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Tom Mix, Published May 19 2013

Deacons golf off to torrid EDC start

FARGO – The regular season for Eastern Dakota Conference boys golf is only two weeks old, but that hasn’t stopped Fargo Shanley from getting off to a fast start.

The Deacons have won the first four conference tournaments this spring and sit atop the EDC team standings with 40 points.

Consistent play and low scores from Shanley’s top five, consisting of seniors Grady Meyer, Michael Storandt and Ben Wolbaum, sophomore Tyler Bossart and freshman Pat Traynor, have been key.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been surprising,” Shanley head coach Don Johnson said of his team’s early success. “Wahpeton has a great team and Grand Forks Red River has been playing well, so we have had to be playing as well as we have been to stay up at the top. There is a lot of excellent competition this spring.”

Meyer, who is signed to play golf at the University of Minnesota, ranks second in individual scoring average in the EDC with a 74.50. West Fargo’s Riley Johnson, the defending Class A state medalist, is first with a 74.25 average.

Meyer’s lowest score of the year was a 72 on May 6 at King’s Walk in Grand Forks.

“My iron play and short game have been going pretty well,” Meyer said. “My driving has been a little inconsistent. I haven’t been playing my best golf yet, but I think my mental game has been strong, knowing that it is still early and mistakes will happen. I just have to get past them.”

Meyer also plays football and basketball at Shanley. Both the Deacons’ football and basketball team won state championships this year and Meyer said he’d enjoy completing the state title trifecta.

“To me golf is most important,” Meyer said. “I just want to finish it off well. It would be cool to get a three-peat if that happens.”

Last spring, the Deacons fished second to West Fargo in the team competition at state.

Through four meets, Shanley’s top five players all rank in the individual top 10 of the EDC.

Storandt checks in with a 79.25 average. Traynor averages 79.67. Bossart and Wolbaum each average 79.75.

“You have to make your mark on a small number of tournaments with the shortened season,” Storandt said. “And that is what we are doing.”

“We are trying to put up the best scores that we can,” Wolbaum added. “We know that every other player on our team is going to have a good score, so there hasn’t been a lot of individual pressure.”

Meyer, Storandt and Wolbaum all have 4.0 GPAs, something Johnson said he’s very impressed by.

The low scores have impressed Johnson too.

“It helps when you are counting a lot of 70s instead of scores in the upper 80s,” Johnson said. “When you can have five players in the top 10 of the conference, you are going to win some tournaments.”

Regular-season play concludes this week with meets in Wahpeton today and Hankinson on Friday.

The East Region golf meet is set for May 29 at Dakota Winds Golf Course in Hankinson.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562