Posted 4/10/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
While cold and snowy conditions have kept the Watford City Wolves boys golf team with very limited practice time, Scott Wisness, the boys’ head coach, is excited to see the season begin.
“I am excited about the start of a new golf season,” stated Wisness. “Although the weather needs to cooperate a little more so the course and driving range can open to get practice into full swing, we have been using the simulators and doing what we can at this point.”
And with the Wolves opening their 2013 season on Thursday, April 11 at South Heart, Wisness hopes that with several experienced golfers back this year, his team will be ready.
“Our team returns plenty of experience with Alex Hansen, Colter Maki and Mitchell Liebel, who have been golfing at the varsity level for the past three years,” states Wisness. “Hansen, a senior, came one stroke short last season of qualifying for State and has put in time over the summer to improve his game.”
With his potential to shoot in the 70s at any meet, Wisness believes that Hansen could be one of the top golfers in the region.
“His distance, accuracy and short game are all solid,” states Wisness. “He just has to put it all together to be one of the top in the region.”
Wisness is also expecting to see Maki and Liebel, who are both juniors, as big contributors to the team.
“Maki also has great accuracy and focus,” states Wisness. “He was the most consistent last season and looks to also be one of the top golfers in the region.
Liebel, says Wisness, is a competitor who can be counted on when needed to shoot low scores.
“Mitchell was in the top 10 consistently at meets last year,” states Wisness. “Both Colter and Mitchell can also score in the 70s at any given meet.”
“All three were very close to qualifying for State last year and are determined to make it this season,” states Wisness. “They will all need to step up and shoot well for the team to be successful.”
Also returning from last year’s varsity is sophomore Charles Villanueva. As a freshman, Villanueva scored in the low 80s early in the season.
Joining the varsity team for Wisness are freshmen Korbin Knutson and Devyn Marquardt.
“These two showed promise last year at Junior High meets,” states Wisness. “And sophomore Cody Johnson can also hit the ball well, but needs to work on his consistency.”
Others competing for varsity spots include sophomores James Wahus and Jayden Vaupel.
“All of these underclassmen will see experience at the varsity level,” states Wisness. “So I am looking forward to having a solid team by the end of the season.”
According to Wisness, Lewis & Clark (Berthold) will be the team to beat in the region this year.
“Lewis & Clark returns some of the best golfers in the region,” says Wisness. “And Stanley, Divide County and Kenmare also return decent teams this year. Region Champ Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood graduated its top golfers, but still returns some talent.”
While the region will be loaded with top players, Wisness says the goal of the team is to compete with Lewis & Clark for the top spot and qualify for State as a team.
“To do that, Hansen, Maki and Liebel will have to shoot consistently low scores, and our younger golfers will have to put in the time to improve throughout the season.”