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Royal McGregor / Forum Communications Co., Published June 06 2012

West Fargo wins Class A boys golf title, Johnson wins medalist honors

DICKINSON, N.D. — Riley Johnson set foot on the No. 18 green with all eyes on the gallery fixated on the West Fargo sophomore.

Johnson was poised and showed no sign of nerves as he posted a one-under par 71 to be crowned medalist at the Class A state boys golf tournament on Wednesday at Heart River Golf Course.

“I thought this was just another Sunday morning that I go out and play,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to have fun, hit good shots, which I did, and make putts.”

Johnson and the Packers also achieved an honor that has been three years in the making – a state championship. It was West Fargo’s first state golf championship.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), we got to that point where we got on top a little bit,” West Fargo co-head coach Steve Anderson said. “Today we were able to close the door and make it happen.

This is a long time coming for us. We’ve been real competitive for three or four years now.”

“We’ve been third, second, second and been blown out the first day, and the second day we beat everybody,” West Fargo co-head Chuck Gad added. “They really played good today.”

Johnson supplied a 72 on the first day for a tournament total of 143, which was five strokes better than teammate and runner-up Connor Holland.

Holland, who led the East Region in scoring averages this season with a 72, followed up a tough first day with a two-under par round (70). Holland was named Class A senior athlete of the year.

“Yesterday everybody was pretty limited, because the wind was ridiculous,” Holland said. “Today I felt like what I needed to do and got the job done.”

The senior added that he couldn’t be happier for Johnson.

“I’m extremely happy for Riley Johnson,” Holland said. “That’s awesome. He’s a sophomore winning state. Nothing better.”

The second day has never been the problem for the Packers. West Fargo held a seven-shot lead coming into Wednesday and with favorable scoring conditions, the team posted a 294 for a two-round total of 606.

“We’ve been used to playing in great weather this year,” Johnson said. “That’s what we showed today, a 294. We’ve been waiting for this moment forever.”

West Fargo’s final two players adding to the scoring mix was Payton Johnson (76) and Nick Evin (77).

Fargo Shanley was runner-up in the team championship with a 622. The Deacons had four players shoot 80 or better, including Grady Meyer, who shot a 90 on the first day, firing off a team-best 74.

“That’s the way that Grady plays all the time,” Shanley head coach Don Johnson said. “That 90 was a shock, but that’s golf. He played well today.”

The other three scores for Shanley were Michael Storandt (75), Thomas Strandemo (76) and Tyler Rivard (79).

“We were ready to play the game, we were just outplayed today,” Don Johnson said.

Though West Fargo and Shanley battled each other all year, the golfers are great friends. They even formed a two-team pyramid for photographs after the tournament ended.

“These kids are great friends, too, and that’s what’s kind of cool about it,” Anderson said. “They play together all summer.”

Bismarck Century nabbed third place after putting together solid round of 302. The Patriots ended with a two-day score of 628.

“Realistically, we weren’t going to catch up with West Fargo and I knew Shanley would play better today,” Century head coach Lynn Gress said. “I felt satisfied.”

Tyler Miller, the Patriots’ No. 4 golfer, posted a 73 after a tough first round (92). Gress said it’s nice to see Miller score well at the state tournament because he wasn’t able to participate last year.

“He was ineligible last year, because of the move. He came from the (Twin) Cities, and for Tyler to shoot a 73 was definitely needed,” Gress said.

Century also had Troy Ressler (74), Jacob Dehne (76) and Sean Ternes (79) add to its team total. Dehne placed third individual with a 152.

“Jacob has been on my varsity for five years now and for him to have a decent day was good to see,” Gress said.

The other golfers rounding out all-state honors were Grand Forks Central’s Ty Kennedy in fourth (153), followed by Bismarck High’s Nick Nustad in fifth (154). There was a tie for sixth place with Wahpeton’s Ryan Ames and Valley City’s Nick Jenson each scoring a 155. Four players tied for eighth place with 156: West Fargo’s Nick Evin, Fargo Davies’ Zach Overvold, Rivard and Williston’s BJ Mahar.

The final honor of the day was the Class A Coach of the Year.

Between the four nominees, all eyes when to Vern Brew of Bismarck St. Mary’s, who is retiring after coaching for 31 years. The Saints finished fifthc.

“It’s nice to have my peers recognize me,” Brew said. “I’ve enjoyed working with these guys for a long time. I’m just really appreciative of them voting me in.”

Class A State Golf Tournament

At Heart River Golf Course, Dickinson

Team scores:

1, West Fargo 312-294–606. 2, Fargo Shanley 319-303–622. 3, Bismarck Century 326-302–628. 4, Bismarck High 324-309–633. 5, Bismarck St. Mary’s 330-313–643. 6, Grand Forks Red River 337-311–648. 7, Fargo Davies, 340-309–649. 8, Wahpeton 334-318–652. 9 (tie), Minot 335-323–658; Dickinson 340-318–658. 11, Fargo South 345-314–659. 12, Mandan 351-339–690.

