Area Male Athlete: S-M's Erholtz primed for a solid section
Beck Erholtz felt he could be aggressive early. With his drives finding of the middle of the fairway, Erholtz stayed aggressive and the result was a 1-over-par 73 that led the Staples-Motley golfer to first place in the Pre-Section 6-2A meet May ...
Beck Erholtz felt he could be aggressive early.
With his drives finding of the middle of the fairway, Erholtz stayed aggressive and the result was a 1-over-par 73 that led the Staples-Motley golfer to first place in the Pre-Section 6-2A meet May 5 at Blackberry Ridge.
"I noticed that I was hitting the ball a lot straighter coming into this year," Erholtz said. "I was able to actually hit it another 15 to 20 yards and so I decided to try and take it down the middle of most of the holes, whether it be with an iron or on the holes I could hit driver. I was willing to use the driver to get maybe an extra stroke."
It was Erholtz's first competitive high school round at Blackberry Ridge since last year's Section 6-2A final. The then-eighth-grader missed advancing to state by one spot.
Erholtz called it motivation, his coach and grandfather, Glen Hasselberg, called it a growing and learning experience.
"You learn from that and hopefully you know how you're going to handle certain situations when they present themselves," Hasselberg said. "I think he's ahead of the curve on that deal."
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- Year: Freshman
- School: Staples-Motley
- Sport: Golf
- Experience: Third year of varsity
- Highlights: Won the Pre-Section 6-2A event and was co-medalist in a Mid-Minn Conference meet
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This is Erholtz's third year on the Cardinals varsity team despite just being a freshman. That near miss, however, gave him a little more motivation over the summer.
"I knew I wanted to work hard," Erholtz said. "I've had teammates in the past who have missed it by one before and they've only given me words of encouragement. I just grinded through the summer looking for ways to improve my game."
He shot a co-medalist score of 76 in a Mid-Minn Conference meet May 1 at Whitetail Run in Wadena.
Erholtz isn't the only low scorer in the Mid-Minn Conference this season. His top competition is coming from two-time state entrant Brady Raph of Pine River-Backus. Raph got the better of Erholtz May 8 at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge. Raph shot 77, but Erholtz was right behind at 78.
"That really gets me into a good mode," Erholtz said. "I like to compete with players who are skillful as well. If somebody can beat me then that motivates me all the more to get better and go out and shoot a better score."
Along with those two, Aitkin's Sam Sadlowsky, Crosby-Ironton's Casey Finnerty and Cayden Turk, Erholtz's own brother Finn and a number of Pequot Lakes players are pushing the freshmen.
"I don't want to say it's a rarity because we've always had good players, but this year, in particular, we seem to have some really good players in the conference," Hasselberg said. "With Brady (Raph) and Beck they've either been co-medalist or medalist I think just about every time.
"But there are good players from each team. Pequot's showing some good balance and depth and Crosby-Ironton has a nice squad."
Erholtz fired a 77 May 7 at Bemidji Town and Country Club to score a top-five finish and he posted an 81 May 3 at Minnesota National in McGregor for another high finish.
"My game is in a really great spot right now," Erholtz said. "My short game has been nothing but terrific, in my case. I've been able to putt the ball really well. If I can clean up on some things it would be a couple of chips here and there. Some of those have kind of gotten away from me."
Erholtz's goals this season were to win the conference, post a scoring average below 77 and make it to state. Winning the pre-section was a boost of confidence that his final goal is within reach, but he's staying humble.
"I do know that St. Cloud Cathedral wasn't there," Erholtz said. "That's a little nerve-wracking because I know they have a few solid players, but I know if I play well and shoot another good score like I did I should be able to advance."
Hasselberg believes Erholtz has the game.
"I think he's finding what is working and what is not. His swing is pretty solid in terms of being repetitive and in terms of not getting off kilter and having it go everywhere. He's pretty consistent.
"He's doesn't get too up or down in terms of if he has an off hole or something. He just shrugs it off and goes and plays the next one. He just knows that if he stays with his game he'll be fine."
Other notable performances:
Baseball: Jake Dykhoff, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs against Menahga.
Marcus Klein, Pequot Lakes, finished 4-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored against Upsala and was 2-4 with two RBIs in a game against Staples-Motley.
Zach Tulenchik, Pine River-Backus, finished 3-6 with two home runs and six RBIs against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Austin Meister, Pequot Lakes, finished 2-3 with a triple, home run, two stolen bases and three runs against Osakis.
Joe Anderson, Pillager, finished 5-9 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, five RBIs and pitched a victory in a sweep of Menahga.
Preston Warren, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished 4-5 with three runs, two RBIs and a double against Sebeka.
Golf: Brady Raph, Pine River-Backus, fired a 76 for co-medalist honors in a Mid-Minn Conference meet at Whitetail Run. He also took top honors at a Mid-Minn meet at Minnesota National Golf Course with a 72.
Logan Herold, Pierz, fired a first-place 40 in a Central Minnesota Conference meet at Kimball Golf Club.
Track and Field: Max Giza, Staples-Motley, won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and the pole vault at the John Reimer Classic.
Reid Pierzinski, Pequot Lakes, won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and the triple jump at the Browne Invite.
Samuel Moore, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, won the shot put and the discus at the Browne Invite.