No golf duo provided a better 1-2 punch in the 2A Evergreen Conference this season than Centralia High School’s Rudy Voetberg and Brett Wasson.
“They’ve both just been a lot of fun to coach this year,” Centralia coach Hal Gronseth said. “They’re both year-round golfers and each made big improvements in their games.”
Voetberg was named the EvCo’s most valuable player after carding a conference-best average score of 39.5 during the year. While Wasson, who will be making a second trip to the state tournament in May, earned first-team all-conference honors with an average of 41.86, which was the fourth-lowest total in the conference.
“We’ve been playing sports together for a long time,” said Voetberg, who is homeschooled. “I’ve grown up with Brett and we played basketball together from fourth grade until eighth grade. So, coming into high school and golfing together was a pretty easy transition for us. We’ve always helped each other with our weaknesses to become better golfers. My positivity has been a little too much for him at times, but it’s been great these last four years playing together.”
Wasson qualified for his second consecutive Class 2A state golf tournament after finishing seventh at the District 4A tournament at Capitol City Golf Course in Olympia on October 24. Wasson shot a two-day total of 158, registering an 81 in the opening round before posting a 77 in the second round.
“There was a lot more pressure to make state this year since it’s my last year here,” Wasson said. “The goal was to shoot good and play safe. There were a lot of people shooting 40s and 39s this year, but I felt pretty good.”
Ridgefield junior Cade Bringhurt claimed the tournament title with a two-day total of 149, highlighted by his tourney-best 35 in the first round. The Spudders also took the overall team title with 184 points.
Woodland was second in the team standings with 132 points. Columbia River (115.5 points) and Black Hills (61.5) were third and fourth, respectively, while Centralia finished fifth with a point total of 58.5.
The top 16 finishers at the district tournament advance to state, which will be held May 27-28 at a yet to be determined location.
Wasson was the only Tiger golfer to make state last season. He shot an 89 in the first round, missing the cut by four strokes.
“I didn’t do very good at state last year, but it was still pretty cool making it,” Wasson said. “Hopefully, having that experience will help this year.”
Voetberg, who played at state as a sophomore, finished tied for 16th with a total of 165. He shot 86 in the opening round and 79 in the second round. He will be the first alternate into the state tournament for a second straight year.
“As an individual, he’s just a top-notch kid,” Gronseth said about Voetberg. “He’s a role model for our other golfers. He comes from a great family as the youngest of 10 kids and is the third sibling to play golf for me. So, we’ve had a Voetberg play golf on the team the last nine straight years. It’s tough to see him go. You couldn’t ask for a better person to have on your team.”
Joining Voetberg and Wasson in receiving season-ending honors was junior teammate Jesse Kuykendall who was a second-team all-conference pick with an average score of 46.88.
“Jesse has improved so much this year,” Gronseth said. “He’s one of those kids who didn’t start playing golf until last year and now he’s someone who just wants to golf all the time.”
Kuykendall shot a first-round 99 at the district tournament. Centralia senior Nolan Rice carded a 94 and sophomore Jayden Pannette shot 112.
W.F. West had three players receive all-Evergreen Conference honors with junior Camryn Bostwick being a first-team selection. Bostwick posted an average of 42.63, which was the sixth-lowest score among EvCo golfers this season.
The Bearcats also had sophomores Tukker Rosbach (45.86 average) and Dirk Plakinger (46.13) appear on the all conference’s second team.
W.F. West had six golfers advance to the district tournament. Both Bostwick (173) and Rosbach (177) made the first-day cut. Plakinger finished with a first-round total of 92.
Joining the Bearcat trio at districts was senior Connor Trodahl (96), junior Jacob Douglass (112) and sophomore Brock Bunker (94).