Team: Waconia boys’ golf
Head coach: Don Skerik
Assistant coach: Pat Hayes
Conference: Wright County – East Division
Section: Class AAA, Section 2
2013 finish: In 2013, the Wildcat boys’ golf team finished third overall in the Wright County Conference with two individual finishers in the top 10. Waconia finished in the top five teams at every meet, including a second place finish at Dassel-Cokato late in the season.
At the section competition, Waconia golfed its best two days of the season and qualified as a team for Day 2. The Wildcats would tie for third. Senior Matt Rachey won the Section 2AAA individual title and went on to compete in his fourth state tournament, finishing in a nine-way tie for 17th.
Key returners: The Wildcats will be led by three seniors this year in Blaine Wilsey, Michael Vigil, and Brian Wagener. Also back for WHS are Cal Rassman, Connor Jensen, and Kendall Banyai. Along with a host of upcoming golfers, Skerik expects there to be challenges for those six varsity spots.
“There will be a battle,” he said.
Changes for 2014: With nearly 15 years of coaching experience under his belt, Skerik is thrilled to be taking over the Wildcat varsity players this season.
“The time was right for me to try varsity,” he said. “I just am really excited and honored to be head coach. I’m pumped up.”
Also changing for the Wildcats this season is the way the conference is organized. Golf will join sports like football and basketball in splitting into East and West divisions, meaning the Wildcats likely won’t see teams like Litchfield and Annandale this season. In the East division are Waconia, Holy Family, Orono, Delano, Hutchinson, and Mound-Westonka.
Teams to beat: Reigning conference champion Orono sits atop the Wildcats’ list of tough competition this season. Within Skerik’s hopes that the ‘Cats can make a title run lies the fact that the schedule this season is tough, with mostly 18-hole courses, compared to the usual smattering of 18s and 9s.
“That’s why you’ve got to be in shape,” Skerik said.
Goals: First and foremost, the Wildcats are going to focus on consistent play throughout the courses, with no outlier holes affecting the score.
“We want to do our best and keep improving,” Skerik said.
With a lot of young talent coming up, Skerik said the team’s strength lies in its attitude. He said players are demonstrating a hardworking ethic, are serious about competing, and are willing to try new ideas. All in all, players and coaching staff are excited to see what the season holds.
“My passion is teaching kids and golf, it’s like the perfect fit,” Skerik said.
First meet: Winter should be long over by the time the Wildcats have their first meet, an April 21 match up with the WCC-East teams at Deer Run in Victoria.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]
Changes for 2014: With nearly 15 years of coaching experience under his belt, Skerik is thrilled to be taking over the Wildcat