Golfers brave elements at season's first tournament


Meteorologists predicted temperatures in the upper 40s March 22. That’s doable for a golf tournament. Instead, temps were in the 30s with the wind howling out of the north.

“The forecast was a little off,” Seward Coach Jim Placke said. “It was much colder. We knew the wind would be there. It was brutal conditions to play the game of golf.”

Despite cold and wind, Seward hosted its annual golf invitational and brought home a fifth-place team finish with a 350. Milford shot a 362 to tie for sixth, led by freshman Zephyr Mowinkel who placed seventh with a 41-41 82.

Matthew Wegman led Seward with a 41-40 81 for fifth place, as well.

“I was very happy with Matthew to get a start like that,” Placke said.

Hayden Burhoop shot a 43-45 88, Kain Roth a 45-45 90, Talan Schaefer a 46-45 91 and Evan Hall a 49-47 96. Although they were out of the medals, Placke said any of the five could lead the team on any given day.

“I thought it was very respectable in our own invite,” he said.

Milford Coach Dalton Mogul was pleased with how the Eagles played in the tough conditions. The team was also without its regular four and five golfers, who were out of town. Even with the sixth and seventh golfers playing varsity, Mogul was pleased with the sixth-place finish.

“We are miles ahead of last year,” Mogul said.

Mowinkel was nervous ahead of his first high school varsity tournament, the coach said.

“That’s good. That means he cares,” Mogul said.

Caleb Kleint was Milford’s second golfer, shooting a 45-52 87 and missing the medals by two positions. Landon Roth shot a 90, Brody Mach a 103 and Keenan Troyer a 108 to round out the Eagle scoring.

Mogul said Kleint played well on the back nine and will be solid throughout the season.

Placke said discussions were had about shortening the tournament to nine holes, but the coaches he talked to said it should go ahead as 18.

Seward started the week March 19 with a home triangular and shot a 167 to defeat David City and Bishop Neumann. Burhoop turned in the low score of 37. Hall and Roth finished with 43s, and Wegman and Schaefer each shot a 44.

“It was a nice start for us,” Placke said. “It’s nice to start on your home course. You feel more confident.”

Milford is scheduled to play at Syracuse Wednesday, March 27, starting at 9 a.m. The Eagles are then off until Tuesday, April 2, when they play at Palmyra. Wednesday, April 3, the team is slated to compete in a tournament at Friend.

Seward will be at Crete Thursday, March 28, for a triangular. Placke said the key for the Bluejays at College Heights Country Club will be course management.

The team’s next competition is Thursday, April 4, at the Norris Invite at Pioneers Golf Course in Lincoln.