Male Area Athlete of the Week: White makes Deacon’s Lodge look easy for 1st win
Verndale freshman earns area athlete of the week
Carter White came onto the scene in a big way last week.
The Verndale freshman and Staples-Motley golfer won his first varsity tournament of the year at the Arnold Palmer Invite at Deacon’s Lodge with a 4-under 68.
White recorded seven birdies on his round and won by five strokes over Shane Seiffert of Robbinsdale Armstrong and was six strokes better than defending champion Tyler Seeling of Pequot Lakes.
“It felt pretty good,” White said. “I’ve been wanting to win one and it’s my first one. Really, I just couldn’t miss a shot.”
White’s round at Deacon’s Lodge started with one of his three bogeys at the par 3 11th hole.
He got it right back with a birdie on the 12th. After a bogey on the 15th, White responded with back-to-back birdies to get to under par for his round.
After three straight pars, White birdied holes three, four and five for three straight circles on the card.
“I was driving it where I wanted to and my shots I would hit on the green were really close to the hole,” White said. “So I had a few easy birdies.”
He dropped a shot at the par 4 seventh hole which was his 15th hole of the day, but like he did all round he followed a bogey with a birdie at the par 4 eighth. He finished the round with pars at nine and 10.
“When people hear of that performance and then they ask ‘and what grade is he in?’ I mean that was quite a breakout round,” Staples-Motley head coach Glen Hasselberg said. “And Tyler Seeling is a great player and so for that to be the first round that he didn’t win, for Carter to be the guy who did it gives him a lot of confidence. He’s well beyond his age in performance.”
White continued his success Monday at the Mid-State Conference Championships where he took home the individual title by one stroke with a 73 at Detroit Country Club.
“He’s a very determined young man and very focused,” Hasselberg said. “He had a great year of experience last year as an eighth grader and getting all the lessons in the world from the outgoing senior Beck Erholtz.”
White opened his round at Detroit Country Club with a birdie, but followed it with back-to-back bogeys. He was able to birdie the par 4 seventh to finish the front nine even par. He went 2-over on the back to finish his round which was good enough to beat Detroit Lakes’ Nick Tobkin by one stroke and Seeling by two.
“I’ve been hitting the ball a lot farther and just been more consistent,” White said.
The consistency comes from all the golf he’s played according to Hasselberg.
“I think his consistency shows that he’s at that level where that makes the difference,” Hasselberg said. “He just plays, plays and plays some more.”
White said Hasselberg has helped him improve his game by teaching him different shots to use on the course.
“He’s taught me a little bump-n-run shot and helped me with putting," White said. "It’s been fun."
White played for the Staples-Motley golf team last year as an eighth grader and helped the team qualify for the state tournament.
White shot a Day One 80 and a Day Two 83 for a 163 in the Section 6-2A meet at Blackberry Ridge Golf Club.
In the Class 2A State tournament, White went 80-86 to finish 61st at Ridges at Sand Creek.
The state experience helped White this year.
“It just boosted my confidence,” he said. “I just want to push myself to get better and better each meet and get some more wins.”
Hasselberg added: “We’ve had our other two ninth graders this year be a little more up and down in their scores. We hope this will be a breakout.”
White has had two other runner-up finishes this year. He was second at the Mid-Minn Conference meet at the Vintage at Staples with a 75. A few days later at another Mid-Minn meet at The Pines at Grand View Lodge, he was the runner-up with a 76.
Both times Seeling was champion.
White wants to rack up a few more wins and hopefully get back to state.
“I don’t feel as much pressure,” he said. “It feels good to be playing with these guys.”
White is the only Verndale boy on the team, however, Hasselberg said the Staples-Motley kids treat him like a Cardinal.
“It’s been a great mix and he gets along great with the other kids and they get along with him,” he said.
Other notable performances:
Golf: Tyler Seeling, Pequot Lakes, won the title at Bemidji Town and Country Club with a 71.
Baseball: Clay Erickson, Pequot Lakes, went 3-for-4 against Osakis. He struck out eight against Crosby-Ironton and tallied two hits against Detroit Lakes.
Irvin Tulenchik, Pine River-Backus, tossed a six-inning no-hitter against Laporte. He also went 3-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Landon Janzen, Aitkin, went 4-4 against Detroit Lakes.
Matt Filippi, Little Falls, went 5-8 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs in a doubleheader against Zimmerman.
Jeremy Bingesser, Pierz, pitched a complete game and hit a home run against Cathedral.
Alex Gwost, Little Falls, struck out nine and no-hit Mora.
Highlights: Recorded seven birdies to get his first varsity win at Deacon’s Lodge