The dominant theme for the local and area qualifiers for the WIAA state boys golf tournament is youth.

Between Milton and Edgerton—the team qualifiers in Division 1 and 2, respectively—and individual qualifiers Wyatt Marshall of Janesville Craig, Luke Abram of Lake Geneva Badger and Trey Oswald of Orfordville Parkview, underclassmen outnumber seniors 11-3.

The Red Hawks team, Marshall and Abram will be in the Division 1 tournament that is being held at Wild Rock Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells today and Tuesday.

The Crimson Tide team (Division 2) and Oswald (Division 3) will be playing at Trappers Turn in Wisconsin Dells today and Tuesday.

Milton, which qualified for the team tournament in dramatic fashion Thursday in a one-hole playoff against Mukwonago, has four underclassmen among its top five golfers. Junior Zach Bothun (No. 4), sophomores Xander Wuetrich (No. 1) and Deegan Riley (No. 2), and freshman Brett Wieland (No. 3) join senior Braden Kline (No. 5) on the team that will tee off from 9 to 9:40 a.m. today.

In team competition, four No. 1 golfers play as a foursome, the No. 2s play as a foursome and so on.

“We’re excited,” Milton High coach Kirk Wieland said. “We’re super thankful to get the opportunity.”

This is the first Milton High boys team Wieland will take to state since he took over as head coach in 2009. He previously took two Red Hawk girls teams to state when he coached that program.

It marks only the second time a Milton team has qualified for state. The first was in 1987.

What makes it extra special special for Wieland is he’ll get to coach his son Brett.

“It’s a blast,” Wieland said about the opportunity to see Brett play in the state tournament.

Wieland (Lodi High) and his wife, Andrea (Meeker, Milton High), both played in state tournaments when they were in high school.

Kirk said Brett has heard about that since he started playing golf.

“His mom and I rib him about playing,” Kirk said. “I probably, much more than his mom, give him a hard time all the time. But we didn’t make it to state as freshmen, so he has the upper hand there.

“He has been great, but the whole team has been great,” said Wieland, who is the golf pro at Oak Ridge in Milton. “It’s a truly fun team. We were good because there’s been a lot of competition pushing the kids.

“The team is young—age-wise—but also these boys play so much in the summer.”

All the state qualifiers played on the tournament courses Sunday. Wieland had not been to Wild Rock before that.

The young Milton squad faces a challenge just to contend for the team title. All top 10 teams in the final Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin poll qualified, led by No. 1 Kettle Moraine. Milwaukee Marquette is the two-time defending Division 1 team champion, although no tournament was held last year.

“There are three or four really quality teams,” Wieland said. “We’ve played Middleton (No.3 ranked) four or five times this year, and they are really good.”

This is the first time in 26 years that the state championship is not being held at University Ridge Golf Club in Madison. COVID-19 protocols prevented any WIAA tournament to be held in Dane County this school year.

Wisconsin.Golf reports that Wild Rock and University Ridge are similar in their layouts, with winding fairways—many lined by trees—and elevation changes that range from subtle to significant.

It will play to 6,328 yards for the WIAA state tournament.

Edgerton prepares for Division 2

The Edgerton High squad finished second to Madison Edgewood in the Prairie du Chien Sectional to earn its spot at Trappers Turn.

Crimson Tide golfers will tee off from 9 to 9:40 a.m. on No. 1 for its first round.

The top four golfers are juniors Braden Hurst (No. 1) and Brady Callmer (No. 2), senior Clayton Jenny (No. 3) and sophomore Roman Frodel (No. 10).

Freshman Cameron Lee and senior Jarett Callmer are co-No. 5 golfers.

Marshall gets his first state berth

Craig freshman Wyatt Marshall will be playing in his first state tournament, but the long-hitter looks as he’ll be a fixture there for the next three years as well.

Marshall qualified by shooting a 74 in the Janesville Parker Sectional at Riverside Golf Course on Tuesday. That tied him for second place with Milton’s Wieland.

“I’ve played pretty well of late,” Marshall said after his 74.

Abram qualifies

Abram, a senior at Badger, will play in his third state tournament starting at 8:50 a.m. today on No. 10 at Wild Rock. His best finish came in 2019 when he tied for 32{sup}nd{/sup}.

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