schedule to kick off the season April 15 at Dassel-Cokato.
Contact Melissa Marohl at email@example.com