The Alexandria boys golf team is hitting its stride, and it’s coming at an opportune time for a group with big expectations and the Section 8AAA meet on the horizon.
The Cardinals were a week removed from shooting a 3-under team score of 285 in Fergus Falls on May 13 as they hosted their home Central Lakes Conference meet on Monday.
It came under ideal weather conditions at the Alexandria Golf Club. Sun, 65 degrees and barely a breeze greeted players, and the Cardinals took advantage of it. They won by shooting a 298 to further distance themselves in the overall CLC standings heading into the final league meet of the season at Brainerd on Wednesday.
“I was really excited when I teed it up today,” senior Hunter Rebrovich said. “It’s always fun to defend the home track. Unfortunately, I got off to a slow start, but I just had to keep battling and use the course to my advantage and ended up shooting even par. It was fun.”
That 72 from Rebrovich led Alexandria and was good for second overall. Sartell sophomore Logan Hamak led the field by four strokes with a 4-under par 68.
Alexandria’s Braeden Sladek tied for third with a 74, while Noah Boraas and Grant Rebrovich each shot a 76 to round out the scoring. Joe Bigger shot an 83, and Elliot Amundson an 84.
For both Rebrovich brothers, it was a continuation of a solid stretch of play they have been on. Hunter has finished three of his last four rounds at even par.
“(Head coach) Brady (Swedberg) and I have been working on some good things,” Hunter said. “The swing is getting in the right spot, and my misses are a lot smaller. Short game is always getting better and better. It’s rusty in the early season, and now it’s getting back into summer form. When you put those things together, it’s just a recipe for success.”
Grant has seen that short game help him throughout this season. As a sophomore, he is consistently scoring in the low-to-mid 70s now as a player this group can count on.
“I haven’t been hitting it great this year, but my short game has been pretty in line,” Grant said. “I got a lot of up and downs, scrambled well. Early in the year, I was hitting it real bad. It showed in my numbers, but I’ve got things kind of dialed in and am starting to shoot well.”
The Cardinals have the luxury of knowing that anyone in the lineup can go low on any given day. Hunter, a senior captain with Boraas, was not playing quite the way he wanted to early in the spring, but knew he could work through some things and this team could still post good numbers.
“It’s really assuring when you’re out there and things aren’t going your way. You’re still going to battle, but in the back of your head you know that Grant is going to step up, or Bigger, or Sladek -- any of those guys,” Hunter said. “That’s just something that’s awesome about Alexandria golf is we have players who can step up and shoot low numbers. The work ethic shows it. Every day at practice, guys are grinding hard, and even after practice. Guys are sticking around and playing golf, working on their games.”
The Cardinals, leading the CLC by six points, are well on their way to wrapping up the conference title. Brainerd won the CLC in 2018, but Alexandria rebounded from that a year ago to beat the Warriors in the section meet a week later.
This year’s Section 8AAA tournament is set for May 29 and 30 at the Headwaters Golf Course in Park Rapids. Alexandria enters as the likely favorites, but nothing is guaranteed. The Cardinals found that out during pre-sections earlier this season when Brainerd tied them for the win by shooting a 308. Buffalo (311), Bemidji (317) and Sartell-St. Stephen (317) were all within 10 strokes, too.
“Going into this season, we knew we had talent. We knew we had the guys to get to (the state tournament), but it was never going to be easy,” Hunter said. “Golf is such a crazy game. You can get some unlucky bounces and things don’t go your way some days. All we’ve been doing is working hard and not taking anything for granted. It’s our goal to get there, but it’s not going to be given to us. There’s a lot of good teams and players in our section.”
Brainerd showed again on Monday in Alexandria that it can hang right with the Cardinals. The Warriors finished just four shots back with a 302 at AGC, led by Cody Evans, Gavin Metz and Cole Proctor all shooting 75.
Alexandria has lived up to expectations for much of this season. Now the Cardinals expect a battle at sections as they try to accomplish another goal of getting back to Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids for the Class AAA tournament.
“It’s just all-out grinding,” Grant Rebrovich said. “Every day we’re going to be practicing cause there’s nothing better than being at Bunker Hills that first week of June.”
ALEXANDRIA CLC MEET
TEAM SCORES - Alexandria - 298; Brainerd - 302; Sartell-St. Stephen - 307; Fergus Falls - 320; St. Cloud Tech - 335; Rocori - 341; Willmar - 359; Sauk Rapids-Rice - 397
ALEXANDRIA - Hunter Rebrovich - 72; Braeden Sladek - 74; Grant Rebrovich - 76; Noah Boraas - 76; Joe Bigger - 83; Elliot Amundson - 84