Just like the girls’ all-News Telegraph golf team, this team is loaded with state-level talent.
Three area golfers placed in the top 10 of their respective classes, one of them placing in the top 5 for the second year in a row, two of them brothers who paced a perennially successful team to state for the second year in a row.
And there’s lots of up-and-coming talent coming up through the ranks, as the News-Telegraph announces its first ever area team.
Matt Gearheart, sr., Atlantic: A two-time individual qualifier (he qualified his freshman and sophomore years as part of the team), Gearheart finished third at this year’s weather-shortened Iowa Class 3A state meet in Fort Dodge, improving by one place as a junior. In the one day on the state links, finished with an even-par 72, on the strength of five birdies, just three strokes behind state medalist Brandon Larsen of West Delaware. After not placing in the top four at the sectional meet — he still advanced because the Trojan team did — he took medalist honors at the district meet on his home course, Atlantic Golf and Country Club. The Hawkeye Ten Conference second runner-up medalist and part of the conference championship team, committed to play at Division III Grand View University next year. A consistent presence on the Iowa tour and several amateur golf tournaments.
Ev Carroll, jr. Exira-EHK: Placed sixth and medaled at the Class 1A state meet in Newton, on the strength of a seven-over 78; this followed up an 11th-place showing a year ago. Shot an even-par 72 to win medalist honors at the Class 1A sectional meet in Anita, and was runner-up medalist at district meet. Paced Spartans to district runner-up finish. Spartans finished eighth team-wise at weather-shortened meet, after finishing third in 2018. Was the Rolling Valley Conference medalist with a one-under par 71, winning by five strokes.
Note: Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Will Carroll, jr., Exira-EHK: Took seventh place, medaling with a seven over par score of 78, birdying on the ninth hole. Placed third at Class 1A district meet, one shot behind his brother. Was part of the Spartans’ return trip to the Class 1A state meet in Newton, where the team finished eighth, due to it being weather shortened. Placed third at the Rolling Valley Conference meet with a 77.
Lane Nelson, AHSTW: Led the Vikings this past season, turning in team’s best finish at the Rolling Valley Conference meet with an 87.
Dylan Obermeier, Audubon: The Wheeler boys’ top golfer, finished with a team best 88 at Western Iowa Conference meet.
Cyle Renaud, jr., Atlantic: A three-time state qualifier, including twice as an individual (along with Gearheart). Was 55th on his one day on the course, shortened due to the weather, birdying on the final hole. Took Class 3A sectional medalist honors with a 74 at Denison, helping the Trojans advance to districts. At districts, was second runner-up medalist with a 76.
Braden Smith, soph., Atlantic: Runner-up medalist at Hawkeye Ten Conference meet with a 74, nudging past teammates Renaud and Gearheart, to help Trojans win conference title. Came on strong at year’s end to emerge as — with Gearheart’s graduation — a potential team leader in 2020.
Ben Tibken, jr., CAM: State qualifier, finishing 16th at the weather-shortened state meet in Newton with a 12-over 83, his first time as a qualifier. Tied for third with a 74 at the district meet. Second runner-up medalist at Iowa Class 1A sectional meet with a 79. Runner-up medalist at Rolling Valley Conference meet with a 76.
Brock Wallace, jr., Griswold: Steadily improved this past season to finish third at the Class 1A sectional at Lenox with an 87. That followed up a sixth-place finish at Corner Conference meet.
Taten Williams, Riverside: The Bulldogs’ most consistent golfer this past season, finished with an 88 to lead the team.