Individual results:

1, Riley Johnson, West Fargo, 72-71–143. 2, Connor Holland, West Fargo, 78-70–148. 3, Jacob Dehne, Century, 76-76–152. 4, Ty Kennedy, Grand Forks Central, 74-79–153. 5, Nick Nustad, Bismarck, 80-74–154. 6 (tie), Ryan Ames, Wahpeton, 81-74–155; Nick Jenson, Valley City, 82-73–155. 8 (tie), Nick Evin, West Fargo, 79-77–156; Zach Overvold, Davies, 81-75–156; Tyler Rivard, Shanley, 77-79–156; BJ Mahar, Williston, 82-74–156.

12 (tie), Tanner Halter, Dickinson, 83-74–157; Jake DeForest, St. Mary’s, 79-78–157. 14, Thomas Strandemo, Shanley, 82-76–158. 15 (tie), Payton Johnson, West Fargo, 83-76–159; Trenton Schwehr, Bismarck, 82-77–159; Thomas Nelson, Wahpeton, 84-75–159; Troy Ressler, Century, 85-74–159. 19 (tie), Nathan Hemming, Red River, 84-76–160; Ben Wobaum, Shanley, 82-78–160; Ben Sorenson, Valley City, 83-77–160; Austen Strom, Fargo North, 82-78–160.

23 (tie), Aaron Pallen, Davies, 83-78–161; Cam Hager, Shanley, 78-83–161. 25, Brady Olhman, Red River, 83-79–162. 26, Nick Stavn, Bismarck, 79-84–163. 27 (tie), Jon Nord, Red River, 89-75–164; Derek Weninger, Bismarck, 83-81–164; Jordan Smith, St. Mary’s, 80-84–164; Jake Hintz, South, 85-79–164; Grant Dvorak, St. Mary’s, 86-78–164; Josh McCormick, St. Mary’s, 85-79–164; Grady Meyer, Shanley, 90-74–164.

35 (tie), Cody Reynolds, Minot, 80-85–165; Taran Albright, Minot, 83-82–165; Michael Storandt, Shanley, 90-75–165; Tyler Miller, Century, 92-73–165; Matt Schirado, Bismarck, 88-77–165. 40, Trevor Swangler, Davies, 90-76–166. 41 (tie), Jared Lentz, Valley City, 84-83–167; Thomas Gilchrist, St. Mary’s, 89-78–167. 43 (tie), Austin Fournier, Dickinson, 83-85–168; Jersey Kelly, Minot, 86-82–168; Luke Hanel, Dickinson, 89-79–168; Parker Sirek, Wahpeton, 87-81–168. 47 (tie), Cole Johnson, West Fargo, 86-83–169; Tucker Bruington, Mandan, 87-82–169; Tyler Kast, Minot, 90-79–169.

50 (tie), Joe Kassian, St. Mary’s, 88-82–170; Ricky Phillips, Grand Forks Central, 88-82–170. 52 (tie), Jack Eickhof, Red River, 90-81–171; Sam Wangler, Bismarck, 84-87–171; Braxton Heupel, Minot, 86-85–171. 55 (tie), Tucker Windels, Davies, 92-80–172; Jon Baune, South, 89-83–172; Ty Jones, Minot, 92-80–172; Luke Strom, Red River, 81-91–172. 59 (tie), Colton Murphy, Mandan, 87-86–173; Jared Steen, South, 84-89–173; Max Restmayer, Davies, 88-85–173; Jake Richels, Wahpeton, 84-89–173.

63 (tie), Zach Vollan, Mandan, 90-84–174; Jake Kist, Mandan, 87-87–174. 65 (tie), Chase Pulczinski, West Fargo, 94-81–175; Eric Christiansen, Wahpeton, 87-88–175. 67 (tie), Barret Eickhof, Red River, 92-84–176; Austin Rene, Jamestown, 89-87–176; Zach Sklebar, Fargo North, 86-90–176. 70 (tie), Charlie Hermes, Wahpeton, 85-92–177; Bryan Pallen, Davies, 88-89–177; Alex Priebe, Dickinson, 85-92–177.

73 (tie), Chase Fuginger, South, 87-91–178; Jordan Beyer, Century, 95-83–178; 75 (tie), Taylor Trenda, Mandan, 92-88–180; Carter Donnan, Dickinson, 92-88–180. 77, Jake Wavra, Grand Forks Central, 182. 78, Jakobi Lux, Jamestown, 95-88–183. 79, Austin Tweet, Mandan, 99-95–194. Shay Ridl, Dickinson, WD-80. Andrew Thompson, Grand Forks Central, DQ-91. Landon Poss, South, DQ-74. Jarrett Etches, South, WD-78. Drew Lingle, Century, 80-DQ.

Royal McGregor is a reporter for the Dickinson (N.D.) Press