stevens golf

Rapid City Stevens poses with its runners-up trophy Tuesday at the Class AA State Golf Championships in Pierre. Left to right: Jonah Swartz, Ben Daane, Ryan Nolan, Lane Jensen, John Young and Adam Salter with coach Nick Rotella in the background.

Rapid City Stevens boys' golf came into the Class AA state tournament only one stroke behind Sioux Falls O'Gorman after day one, but in the final day that's how it would finish as well.

The Raiders finished second with 586 strokes for the two-day tournament in Pierre to O'Gorman's 585.

"The kids played great. We can be disappointed about the result, but we can’t be mad about how we played," Stevens coach Nick Rotella said. "There were the two best team scores we’ve turned in all year. We were playing our best golf at the end of the season, and that's your goal as coach. The players played fantastic."

Austin Hoss from Pierre shot a second round 68 for a two-day total of 137 to win the individual tournament, barely edging out O'Gorman's Jack Lundin, who was leading coming into the second day.

Freshman Jonah Swartz was the highest placing Raider, tying for third with Jonah Dohrer of Aberdeen Central with a 143. Bryce Hammer of O'Gorman took fifth with a 144, Michael Frick of Yankton was sixth with a 145, Lane Jensen from Stevens was seventh with a 146.

To round out the top 10, Sam Batta of Watertown, Blake Dornsbusch of O'Gorman, Bennett Lundy of Aberdeen and Garrett Everson of Sioux Falls Roosevelt tied for eighth with a 147.

It was back-and-forth between Stevens and O'Gorman all day, on the back nine the Raiders were able to close a gap the Knights had built, but were unable to get the two strokes they needed to come out on top.

The Raiders finished with all six golfers in the top 30.

"Through the first four holes we pulled ahead. They pulled back and then we closed the gap," Rotella said. "O'Gorman played great, hats off to them You can’t make any assumptions until all six scorecards are in, it was just a back and forth kind of day."

Roosevelt finished third with 591, Aberdeen came in fourth with a 605 and Sioux Falls Washington finished fifth with a 610.

Spearfish finished 11th at 642, Sturgis finished 16th with 691, Rapid City Central was 17th with 728 and Douglas took 18th with 789. 

Coming into the day, Rotella told his team not to worry about the other golfers, and it almost resulted in a state title.

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"We just said that O’Gorman is a tough team, they’re going to play well but we need to forget about the other schools, worry about us and our team score will reflect that if we play the kind of golf we can," he said. "O’Gorman deserved it, they played really good golf for two days."

In Class A, there was not as much suspense, as Aberdeen Roncalli put together a solid two days at the Dakota Dunes Country Club to take the title by 25 strokes over Dakota Valley.

Lucas Schaefbauer from Roncalli also captured the individual championship by shooting a 149 for the tournament, five better than Kolby Newborg from Tea Area.

Jacob Lee from Parkston finished third with a 155, with Brock Murphy from Tea Area finishing fourth with a 158. Nate Nielson from Sisseton took fifth with a 159 and Nick Lust from St. Thomas More and Tanner Hensley from Dakota Valley tied for sixth with a 160. Ramsey Johnsen from Roncalli finished eighth with a 161, while Paul Burns from Dakota Valley and Mason Schmidt from Dell Rapids rounded out the top-10 by both shooting 166.

On the team front, Sisseton finished third with a 702, followed by Sioux Valley in fourth with a 705 and Madison took fifth with a 718.

STM finished sixth with a 721, Custer was 15th with a 871 while Hot Springs finished 16th with a 891.

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