PERHAM — The West Central Area boys’ golf team is headed to the state tournament for the first time in school history.
The Knights won the Section 6A championship by 15 strokes at the Perham Lakeside Golf Course on Monday and Tuesday, June 7 and 8. The Knights had a winning score of 709 followed by Hillcrest with 725. Breckenridge came in at 738, Pine River-Backus 740. Other schools competing that did not advance as teams to the second day were Otter Tail Central, Underwood, Rothsay, Ashby, Pelican Rapids, Park Christian, Nevis and Lake Park-Audubon.
Underwood’s Trevor Swonger was the individual champion, while second place was Joel Quam of Hillcrest. Third place was a tie between Noah Kapenga of Pelican Rapids and Mitch Dewey of West Central Area, and fifth place was a tie between Bryce Grabinski of Hillcrest and Joseph Zackowski of Pine River-Backus.
“I am so happy for these boys to get a state tourney experience,” Knights head coach Kraig Hunter said. “They are all really good kids and are so deserving. It was a sweltering two-day grind in 94 degree heat. Our boys did what they’ve done all year and that is show their team depth. We only had one player in the top five, but we usually have five out of the top 15 overall which shows they’re the deepest team and if one of them has an off day, the others are always there to pick them up.”
The Knights will now travel to Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker for the Class A state tournament Tuesday and Wednesday, June 15-16.
“I’m also proud that our kids take pride in their short games. All of those strokes make a difference and I love their heart and grit they play with on every stroke.”
Hunter takes 11th place in girls
West Central Area’s Lexi Hunter placed 11th individually in the girls Section 6A tournament.
The top team and the next five individuals advance to state. Park Christian won the girls team title and had three of the top five places, placing Hunter as eighth of the remaining individual girls missing state by three places. The Knights coaches noted that Hunter was a solid golfer all year and really came on in the conference and section playoffs.