The defending state Class AAA champion Minnetonka High boys golf team made a statement in the Bunker Hills Invitational April 13 in Coon Rapids.
Even without their ace, senior Ben Sigel, who was out of town for the tournament, the Skippers shot a 297.
Junior Sawyer Bailey led the Skippers with a 71 in the 18-hole tourney, while freshman Gunnar Broin was second with a 74. Senior Miles McCarthy and junior Jacob Peterson both came in with 76s.
“Before the tournament, I thought if we could come in around 300, I would be happy,” said Minnetonka head coach John Coatta. “To score 297 without our best player is impressive.”
Earlier this spring, in a practice round at Pioneer Creek, Sigel had set the all-time course record with a 64. “He went 32-32 that day,” said Coatta. “Ben has really worked hard on his game during the offseason. All of our top players hit on simulators during the winter, so they came to the tryouts ready to play.”
The Skippers found out in the Bunker Hills meet that they will have some competition this spring. St. Michael-Albertville finished only one stroke off Tonka’s pace with a 298.
“St. Michael-Albertville is a very good team,” said Coatta. “Wayzata is always very competitive and Waconia is getting better every year.”
Minnetonka will have plenty of competition in the Lake Conference with Wayzata and Edina as the other contenders.
The Skippers have lost Minnetonka Country Club, their longtime home course, which is now a housing development. But Coatta said the Skippers are still able to get onto quality courses, namely Pioneer Creek and Windsong Farm in Maple Plain.
With Sigel back in the lineup, look for the Skippers to challenge some of the existing team scoring marks.
“Ben is like Donald Constable and Jacque Wilson [two former Minnetonka stars],” said Coatta. “You can write in a 73 or 74, and you know he’ll be right there or lower.”
Contact John Sherman at [email protected]