REEDSBURG — Last Tuesday’s Southwest Wisconsin Conference Championships at Reedsburg Country Club was a coronation of the Platteville boys’ golf team.
Sophomore Cade Rohrbach shot a 3-over-par 75 to edge Lancaster senior Zach Hentrich by a stroke and River Valley senior Derek Wedige by two shots to win individual medalist honors and lead the Hillmen to a conference-title clinching victory.
Senior Alex Traxel shot a 77 to place third, junior Zach White fired a 78 to tie for fourth, sophomore Isaiah Altfillisch finished with an 82 and junior Ethan Suits shot an 87.
Platteville shot a combined 312 to defeat runner-up River Valley (346) by 34 strokes, officially clinching the SWC crown.
The Hillmen finished first in the season-long SWC standings with 48 team points, while the Blackhawks finished a distant second with 38.5 points. Dodgeville, which finished third at Tuesday’s conference meet with a 349, also finished third in the final conference standings with 30 points.
“We consider the conference championship to be a total team effort,” said Platteville head coach John Sponsler. “For those who did not compete, they contribute to the daily focus and team goal of improvement. They also push the competitors during intra-squad competitions to apply pressure during practice so they can be their best when their best is needed. For those who competed, I am so proud of the way they represented the team and the community. To be honest, I was a little worried about a let-down during the conference meet because going in we were mathematically guaranteed the team championship. These guys are such competitors and feed off the idea of breaking new ground, they ended up shooting their best team score of the year.”
Hentrich shot a 76 to finish second on Tuesday to clinch the SWC Player of the Year honor with 226.5 points ahead of Wedige (220.5).
Rohrbach joined Hentrich and Wedige on the five-player All-SWC first-team with his winning performance on Tuesday.
“The pressure of playing 1-man can be overwhelming for anyone let alone a sophomore,” said Sponsler.
“After Cade shook off some early season jitters, his performances have been nothing less than stellar. He settled into the idea of being one of, if not the, best golfers on the course as he proved at the conference meet.”
Traxler jumped to fourth in the final individual SWC standings with his third-place finish Tuesday to join Rohrbach on the All-SWC first team.
White earned a spot on the All-SWC second-team along with Altfillisch. White finished sixth in the final individual SWC standings, while Altfillisch finished eighth.
Suits finished 11th in the individual standings to earn All-SWC honorable mention, despite missing one of the regular season SWC meets. Had he played in all six, all five Hillmen golfers would have finished in the top 10.
“Coach Temperly said it best after the conference meet when he said, ‘great teams make great individuals,’” added Sponsler. “A lot of times you hear that expression reversed but these guys understand the big picture. They did a terrific job of taking the moment instead of having the moment take them. We are trending in a direction to make it interesting during the tournament season. I know the players are ready to let it fly.”
The conference champion Hillmen now turn their attention to the WIAA postseason. Platteville hosted the WIAA Division 2 Platteville regional Wednesday morning. The top four teams and top four golfers not on a qualifying team advance to compete in next Wednesday’s D2 Viroqua sectional.
(from Tuesday, May 16 @ Reedsburg CC, par 72)
Team scores — 1.Platteville 312, 2.River Valley 346, 3.Dodgeville 349, 4.Lancaster 369, 5.Richland Center 355, 6.Prairie du Chien 402.
Top individuals — 1.Cade Rohrbach 75, 2.Josh Hentrich (Lan) 76, 3.Alex Traxler 77. 4(tie).Zach White 78, 4(tie).Derek Wedige (RV) 78.
Platteville (312) — Cade Rohrbach 75, Alex Traxler 77, Zach White 78, Isaiah Altfillisch 82, Ethan Suits 87.
FINAL SWC standings — 1.Platteville 48, 2.River Valley 38.5, 3.Dodgeville 30, 4.Lancaster 22, 4.Richland Center 20.5, 5.Prairie du Chien 9.
First-team All-SWC — 1.Josh Hentrich (Lan) 226.5, 2.Derek Wedige (RV) 220.5, 3.Cade Rohrbach (Pla) 212.5, 4.Alex Traxler (Pla) 203, 5.Isaac Lange (RV) 203.
Second-team All-SWC — 6.Zach White (Pla) 198.5, 7.Mike MacKinnon (Dod) 191, 8.Isaiah Altfillish (Pla) 189, 9.Sam Peterson (PdC) 189, 10.Cody Kintz (RC) 162.
Honorable mention All-SWC — 11.Ethan Suits (Pla) 144.5, 12.Cole Price (RV) 132.5, 13.Nolan Moore (RC) 120.5, 14.Dillon Marshall (Lan) 118, 15.Jared Yingst (Dod) 113.