The goal for Blue Earth Area golf coach Travis Armstrong's 2014 golf squad is to put solid rounds together as a team.
"Last year we played some good golf, but couldn't put it together during the same matches," Armstrong says. "Hopefully this upcoming season, we can improve."
The Buccaneers lost two contributing seniors to graduation. Logan Jacobs was a contributor, according to Armstrong; he finished 23rd at the Section Tournament last year. Also, the Bucs will be without Taylor Olson, who was not far behind by finishing 25th at Sections.
Golfers from left to right, top row: Jacob Peterson, Zach Curtis, Trevor Zierke, Connor Thielfoldt, Greg Claeys and Lane Anderson. Front row: Tannor Wolf, Jack Nimz and Tanner Wickersham.
However, junior Zach Curtis returns after falling two strokes short of the State Tournament last year. He carded an 82.
Also returning is senior Trevor Zierke who tied for 27th place at Sections.
Junior Connor Thielfoldt missed the Section Tournament by two strokes.
According to Armstrong, New Ulm will be tough again. The Eagles will return an experienced squad who competed at the State Tournament last year.
"Fairmont and Waseca should also be tough," Armstrong says. "We have a very competitive conference. All around, this area in general has solid golfers."
It's been three years since the BEA golf squad has sent a golfer to the State Tournament.
The Buc senior wound up in a tie for the 36th place in the State Tournament held at the Ridges at Sand Creek, near Jordan.
Aukes carded a two-day total of 158 (79, 79)
Aukes had placed 28th in State in 2011 as well.
"That is the goal," Armstrong says. "It would be great to go as a team to the State Tournament."
Seniors out for the team include: Zierke, Luke Monson and Greg Claeys.
Leading the junior class includes: Curtis, Thielfoldt and Lane Anderson.
Tanner Wickersham, Tannor Wolf, Jack Nimz and Zaine Stewart will be the sophomores going out for the team.
Freshmen include: Liam Holland, Rylie Krieger, Joseph Ritter, Trevor Rose, Ben Backstrom, Ben Wiggern, Lucas Detterman, Lucas Kramer and Brian Karp.
According to Armstrong, the varsity squad is mainly set, but the sixth spot is up for grabs.
Assisting Armstrong is Al Thielfoldt, who loves working with the younger golfers.
"He is great at working with the basics," Armstrong says. "I focus on more of the mental aspect and tweak swings."
Armstrong is anxious to get outside and start the season.
"It will be good to see where we are because it is difficult to tell when you hit into nets," he says. "The guys are ready to start."