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By Kerry Collins, Published June 02 2009

High school boys golf: Ripening Spuds, Young, steady Moorhead team coming of age

Nick Olsgaard and Bryant Buckellew are the clear top dogs for the Moorhead boys golf team.

But it’s the rest of the pack that have the Spuds taking a shot at a state title.

The balanced group heads to the state golf tournament as the Class 2A, Section 8 champions. The two-day tournament starts today at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn.

“We’ve gotten solid years from really just about everybody,” Moorhead golf coach Eric Tollefson said. “We haven’t had meets where we didn’t get contributions from everybody across the board.

“You can’t say that this is just a two-man team.”

It’s Moorhead’s fifth state tournament appearance, and second in the last three years. In 2007, the Spuds finished third in the team race.

Tollefson said this group of Spuds could get back to that level, but a successful first day is a must.

“You can’t win the thing on the first day, but you can certainly shoot yourself in the foot,” Tollefson said. “Whenever you go up to the next step, the competition gets stiffer.

“But you have to be competitive on that first day.”

Buckellew is only a freshman, but this is his second trip to the state tournament.

His qualification for state was a surprise, and he was only one of two eighth-graders in last year’s field. Chaska’s Jon Dutoit was the other.

“He’s given us another good year, and last season was good for him to get there as an eighth-grader,” Tollefson said.”

Olsgaard was Moorhead’s No. 2 golfer behind Aaron Wheeler last year, but just missed qualifying for the state tournament.

But he tied for second in the section this season, shooting 149 over the two days to finish three strokes behind section champ Chris Sholts of Alexandria.

But Olsgaard is one of just a couple of seniors – Evan Johnson is the other – for a young Moorhead.

“We certainly have a highly-rated golfer in Nick,” said Tollefson of his senior all-stater. “But for the short season we had, we’ve had a lot of success because of everybody.

“We’ve wondered how long it would last with some of these guys. It’s done more than last.”

Buckellew leads a group of underclassmen that features sophomores Tyler Rustad and Micah Megorden, as well as freshman Ben Welle.

“This has been a pretty successful season, and we know we can compete with the top teams,” Tollefson said. “We just have to show up for two days.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548. Collins’ blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com