Class 3A State Golf: Warriors hope 20-year reunion is in order
The last time the Brainerd Warriors were at the state tournament they won it all. Unfortunately, none of the girls on this year's squad were born yet as the Warriors were last in a state tournament in 1999. Still Brainerd will find itself in a si...
The last time the Brainerd Warriors were at the state tournament they won it all.
Unfortunately, none of the girls on this year's squad were born yet as the Warriors were last in a state tournament in 1999.
Still Brainerd will find itself in a similar situation as the 1999 state champion team when it tees off in the Class 3A State Tournament noon, Tuesday, June 11, at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids.
The Warriors come in unranked and with no prior state golf experience. That doesn't mean they aren't state savvy. This will be eighth grader Izzy Olson's third state tournament this school year. She was also in the state diving and state gymnastics meets. Abby Pohlkamp was on the Warriors' girls hockey team that finished second in the Class 2A State Tournament.
Head coach Todd Person led Brainerd's adapted floor hockey team to its third straight state title.
"The biggest thing is they're going to play the course on Monday," Person said. "The girls came down here last week and played and Anna (Krieger) was down here Sunday and played with her family. Just to go out right now with your team, walking with your team bags and all that stuff and just getting a sense of what the course is like is a real benefit.
"The girls were really feeling good about the course when they were here on Wednesday of last week. The openness in front of some of the greens, where they can play some bump-and-run shots was to their liking. The courses that we're playing up in the Brainerd lakes area are some of the hardest courses around. They just feel that this course gives them opportunities to score."
Senior Ellie Bymark will be the first Warrior on the tee when she tees off at noon.
Olson will be next followed by senior Alexis Menghini, Pohlkamp, sophomore Anna Krieger and freshman Katie Foley.
Brainerd will be playing with Simley, Lakeville North and Stillwater.
"The girls are excited," Person said. "They are all glad to be together as a team rather than just supporting one or two of them. They are here as a group. The atmosphere is really cool.
"All six girls can score for us. That takes some pressure off. Izzy was putting too much pressure on herself at sections and didn't play the way that she wanted to play, but still put pressure on Alexandria late in the round. They all saw that. They all saw that everyone counts and everyone is here for each other."
The other teams are Roseville, Chanhassen, Edina and Forest Lake. Chanhassen is the top ranked team according to the June 2 Minnesota Coaches Association poll. Roseville is No. 2, Edina No. 4, Forest Lake No. 6 and Simley No. 8. Brainerd, Stillwater and Lakeville North are unranked.
Alexandria was ranked No. 5, but the Warriors rallied from seven shots back to knock off the Cardinals and advance to state.
"Abby Pohlkamp is playing the best that she's ever played," Person said. "Part of that is to the fact that she's had two and half solid months of golf. She's really been playing a lot lately and her game is improving. Both Ellie and Alexis are playing great. Anna and Katie are at the top of their game right now with how they finished in both the (Central Lakes) Conference and the section. We're feeling really good about how they're all going right now."
What: Class 3A State Girls Golf Tournament
Who: Brainerd Warriors
When: Noon, Tuesday, June 11
Where: Bunker Hills Golf Club, Coon Rapids
Roster: Ellie Bymark, Izzy Olson, Alexis Menghini, Abby Pohlkamp, Anna Krieger and Katie Foley