Golden Bears, Mustangs set for state golf
NEWTON — The Bishop Garrigan and Newell-Fonda boys embark on the two-day grind that is the Class 1A state golf tournament beginning here Thursday.
The 1A meet takes place on the Westwood Golf Course with Sigourney, Iowa Valley, Harris-Lake Park, Grundy Center, Westwood and Exira-EHK joining the Golden Bears and Mustangs.
Andrew Arndorfer, who finished third last year, is the highest returning placewinner. The Bishop Garrigan junior fired a two-day total of 151 at state, just four shots back of winner Jacob Hesner from East Buchanan.
“My expectations for state is to play my best and see what happens because I’m starting to hit the ball good,” Arndorfer said. “I know if I keep hitting it good, I can beat anyone in the state.
“Making it my freshman and sophomore year is a really big deal because that gives me a lot of experience, especially because we’re playing the same course as last year so that will help me know where to hit the ball.”
Arndorfer’s seven birdies led all 1A golfers and he was tied for third on the par-3 holes with five pars and a birdie. He also found his hot streak at districts, firing a 34 on the back nine holes.
The Golden Bears went 35-9 in duals this season with just one of those nine defeats coming to a fellow 1A school. They were third in the Top of Iowa Conference behind Lake Mills and Forest City, won sectionals and were second at districts to Grundy Center.
“Our No. 1 goal is to improve on last year, when we finished seventh,” BGHS head coach Jared Montag said. “We also want our guys to represent Bishop Garrigan by displaying integrity at all times on and off the course.”
Junior Grayson Rowlet, sophomores Kyle Schaaf and Adyn Rowlet, and freshmen Joseph Schumacher and Jacob Leerar round out the roster for Montag.
Adyn Rowlet fired an 85 at districts with Schaaf adding a 91. Cameron Baade will serve as the alternate.
Bishop Garrigan has qualified for state golf 21 times, winning 11 titles and five other runner-up finishes. The last title for the Golden Bears came in 2015 when they won for the fourth time in six seasons.
“I have a lot of expectations for my team,” Arndorfer said. “Not just winning expectations, but also good team goals for ourselves.
“Even if we don’t get the score we want and don’t win, I know that my team put in their all and did all they possibly could to be the best they could be this season.”
Hogan Henrich, a 10th-grader, led Newell-Fonda at districts with a 76 followed by all-state basketball player Bryce Coppock, who had an 80.
RJ Rojas and Damon Bartek are seniors for the Mustangs, with Coppock a junior, Henrich and Jake DeMey sophomores and Izak Baron a ninth-grader.
“We are going to the state golf meet with the goal of bringing home some hardware,” N-F head coach Nathan Baron said. “As a team, we want to play our best in order to put ourselves in a position for a high finish. We also have some individuals who could earn some honors as well.
“We have been able to get out and practice the last few days. I like where we are at. We will play some golf on our trip down and give it our best.”
Harris-Lake Park enters state ranked No. 1 followed by Grundy Center and Newell-Fonda. Bishop Garrigan is sixth. H-LP’s Lucas Gunderson and Adrian Martin are first and second with Henrich third and Arndorfer fifth.
Grundy Center won the team title last year by four strokes over Harris-Lak Park with Exira-EHK finishing in third. Westwood tied for fifth with New London and Bishop Garrigan was seventh.