HOLMEN — A state tournament wasn’t a certainty before the season.
But if there was state, Lakeside Lutheran head coach Kyra Lostetter thought it was a possibility her Warriors could advance.
It is a possibility no longer. It is a certainty.
The Lakeside Lutheran girls golf team advanced to its first state tournament in program history at a WIAA Division 2 sectional Tuesday at Drugan’s Castle Mound.
“We’re thankful that we had the opportunity to have a regional, sectional and now a state,” Lostetter said. “I know we might be the only sport that will have that this fall. We feel very blessed.”
Lakeside senior Maya Heckmann led they way for the Warriors, finishing first out of 48 golfers with a 76. Lakeside Lutheran collected 363 team strokes on the day, while Edgewood Sacred Heart finished first with 341.
“We knew we had to shoot well, but we weren’t sure how well we needed to shoot,” Lostetter said.
The Warriors went as low as any team had gone in program history, as Lakeside’s 363 set a program record.
Heckmann was dominant throughout the 18-hole round, carding 38s on both the front and back nines. The senior never shot a score higher than a five on any hole.
“She sank some incredible putts,” Lostetter said. “When Maya is on, it is fun to watch. You can tell Maya loves the sport and she puts her heart into it.”
The Warriors got their second-best score from junior Kaylea Affeld — who fired a 92 — good for a tie at the 10th overall spot in the field.
“It was exciting to see Kaylea shoot the score that she did,” Lostetter said. “I missed it, but she chipped on and birdied 18, which was amazing, and I was sad that I missed it. But it was awesome to end her best round that way… She’s a great player.”
Affeld scored a 47 on the front nine and her birdie on the back helped her card a 45.
Sophomore Ava Heckmann scored a 96, recording a 47 on the front nine and a 49 on the back. Junior Lauren Lostetter shot a 99, with a 48 and 51 on the front and back, respectively. Senior Ella Butzine carded a 114 on the day.
With only the top two teams advancing to state, Wisconsin Dells placed third with a 376, 13 strokes behind Lakeside. Just last Wednesday at the regional meet at the Prairie du Chien Country Club, Wisconsin Dells finished 16 strokes better than Lakeside Lutheran.
But Tuesday was a different story.
“I think when we were at regionals it was just a tough course,” Lostetter said. “The weather conditions were not fabulous, the wind factor played a big part in some of those high numbers.”
The improvement from regionals to sectionals was massive for some of the Warriors: Maya Heckmann went from an 88 to a 78, Lauren Lostetter went from a 115 to a 99 and Affeld trimmed off 19 strokes, going from a 111 to a 92.
“The girls did great. They played their hearts out,” Lostetter said. “We’re just incredibly proud of all of them.”