Despite shooting a remarkably better round on the second day of the Class B state meet last year, the Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood boys golf team's chances of winning a state title went by the wayside with a sluggish first day.
Nonetheless, the Mavericks still finished in the top five and with four of their top five golfers returning, expectations are high again.
"We felt short of expectations last year. We wanted to finish in the top three," coach Boyd Southam said. "This year, I'm gonna say the same thing. I'd like to finish in the top three in state. I wanna finish in the top part in our region first, and see how things go."
MDN File Photo
Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood’s Sam Carlson watches his drive at the Class B state meet last June in Carrington. Carlson finished tied for second and the Mavericks took fifth. M-L-S returns four of its top five golfers from a year ago.
The Mavericks return a blue-chipper in all-state junior Sam Carlson, who finished in a tie for second with a meet-best round of 69 on the second day and a two-day total of 152. Then-junior Mike Rustvang of Fargo Oak Grove shot a 151 to edge Carlson, and the two could very well see each other locked in a struggle at this year's meet.
Southam said Carlson brings consistency to the team.
"He's got a good overall game; there isn't a weak point," Southam said. "Sam Carlson is definitely the best golfer we have."
But Southam was also high on his supporting cast, as senior Waylon Stanley, senior Anthony Scherr and junior Zac Brown round out the Mavericks' top four, respectively. Southam said there could be many days when Stanley competes with Carlson.
"He's not as consistent," Southam said. "At times, he can challenge anybody at the state level on any given day. ... It seems like when his game is on, it's really on. And when it's off, it's really off. He's by far the longest hitter we have. His short game dictates how well he plays."
Scherr and Brown provide added punch to the lineup. The Mavericks' next action is April 17 at the Ray Invite.
"(Scherr) is always kind of stuck in that three-four spot for us," Southam said. "He always seems to put up decent scores at every tournament. He definitely helps make the team jell. ... Brown actually helped us considerably last year. He's one of the biggest reasons we had such a successful season last year."
But gone to graduation is Waylon's older brother Wyatt, who was part of a five-man effort that allowed someone to have an off day. That's not the case this year, Southam said.
"This year, if one of them has a blow-up, it's gonna hurt the team," Southam said. "We're gonna have to play consistent. It's really only the four of them that are gonna be doing the scoring for us, but it's always nice to have four solid golfers like we have."
Finishing ninth at the state meet last year was Berthold, which returns its top four scorers led by junior Jaeden Jenson.
On the girls' side, Ashley Barnhart returns to anchor a young Kenmare squad after she took fifth at state last year. She's the only significant scorer remaining from the Honkers' state championship two years ago. Also earning all-state honors was Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood's Callie Carlson, who finished in a tie for 10th as an eighth-grader.