April 17, 2024

BOYS GOLF: Wolverines look to contend for POI title

Nodaway Valley's Landon Klobnak focuses on a putt in a meet during the 2023 golf season.

With five seniors and some promising new faces, the Nodaway Valley boys golf team looks to be in contention for a Pride of Iowa Conference title and a deep postseason run this year.

The Wolverines were in a tough sectional last season at Shenandoah where they did not advance in the postseason. The Wolverines did set a new high of players shooting in the 80-stroke range at the meet with three players doing that.

“We played well at sectionals last year and had three guys in the 80s. In previous years that was not the case as we would have maybe one player do that,” said Nodaway Valley coach Joel Klobnak.

Klobnak said that his team will contend for the POI title this year.

“I think we can take the conference, we have a lot back. Districts would be tough, but there is no reason that we have a good chance to go from sectionals to districts either this year,” he said.

The Wolverines have essentially two top ace golfers in Landon Klobnak and Zack Gebbie. Klobnak had an average of 42.75 last year and Gebbie an average of 43.0. Right behind them are Bradley Gebbie, Xander Hogan, and Jack Jensen. All five have played a lot of golf in getting ready for the season. Nine-hole averages for those players a year ago were 54.0, 50.0, and 67.25.

The Wolverines will be looking to fill out the other spots on their roster this season. Klobnak said that the trio of freshmen Sam Miller and Ty Rardin, and sophomore Keyin Steeve, have looked good early in practices.

The Wolverines began the season at Griswold Monday and will be in action seven more times before the postseason. The 2024 Pride of Iowa Conference meet is April 30 at Lenox.

Players that graduated from the top-7 last year were Boston DeVault and Kaden Herr.

Good weather has led to early time on the golf course, though a recent cold snap had the team working inside.

“We always have to fight the weather in order to get ready for the season. It is a wet and cold first season/outside season of the new year, and you can’t get in and grind, weather affects golf more,” said Klobnak.

“We do the best we can and work a lot of short games and move in at the start of April for the long game,” he said.

The Wolverines have a dozen players in the sophomore and freshman classes combined. There are six sophomores out and six freshmen out. Sophomores out are Dyllan Shannon, Gavin Meisenheimer, Steeve, Parker Schneider, Remington Woosley, and Slade Gettler. Freshmen are Collin Akers, Derek Raasch, Erik Jensen, Paul Kading, Miller, and Ty Rardin.

This is the final season for Klobnak as the head coach.

“This is my final season. These five seniors have been with me since their freshman year and I want to enjoy it. We have had a lot of competition. I want to keep it fun and keep the focus on the short game, and we should have a good year,” said Klobnak.