Can the Shakopee boys and girls golf teams earn a state spot or two this spring?
Both teams have their top golfer returning from last year in seniors Maren Masters and Gavin Lee. However, Section 2AAA is extremely competitive and difficult to navigate, so making state as an individual or as a team is a challenge.
Masters finished 10th in the section girls tourney last spring with a 36-hole total of 166 with rounds of 84 and 82 at the Ridges of Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan. She was two finishes shy and five shots back from earning the final state spot.
In 2020, Masters missed making state by one place and four total shots.
The winning section team makes the state field for both the boys and the girls, along with the top five golfers not on the advancing squads.
Lee shot a 5-over par 77 in the first round of the boys section tourney last year, but had an 85 in final round to finish tied for 23rd.
Section 2AAA features strong programs like Chanhassen, Minnetonka, Prior Lake, Eden Prairie, Orono and Chaska. Chanhassen won the boys title last year, while Eden Prairie claimed the girls crown.
Sophomores Adam Wagner and Sam Willmert and senior Nick Plagge also competed at sections for the Shakopee boys last spring. Seniors Jake Howard and Austin Slipher and sophomores Ty Zitzmann and Jack Heyer and junior Tom Engler will also be vying for varsity spots.
“With a lot of experience coming back, we hope to move up in the South Suburban Conference from being in the lower half over the last several years,” Shakopee boys coach Andrew Weiers said. “We also hope to compete for a chance to play (the second day) at sections as a team, and send at least one individual to the state tournament as we have a few with the talent to do so.”
Only Lee qualified for the second day of sections for the Saber boys last spring. Senior Emma Heyer and Masters were second-day qualifiers for the girls squad.
Seniors Kynzie Stark and Molly Morrow also competed at sections for the Shakopee girls last spring.
This year’s Section 2AAA tournament will start May 30 with the first round, while the second round is the next day. Both days at the Ridges of Sand Creek.
The Class 3A state tournament is June 13-14 at its annual site, Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids. Edina won the boys team title last year, while Alexandria Area is the defending girls state champion.