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Tom Mix, Published May 27 2013

Kindred aims to keep winning ways going at Class B state golf tourney

KINDRED – In order to defend their state championships, the Kindred boys and girls golf teams must take their clubs out West.

The Kindred boys, winners of the last two North Dakota Class B state championships, and the girls – defending team champions from last spring – must prove their standout play isn’t confined to courses in the East.

The boys state tournament is set for today and Wednesday at Prairie West Golf Course in Mandan, N.D., and the girls tournament will coincide across the Missouri River at Tom O’Leary Golf Course in Bismarck.

Neither squad has much experience with the courses, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing according to Kindred girls coach Mike Podolak.

“I explained to the girls that having only played the course once prior to the tournament might be an advantage,” Podolak said. “All you need is one look at it. The main thing will be getting a feel for the speed and slope of each green.

“The state championship will be won on the greens,” Podolak added.

The Kindred girls team won last year’s state championship by 37 strokes and return the defending state medalist, senior Laura Podolak. After Podolak, Kindred’s remaining top six players consists of Mikaela Casey, Savanna Nesemeier, Lexi Piatz, Emma Illvedson and Maddi Braaten.

“I’m confident that they are ready,” Mike Podolak said. “They are really excited about defending their state title and it gives them a lot of confidence winning the tournament last spring.”

Kindred’s boys team is on a quest to three-peat, but have only played in five meets this season.

“Obviously it’s been one extreme to the next this spring,” Kindred boys head coach Perry Piatz said. “Last year, we were able to get a lot of golf in before the state meet. This spring we have played in five (meets), but we have won all of them, which is nice.

“The scores haven’t been what we think they could be at, but they are playing as well as you could expect given the short amount of time,” Piatz added.

The team lost last spring’s individual medalist David Talley to graduation, but the Vikings returned a healthy group of low scorers.

Leading the way is Blake Anderson, who is averaging a 78.80 followed by Ian Anderson (81.60), Austin Pulczinski (80.20), Cody Pulczinski (82.20), Brady Kappes (92.80) and Riley Holland (95.80).

As a team, Kindred is averaging 322.

The Vikings got a practice round in at Prairie West on Monday before their bid to three-peat officially begins.

“It’s a course that we aren’t familiar with,” Perry Piatz said. “The team wants to win three in a row. I think we are capable of that, but we are going to have to play well.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562