Rebels reach state at last

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 29, 2002

ST. JAMES &045; More than 30 years ago, in the spring of 1968, Randy Halvorson was a member of the Wells-Easton boys’ golf team coached by a young Jeff Pitts.

The Wildcats &045; and, beginning in 1991, the United South Central Rebels &045; had some good teams under Pitts, coming close to the state tournament more than once. But he retired after last season without ever taking a team to the big show.

Now, in Halvorson’s first season as head coach, the Rebels are going to state after winning the Section 2A championship at St. James Country Club Tuesday.

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&uot;This is exactly what we’ve been shooting for all year long,&uot; said Halvorson. &uot;We knew we had a chance and we came through today.&uot;

The Rebels shot a 310 to defeat second-place Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton by four strokes. Jackson County Central had 318, Blue Earth Area 326.

Justin Knutson carded a 75 to lead the Rebels. It was the third best individual round, five strokes behind medalist Jon Larson of Springfield.

Following for the Rebels were Ryan Treptow, 78; Chris Adams, 78; Mitch Forderer, 79; Scott Halvorson, 82; and Ben Wetzell, 91.

Coach Halvorson was concerned about JWP because the Bulldogs had three players from their state tournament team from two years ago and were only two strokes away from the Rebels in last week’s sub-section tournament.

&uot;We knew they were going to try and lower their scores, so we had to do the same thing,&uot; said Halvorson. &uot;Thankfully, four of our boys came through with scores under 80.&uot;

Knutson played particularly tough after a rough start that left him three over par after three holes.

&uot;He went out of bounds on the third hole, and it was the last mistake he made all day,&uot; said Halvorson.

The title was especially sweet after a disappointing South Central Conference tournament in which the Rebels were fifth among seven teams with a 324.

Halvorson said playing conditions were a factor Tuesday.

&uot;The weather was perfect,&uot; he said. &uot;There was no wind, it didn’t rain there.

&uot;Our boys like to play in nice weather.&uot;

Now, they’ll get to find out how they like playing in the state tournament.