Thompson All-Conference, Arrows seventh at Big South Conference golf championships

The Pipestone Area boys’ golf team poses for a photo following their participation at Monday’s Big South Conference tournament in Morton. The Arrows are (front l-r) Max Taubert, Braxton Thompson, Matt DeBates, (back, l-r) Nate Bobendrier, Breylon Kuiper and Will DeBates. C. Boeddeker

The young Pipestone Area boys’ golf team continues to make strides as evidenced by its showing at Monday’s Big South Conference tournament at Dakotah Ridge Golf Club in Morton.

While the Arrows carded a seventh-best 364 on the day, they shot an amazing 40 strokes better than they did at the same tournament in 2021.

“It makes you smile, yes, but hopefully we’re stepping up to peak at the end of the season as we did last year,” Pipestone Area head coach Craig Boeddeker said. “We still have the goal of advancing to the second day of the section (3AA) golf tournament as a team.”

And individually the Arrows saw one of their own earn All-Conference honors, following the 18-hole, 72-par round, as junior Braxton Thompson placed ninth, overall, with an 85 in the 71-player tournament and earned enough points to place eighth in the final BSC standings. It was the second straight season Thompson earned the honor.

Although he didn’t card a single birdie on the day, Thompson was fairly consistent on the front nine – parring five holes. The back nine proved more difficult for the junior, as he parred just two holes – Nos. 12 and 18.

St. Peter (324) claimed the overall conference crown, while Marshall (335) was second on the day and claimed the western division title. Fairmont carded a team total of 336 to round out the top-3 at the tournament, followed by Luverne (348), Redwood Valley (350), New Ulm (361) and Pipestone. Windom, Blue Earth, Waseca, Worthington and Jackson County Central placed 8-12, respectively.

Although not in the hunt to earn individual conference accolades, PAS eighth-grader Matt DeBates was a strong second behind Thompson on the day, carding a 33rd-best round of 92. Matt DeBates started on the back nine, where he claimed just one par, but moving to the front nine the youngster found his groove – parring four hole and sinking the lone birdie for the Arrows on No. 3.

PAS freshman Max Taubert (40th overall) was a stroke behind Matt DeBates at 93, carding a trio of pars on the front nine, while Will DeBates finished 42nd overall with a round of 94. The sophomore also shot well on the front nine, sinking four of nine pars.

Junior Breylon Kuiper didn’t have his best round, carding two pars on the front and three on the back to finish with a 97 – good for 54th place – and senior Nate Bobendrier completed the Arrows in Morton, placing 64th overall at 103.

“I was looking for us to place in the top-6 as a team, but we came up three strokes short,” Boeddeker said. “I was happy that we managed to earn enough points in the conference events to place fifth in the final standings. I was hoping we’d sneak in ahead of Luverne, but again, we came up a little short.”

At the girls’ BSC tournament in Morton, Pipestone Area eighth-grader Vivian Brockberg shot a 121 to place 55th in the 64-player field. Brockberg parred the par-3 No. 11 and shot better by a stroke (60) on the front nine at Dakotah Ridge.

The Arrows will compete in a dual meet Monday in Marshall before kicking off the Section 3AA (first round) Wednesday at the Oakdale Golf Club in Buffalo Lake.

Jackson Stroke Play

The Arrow boys struggled against both JCC and Worthington Thursday afternoon in Jackson, posting a total of 192 strokes behind the Huskies (178) and Trojans (185).

Thompson paced the Arrows effort with a round of 40, but the scores fell off dramatically thereafter. 

Matt DeBates was second-best for PAS in Jackson, finishing at 50, while Bobendrier and Taubert came in at 51 apiece. Kuiper and Will DeBates completed the Arrows on the afternoon, carding scores of 52 and 53, respectively.

Brockberg shot 55 on the girls’ side to finish in a tie for third place with a trio of Trojan players.