The 2019 Class A state golf meet, as it pertains to Fillmore County, revolved around three things. All had to do with Fillmore Central. For a sixth straight year, the Falcons girls golf team (coached by Aaron Mensink and Andy Todd) made the trek to Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker. Eighth grader Jake Fishbaugher made what could be his inaugural visit to the course, carrying on FC’s strong boys golf tradition. Falcon senior Madison Scheevel made her record-tying sixth appearance at the meet. She looked to bring home a state title.
Scheevel’s tale was the main course of the three storylines. She entered the tournament truly in a league of her own. No other golfer in the field entered with so much experience at Becker. No other golfer played the state meet each of the last six years. She was the only seventh grader (49, 48, 49, 55 > 201) to compete amidst FC’s first girls’ state appearance in 2014, a third place finish. A year later (2015), the Falcons were state runners-up as a team. Scheevel (42, 45, 44, 44 > 175) finished tied for 15th place. In 2016, it was FC’s state title season. The frosh Scheevel finished in seventh place (43, 43, 41, 38 > 165). In 2017, FC was again state runner-up. Scheevel (39, 45, 39, 45 > 168) took tenth place. Last year, the Falcons were again runner-up, by one stroke to Lac Qui Parle Valley. Scheevel notched her highest ascension on the leaderboard, sixth place (41, 41, 40, 40 > 162). And through all of her success, she was almost the third highlight in the FC girls golf machine. The team’s splendid run, five top three finishes in five years, came first. Ex-teammate Grace Miller, who had four top ten finishes (2015-2018), came second. The 2019 season was thus Scheevel’s alone (she had her own following at state to prove it). Miller graduated. FC as a team, though still a state qualifier, was down compared to previous years. And in the end, Madison’s individual pursuit of a state title ended just like FC’s 2018 team pursuit. Scheevel battled a couple of girls each with their own long state tourney historys for the top individual golf prize in Class A.
Day 1 saw Madison come out a little slow on the first nine, shooting a mediocre for her 43. Sand was a common theme for FC’s senior (her mom’s unofficial count was eight trips to the trap Day 1). The round included two of just three total double bogeys for the tourney. But that 43 yielded to a second-nine 39. Midway through the two-day event, Madison (82) sat in second place overall behind Lac Qui Parle Valley’s defending state champion Rachel Halvorson (79). Murray County Central’s Abby Hamman (83), BOLD’s Makayla Snow (83), and North Wood’s Nicole Olson (83) all sat one back of Scheevel. After nine holes on Day 2, Halvorson (120), Scheevel (122), and Park Christian’s Emily Doeden (123) were 1-2-3. The latter jumped back into contention with a Day 2 first-nine 38. Snow (125), Hamman (127), and Olson (130) each shot Day 2 first-nine rounds of 42-plus, dropping them off the pace. Scheevel was very strong for a long stretch. From her second double bogey on her eighth hole of the tournament, she then scored either birdies, pars, or bogeys for 25 straight holes (shooting just +6 in the span). But it was her third double bogey that was a shot in the arm to an individual state title. It was a trip into the woods (out of bounds) on her third to last hole. She then finished with bogey-bogey. Scheevel completed her round before Halvorson and Doeden. With a Day 2 79 (39, 40), she set the initial 36-hole standard with a 161. On the final hole, Halvorson’s approach was within a foot. She tapped in for birdie. It was essentially the tournament winning sequence of events. By the same number of strokes FC finished second as a team last year, one, LQPV’s Halvorson (40, 39, 41, 40 > 160 = +16) repeated as state champion over a runner-up Scheevel (43, 39, 40, 39 > 161 = +17). Third place Doeden (42, 43, 38, 39 > 162 = +18) was just one more stroke back. Halvorson was +1 her last three holes, meaning, Scheevel (+4 her last three holes) had a two-shot lead with three to go (though the players weren’t playing parallel). Hamman (166), Lake of the Woods’ Sydney Hufnagle (170), Snow (172), BOLD’s Ashley Trongard (173), and Olson (173) rounded out the top eight, those medaling. Scheevel finished with four birdies, 14 pars, 15 bogeys, and the three doubles. She was +7 after eight holes, +10 the final 28. It was her fourth top ten finish at state. She ties former teammate Grace Miller in that department, FC-wise. She breaks a tie with Miller (5) as having gone to state the most times (6). The runner-up finish also tops Miller (third in 2018) as highest by an FC golfer ever (albeit Grace shot better, a 157). Halvorson beat Scheevel in 2015 (173 to 175) and 2018 (155 to 162). Scheevel won the state head-to-head in 2016 (165 to 170) and 2017 (168 to 170). Scheevel and Doeden are the only two girls to finish top ten each of the last four years.
Team-wise, FC just didn’t have the depth, talent, and thus scores as previous years. Scheevel (161) was their top golfer by a wide margin. FC’s only other state experienced gal, junior Taylor Bushman, was next best (102, 104 > 206 > 56th place). The young troupe of freshman Marissa Topness (115, 107 > 222), 8th grader Courtney Hershberger (111, 112 > 223), and Chloe Morem (121, 121 > 242) all finished in the bottom quarter of the field. FC’s sixth golfer, junior Hailey Lange did not participate per Girls State. The Falcons (812) took seventh ahead of Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (907). North Woods and Murray County Central each went 800 to tie for fifth. One year after Lac Qui Parle Valley topped FC by one stroke (714 to 715) for the state title, BOLD did the same thing to Park Christian (704 to 705). LQPV (720) took third, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (758) fourth.
Finally, 8th grader Jake Fishbaugher carried on the Falcon boys golf tradition. Since the start of the Journal Sports (2010-2011), coach Brad Holten has taken six different individuals to the state meet, Peter Rislove (2011, tied for 34th place), Andy Todd (2012, 33rd), Jordan Miller (2014, tied for 17th), Delton Sauer (2017, tied for 28th), Carter Nevalainen (2018, tied for 51st), and now Fishbaugher. The boys team also went as a whole in 2015 (Miller tied for 32nd place). Fishbaugher got his first taste of the state meet, as one of only three 8th graders. At sections, where he was runner-up, Jake shot a 36-hole total of 152 (77, 75). State wasn’t quite so kind. Fishbaugher posted a Day 1 91 and a Day 2 96 for 187 (+43). He finished tied for 61st of 87 golfers. Nine double bogeys and four triples were a hindrance. Community Christian (328, 327 > 655) took the boys team title over Springfield (323, 335> 658). CC’s Brett Reid was meet champion (72, 73 > 145) shooting a +1 for the 36-hole tourney. Springfield’s Harrison Patzer (77, 72 > 149) took second with a +5. Section 1A team representative Faribault B.A. took seventh. Section 1A champion Max Schmitz (85, 86 > 171) of Southland tied for 30th.