Pender golf

Members of the Class D state championship Pender boys golf team are (from left) Trey Johnson, Quinton Heineman, Spencer Rabbass, Layton Gralheer and Mitchell Kelly.

NORTH PLATTE — Last season, Pender ended up third in the Class D boys golf championships at North Platte’s Lake Maloney Golf Course but returned every member of that team this year.

Although that should have made the Pendragons the front-runner in 2023, the team that won last year, Overton, also returned every member of its team that bettered Pender by seven shots to win the state title.

Pender prevailed some 300 miles from home to finish this year's championship with an 11-stroke advantage over the Eagles and grab the school's first ever state golf championship on Wednesday.

"We talked about those seven strokes a lot the last couple of weeks," Pender coach Luke Hoffman said. "It didn't consume us, but we definitely didn't forget about it. I told our guys seven shots over a 36-hole tournament is nothing. They all needed to make up a couple of strokes."

The Pendragons did just that and rode the wave of three golfers in the top 15 and increasing a 319-328 advantage after the opening 18 holes to the 641-652 final tally.

"It seems like we did everything just right at the right time," Hoffman said. "And it wasn't just one guy, it was everybody. Our guys were really focused on getting this done."

Quinton Heineman was the low Pendragon after firing a 79 in the final round and a pack-leading one-over par 73 in Tuesday’s first round.

Heineman was second overall, and teammate Layton Gralheer was right on his heels at 153 and placed third.

"Quinton has been consistently at the top all season, and Layton played some of his best golf out here these past two days. You need those kind of performances to win with this kind of competition," Hoffman said. "We honestly have five guys who are capable of shooting in 70s. They've all worked really hard to get here and finish this thing."

Trey Johnson was the third Pender golfer in the medals after carding a two-day total of 165, which put him in a three-way tie with Tyson Essex of Loomis and Stuart's Anthony Heiser for 13th.

Mitchell Kelly rounded out the Pendragons’ scorecard with a 171, which put him in a tie for 26th, and Spencer Rabbass was the safety net at 186.

"I'm really proud of these guys," Hoffman said. "They have done everything they've been asked to do and more. They really put in the extra work to get better. They really earned this."

Creighton's Gage Burns took medalist honors by following up an opening-round 76 with a 75 to post a total of 151.

Burns was fifth last season and vaulted his way to the top in his senior campaign.

"Gage is a very talented golfer," Bulldog coach Chase Maier said after the district tournament. "And he works very hard at getting better in all aspects of his game."

Jaden Kosch of Humphrey St. Francis finished sixth as an individual with a 157 after tying for the low round on Wednesday with a 75. The Flyers finished fourth in the team race with a two-day total of 687.

Chase Furstenau from Neligh-Oakdale and William Jesse of Chambers/Wheeler Central finished in a tie for 16th at 166, just one spot out of the medals.

Neligh-Oakdale finished tied for fifth with Lawrence-Nelson (694), Elgin Public/Pope John was 11th (720) and Hartington-Newcastle came in 13th (767).


Team scoring: Pender 319-322 — 641, Overton 328-324 — 652, 3. Loomis 346-331 — 677, 4. Humphrey St. Francis 348-339 — 687, 5. Lawrence-Nelson 355-339 — 694, 5. Neligh-Oakdale 334-360 — 694, 7. Perkins County 349-359 — 708, 8. Hitchcock County 351-362 — 713, 9. Sandy Creek 368-346 — 714, 10. Bridgeport 355-361 — 716, 11. Elgin Public/Pope John 355-365 — 720, 12. Elmwood-Murdock 369-361 — 730, 13. Hartington-Newcastle 385-382 — 767, 14. Hemingford 385-393 — 778, 15. Burwell 385-419 — 804.

Individual medalists

Gage Burns, Creighton 76-75 — 151

Quinton Heineman, Pender 73-79 — 152

Layton Gralheer, Pender 76-77 — 153

Zaybreon Hansen, Perkins County 74-80 — 154

Carter Milton, Exeter-Milligan 79-77 — 156

Jaden Kosch, Humphrey St. Francis 82-75 — 157

Braden Fleischman, Overton 82-76 — 158

Kaden Lux, Overton 82-76 — 158

Wesley Trompke, Loomis 80-80 — 160

Jake Dane, Sandy Creek 85-76 — 161

Connor Shively, Overton 80-84 — 164

Jacob Holzfaster, Paxton 80-84 — 164

Tyson Essex, Loomis 86-79 — 165

Trey Johnson, Pender 85-80 — 165

Anthony Heiser, Stuart 83-82 — 165


Chase Furstenau, Neligh-Oakdale 83-83 — 166

William Jesse, CWC 79-87 — 166

Kellen Fiala, Howells-Dodge 83-85 — 168

Gavin Longsdorf, Neligh-Oakdale 82-87 — 169

Jaxon Claussen, Wausa 79-90 — 169

Paiton Hoefer, Elgin Public/Pope John 89-81 — 170

Mitchell Kelly, Pender 85-86 — 171

Austin Good, Elgin Public/Pope John 84-89 — 173

Kegan Hackerott, Humphrey St. Francis 87-87 — 174

Baylen Guenther, Osmond 84-90 — 174

Timothy Atkinson, Boyd County 82-92 — 174

Mason Mackeprang, Bloomfield 88-87 — 175

Andrew Kosch, Humphrey St. Francis 87-89 — 176

Aiden Kuester, Neligh-Oakdale 80-96 — 176

Matthew Brockhaus, Humphrey St. Francis 94-88 — 182

Bryson Gadeken, Neligh-Oakdale 89-94 — 183

Riley Sudbeck, Hartington-Newcastle 93-92 — 185

Linus Borer, Elgin Public/Pope John 83-102 — 185

Spencer Rabbass, Pender 88-98 — 186

Tyrel Wegener, Humphrey St. Francis; 92-95 — 187

Turner Dendinger, Hartington-Newcastle 93-95 — 188

Kellan Hoefer, Elgin Public/Pope John 99-93 — 192

Corbin Hoefer, Neligh-Oakdale 96-98 — 194

Dayton Sudbeck, Hartington-Newcastle 100-96 — 196

Bailey Paden, Hartington-Newcastle 99-100 — 199

Mason Buschkamp, Hartington-Newcastle 104-99 — 203

Ethan Hinkle, Elgin Public/Pope John 109-117 — 226

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