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State Class A boys golf: BBE brings home some hardware

Jaguars take third in their first state tournament, led by all-stater Gannon Walsh

Gannon Walsh of BBE hits his ball out of a sand trap while competing in the state Class A golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Course on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Gannon Walsh of BBE hits his ball out of a sand trap while competing in the state Class A golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Course on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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BECKER — Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa boys golf coach Matt Goodwin didn’t even know his best golfer could even play golf until last year.

Goodwin coached Gannon Walsh on the B-quad boys basketball team a couple years ago and Walsh, who moved into the BBE district his freshman year, was already playing tennis.

All involved are glad they figured it out. The guy's also a golfer.

The Walsh-led Jaguars finished third in the state Class A boys golf tournament Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club.

Walsh tied for eighth overall, earning all-state honors. Fertile-Beltrami earned its second straight state Class A title, shooting a two-day total of 632. Duluth Marshall took second with a 662, followed by BBE’s 680.

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Cole Witherow of New Life Academy of Woodbury wound up as state champion with a two-day total of 146 after identical rounds of 73. He edged defending state champion Rylin Petry of Fertile-Beltrami, who finished with a 147 after carding a 72 Wednesday.

The real challenge for the Jaguars was staying ahead of Lakeview, which wound up fourth with a 682.

“We knew coming in we were one of the top four teams,” Walsh said. “To beat Lakeview by two strokes, that was pretty special.”

Brady Schwinghammer, BBE’s No. 2 golfer, finished with a 165. Spencer Lunderberg was third with a 183, getting an 82 Wednesday, 19 strokes better than his Tuesday round of 101. The Jaguars’ fourth scorer was Jack Paulsen, who had a 184.

Brady Schwinghammer of BBE tees off in the state Class A golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Brady Schwinghammer of BBE tees off in the state Class A golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Goodwin was delighted with the outcome. BBE, after qualifying for state for the first time, goes home with a third-place plaque.

“The guys are extremely excited about it,” Goodwin said. “We’ve got a really good group of guys here. We have four or five guys, who if they played their average round, we knew we’d be right there (in the mix for a top-three finish).”

It’s the final high school accolade for Walsh, who has been extremely busy this spring. Golf at Pebble Creek was his second state tournament in two weeks.

His rounds of 75 and 80 for a combined 155 tied for eighth, sure. But all that was after spending last week at the state Class A boys tennis tournament, where he played singles for Minnewaska/Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Minnewaska/BBE wound up sixth in state.

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And that’s a family thing for Walsh. Head coach Tara Reichmann is his aunt. No. 1 singles player Tate Reichmann is his first cousin.

“I shot a really good round (Tuesday) other than two bad holes,” Walsh said. “Today was a very average day.”

Listening to what Walsh said, Goodwin chimed in. “He’s going to give me lessons after this,” Goodwin said.

Walsh said he grew up playing tennis and golf with his family and decided to focus on tennis until he decided to give the golf team a try last season. His sophomore season in 2020, like everyone’s in Minnesota, was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I played baseball in eighth grade,” he said.

He also was a starter on the boys basketball team that took second place in the state Class A tournament in March. You could say it has been a really good three months for Walsh, but it has been a special school year for BBE’s sports teams.

The football team made the state tournament. The wrestling team also was in the state tournament. Count the co-op in boys tennis and BBE made five state tournaments this school year.

“It’s amazing,” Goodwin said. “In football, they hadn’t even won in three years and then to do that was amazing. The winter teams were really good. The wrestling team was ranked second going into state. And the boys basketball team was right there.”

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Gannon Walsh of BBE hits his ball down the fairway while competing in the state Class A golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Course on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Gannon Walsh of BBE hits his ball down the fairway while competing in the state Class A golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Course on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

The golf team loses three seniors: Walsh, Paulson and Lundberg. Three juniors in Wednesday’s lineup return: Schwinghammer, Eli Gregory and Matthew Walz.

Walsh said he’s headed to Alexandria Technical & Community College to continue his golf career. He’s looking at a major in computer information systems. He’ll head to Alex secure in the knowledge that his high school career was pretty special, especially the past three months.

State Class A Tournament

Boys
Team scoring

(1) Fertile-Beltrami 323-309—632 … (2) Duluth Marshall 332-329—662 … (3) Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 339-341—680 … (4) Lakeview 346-336—682 … (5) Park Christian of Moorhead 355-347—702…. (6) United South Central 361-341—703 . (7) New Life Academy of Woodbury 360-354—714 … (8) Rushford-Peterson 391-366—757

Individual

TOP EIGHT — (1) Cole Witherow, New Life Academy, 73-73—146 … (2) Rylin Petry, FB, 75-72—147 … (3) Noah Cullard-Bender, DM, 73-75—148 … (4) Hunter Schmidt, Martin County West, 76-73—149 … (5t) Tucker D’Allaird, DM, 79-75—154 … (5t) Tony Carlin, Fosston, 78-76—154 … (5t) Trevor Swonger, Underwood,  81-73—154 …  (8t) Gannon Walsh, BBE, 75-80—155 … (8t) Jake Fishbaugher, Fillmore Central,  81-74—155
BBE — (8t) Walsh  75-80—155 …. (25t) Brady Schwinghammer 81-84—165 … (60t) Spencer Lundberg 101-82—183 … (65t) Jack Paulson 89-95—184 … (73t) Eli Gregory 94-97—191 … (84t) Matthew Walz 99-114—213
DAWSON-BOYD — (20) Collin Swedzinski 89-75—164
LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY — (25t) Carson Besonen 81-84—165
MACCRAY — (35t) Gavin Husman 86-85—171
RENVILLE COUNTY WEST — (35t) Ryan Schrupp 85-86—171
BENSON — (57t) Isaac Minchow 95-87—182

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