Boys Golf: East Ridge, Woodbury, Park/Cottage Grove continue to see growth
STILLWATER—It was a complete 180-degree change from last year to this year at the East Ridge Invitational at Stone Ridge.
Last year, the temperature was in the 30s and 40s with high winds that became a golfer's nightmare. This type of weather allowed Chanhassen to shoot a 316 as a team and come out with the trophy and title.
This year, it's the complete opposite. The temperature was in the 80s with considerable winds and the high school golfers knew a low score was needed to compete for the title.
Minnetonka shot low as a team, which resulted in a 294 and the first place title, but the East Ridge Raptors, Woodbury Royals and Park/Cottage Grove finished strong heading into the last couple of weeks before sectional and state tournaments.
Out of the three schools, East Ridge finished on top with a 307 and fifth place overall out of the 20-team field. Woodbury finished 11th with a 320 score and Park/Cottage Grove finished 14th with a 329 score.
The common theme between the three teams is a mixture of younger and older talent. All three head coaches agreed that the future looks bright for each of the teams.
East Ridge had its two-time captain and senior golfer Jordyn Ojeda tee-off as the No. 1 Raptors golfer, while the No. 2 spot went to seventh grade golfer Justin Luan. The two of them shot 78 each, but higher 70s scores were the norm for these Raptors golfers.
Ethan Waite, the No. 4 golfer, and Reece Hoyme, the No. 5 golfer, shot 76 and 75 respectively for East Ridge allowing them to slip into the top five for today's invitational.
"Overall, the team did really well leading to some great scores," Ojeda said. "It was a great day to show off what we've learned throughout the season and continue to grow heading into the end of the season."
Raptors head coach Bret Brookins said he's seen growth in each of the golfers, which will help towards the end of the season with sectionals and a possible run at state.
Woodbury's head coach Shawn Mahady also saw growth from his players today and hopes that will build some confidence heading into the more important time of the season with sectionals starting in early June.
The best score for the Royals came from their No. 3 golfer, junior Ryan Muzzy, who shot a 74 helping Woodbury finish in the middle of the pack in today's invitational.
"My putting was great and I pretty hit everything on the greens," Muzzy said. "Today was perfect to play golf."
Even though Woodbury's season will end in the middle of June, the future of the Royals is looking bright in Mahady's eyes. There are quite a few sophomores and juniors on the team currently and Mahady said there's been interest from the middle school in joining the team.
Muzzy, Mahady and the entire Woodbury golf team is excited to see what happens not only this season, but the 2019 season and beyond.
"I think the kids did great today and they also learned that it takes four scores to make up a team score," Mahady said. "I'm very excited about not only next year, but the years ahead... Woodbury golf is heading in the right direction."
Park/Cottage Grove's head coach Chad Salay believes that his team is heading in right direction and feels confident with where his team will be during sectional time. Park/Cottage Grove found some higher 70's and lower 80's scores from its top three golfers, but Salay hopes to see those numbers continue to decrease in the coming weeks.
"These greens are tough and if you land on in the wrong place, you'll have to sometimes three putt," Salay said. "I'm looking forward to seeing our growth continue in the next couple of weeks."
The three schools will have a handful of invitationals left to play in the regular season before sectionals come in early June. It's a simple word that the three coaches are focusing on until those sectionals come.
East Ridge Results
Team Score: 307
No. 1: Jordyn Ojeda - 78
No. 2: Justin Luan - 78
No. 3: Caden Pratt - 86
No. 4: Ethan Waite - 76
No. 5: Reece Hoyme - 75
No. 6: Josh Upson - 83
Team Score: 320
No. 1: Kolton Gribble - 89
No. 2: Willie Price - 84
No. 3: Ryan Muzzy - 74
No. 4: Christopher Mahady - 80
No. 5: Luke Danielson - 93
No. 6: Ethan Kress - 82
Park /Cottage Grove Results
Team Score: 329
No. 1: Keegan Oberding - 78
No. 2: Andy Yang - 82
No. 3: Ty Evans - 82
No. 4: Bailey Hein - 87
No. 5: Nick Lemire - 91
No. 6: Matt Thompson - 102