Bay Port senior Jed Baranczyk placed second a season ago at the WIAA D1 state meet (USGA photo).
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – The Bay Port boys’ golf team has to be wondering when they will be able to get out on a local course.
With the Green Bay area still recovering from a major storm last week, the Pirates are anxious to get outside and not fall too far behind their southern rivals.
“We deal with the weather every year,” said Craig Buchinger, who is entering his 14th year as head coach at Bay Port. “While the southern part of the state gets to play rounds, we go over rules, have putting practice or hit into nets. There is nothing we can do about it, but each year it bugs me a little that we are ‘behind’ in reps when it comes to on-course practice.”
The Pirates have made three straight trips to the WIAA D1 team state meet in Madison. Prior to 2012, Bay Port had only been to one other state tournament and that was in 2001.
“We certainly have the goal to make it down there again,” Buchinger said, who also noted that the Pirates have been to team state five out of the last six years. “We will have to play very well on WIAA sectional day.”
Bay Port will once again be led by Jed Baranczyk, a North Dakota State University recruit who finished second individually last year at state and has won two consecutive Fox River Classic Conference player-of-the year awards.
“Jed is the best golfer we’ve ever had walk the halls of Bay Port,” said Buchinger about his talented senior. “He owns nearly 75 percent of the school records and has finished in the top three in the state two of his three years competing. His attention to detail and tireless effort separates him from other players. There are guys who practice hard and then there is Jed who practices two or three times as much.”
The Pirates will have to replace three very talented seniors in Brett O’Shaughnessy who is now at MSOE, Jake Neerdaels (UW-Madison) and Austin Mikesch who is playing professional hockey in Canada.
“We have some guys who played JV last year who worked on their game throughout the summer,” Buchinger noted. “We’ll need them to step up and try to fill the void of those three great seniors that left.”
Along with Baranczyk, Preston Cedergren is back after finishing in a tie for 50th last year at state. According to Buchinger, Cedergren “hits the ball a mile and puts a lot of effort into his game.” He has even converted part of his family’s garage into a golf facility with a launch monitor and putting green. He will be looking to make another jump this year into an even better player.
Look for Adam Schilawski, Nate Kroll, Jameson Matthies, Cody Lindquist and others to all compete for varsity spots and replace the void of the graduating seniors.
Buchinger thinks Sheboygan North is probably the team to beat in the FRCC, as they have a very talented roster and are coming off a strong finish at the state meet last year. Green Bay Notre Dame should be a contender as well. Bay Port finished third in 2017 behind both Notre Dame and North in the conference race.