Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.


Witt-Birn boys golf team enters season with high hopes

Keeney, Resch will lead way after sectional appearances

By Morgan Rode

Photo by Tina Bacon Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School junior Justin Keeney was the team’s top golfer a year ago and is hoping to lead the team to big things this season.

Photo by Tina Bacon Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School junior Logan Balliett and the Chargers have high aspirations as the 2019 season nears.

With every member of last year’s team back, the Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School golf team heads into the spring season with high aspirations.

“I think that we will have a chance to compete for conference,” Witt-Birn coach Chris Bartletti said. “We have players with varsity experience who have really worked to get better, and we have a couple of players who can score low enough to carry some of the others if they are struggling.”

Last season, the Chargers placed fifth in the Central Wisconsin Conference. Justin Keeney, now a junior, landed on the all-conference second team and finished just five shots back of qualifying for state.

Keeney hopes to lead the Chargers to bigger and better things this spring.

“Our team goals this year are to win conference and make it to sectionals,” Keeney said. “It will be tough, but it’s doable with a lot of practice and each member of the team improving.”

Keeney has some lofty individual expectations, as well.

“I hope to make state this year and be first-team all-conference as I have been working throughout the winter on my game,” he said.

Ian Resch, a sophomore, also competed at sectionals for the Chargers last spring.

Like Keeney, Resch has high aspirations this season.

“Personally, I would like to make it back to sectionals and challenge for a state tournament berth,” Resch said. “In order to do that, I need to improve my short game. Hopefully the weather cooperates and we can get on the course early and often.”

Junior Logan Balliett and sophomores Maverick Beran and Brian Nelson are also back.

Other golfers who could also make an impact this season are junior Porter Richardson and freshmen Isabella Hegewald, Calvin Scheurer and Reed Quade.

Bartletti knows the CWC will offer tough competition as usual, but he also believes his team can find success, too.

“Pacelli is always a team that contends for conference, and Amherst has some solid players back,” Bartletti said. “I think the conference is open though without a dominant team that can’t be beat.”

The Chargers will end the season competing in the WIAA Division 2 regional against Amherst, Bonduel, Clintonville, Marinette, Menominee Indian/Gresham, Mosinee, Oconto Falls, Peshtigo and Seymour on either May 21 or 22.

Regional qualifiers advance to the Mosinee Sectional on May 28 or 29. The state meet will be held at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona on June 3-4.