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Boys golf: Cardinals step up in a “must-win meet” at Tech

Alexandria's Joe Bigger watches a shot from the sand at the Alexandria Golf Club in a meet played on May 22, 2017. Bigger shot a medalist round of 75 at Wapicada on Monday to help the Cardinals earn a big win in CLC play with two meets left. (File photo)

The Alexandria boys golf team won a meet that head coach Brady Swedberg called essentially a must-win if the Cardinals are going to snag a Central Lakes Conference title.

Alexandria was at the Wapicada Golf Course on Monday in a meet hosted by St. Cloud Tech and shot a 309 to fend off Brainerd by three strokes. The Cardinals feature a lineup that can have a different low score each day, and Monday it was sophomore Joe Bigger’s turn to lead the way as he shot a 75 to finish with medalist honors.

“He has had a bit of an up and down season,” Swedberg said of Bigger. “He’s got a lot of natural ability and power, but with distance usually can come some inconsistency and big misses. That is something he has been working on all year and will continue to work on that to avoid big numbers.”

Seventh-grader Braeden Sladek continued his breakout season as he shot a 76 to tie Jack Evans of Brainerd and Leo Stepan of St. Cloud Tech for second place. Sladek hit just four greens in regulation but got up and down all day to finish with 14 pars.

Alexandria’s Noah Boraas and Grant Rebrovich each shot a 79 to round out the scoring, while Ben Dirck shot an 81 and Hunter Rebrovich carded an 84.

The win brought the Cardinals to within one point of Brainerd in the CLC standings with two conference meets left, including a home meet for Alexandria at AGC on May 21 at 4 p.m.

“We were two points behind Brainerd going into the meet,” Swedberg said of Monday’s win. “With a loss today we would have been at least three points back with two meets to go, almost impossible to make up. The win basically kept our goal of winning the conference alive. It’s fun to see different guys step up when others are struggling. I’m excited for it to all come together.”

The Cardinals have seen their ups and downs this year, but that depth has kept them in a lot of meets and the CLC race with a talented Brainerd team to this point. They hope it can carry them past the Warriors over the final two meets.

“The upside of this team is extremely high,” Swedberg said. “We just haven’t had four guys put it together on the same day yet. Their confidence is rising by the day, and I think we are ready to play our best golf at the right time.”

ST. CLOUD TECH INVITE TEAM SCORES - Alexandria - 309; Brainerd - 312; St. Cloud Tech - 316; Sartell - 316; Willmar - 329; Rocori - 341; Fergus Falls - 351; St. Cloud Apollo - 379

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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