The Northfield Raider golf team stroked its way to victory in the state high school golf meet at the University of Minnesota golf course last Friday to bring home the first state trophy even won by a Northfield High School athletic team. Leading his team and tying for medalist honors was 16-year old sophomore Brad Cook with a 151 total for the 36-hole event.
Following close behind Brad for the Raider team total of 464 were brothers Dick Haas with a 156 and Fred Haas with a 157 to give the team a three-stroke victory over second-place South Minneapolis Roosevelt in the tournament
Brad’s medalist honors came when Mike Kasner, a senior from Foley, appearing in the tournament for the fourth consecutive year, missed a chance to win outright when his six-foot putt on the final hole hit the cup and rolled inches away. It was the first appearance in the state tournament for Brad, who has been with the Raider linksters since eighth grade.
The well-balanced team strength of the Raiders really came through as they battled 15 mile-per-hour winds and the cold 64-degree temperature to lead in the tournament all the way. At the end of the first round, they led Bemidji by two strokes and Duluth East by three, with Brad turning in a 37-38 for a total of 75 on his way to medalist honors. Fred Haas stroked a 36-40 for the first 18 for a 76 total, followed by Craig Larson with a 39-40 for a 79 total and Dick Haas, who shot a 38-42 for an 80 total for the first round.
Gary Austin, who had suffered a sprained hand on Tuesday, was having difficulty for the Raiders, but knew the rest of the team could pull out a victory.
In the second round, Brad, who was one stroke off the pace after the first 18, came through with a one-over-par 36 on the first nine and finished up with medalist honors with a four-over-par 40 on the back nine for his 151 total. The young Raider’s score for the day included five birdies over the course, through he did have some difficulty with putting, missing five puts of five feet or less.
Dick Haas stroke five-over-par for the first nine in the second round, but came back strong on the second nine with an even-par 36 for a total of 76 for the round and a tournament total of 156. The Raider linkster managed two birdies for the day, both coming in the final nine holes.
In the practice round on Thursday, Dick Haas sink a hole-in-one on the fifth hole of the course, a 165-yard shot, using a seven iron.
Fred Haas, who finished up third for the Raider team, with a 39-42 for an 81 on the second round, had a total of four birdies for the tournament, sinking a 30-foot putt on the last hole to finish out his high school golf career.
Following the Raiders were South Minneapolis Roosevelt with 467, Kellogg with 469, Duluth East with 477, Bemidji with 477, Sleepy Eye at 492, Fergus Falls with 494, Worthington with 515 and Rochester Marshall at 513.
Brad, who finished in the third spot in the Missota conference tournament, the District Four tournament and the Region One tournament said, “I was sick and tired of taking third all year, so I decided to try for the tops in the state.”
The young Raider said he felt no pressure during the battle “because I was busy putting up with the wind and the cold. It was a completely different course than in the practice round with those conditions.”
The Raider linksters have had a strong team with unified effort all season. Their record stood at 10-0 for the season along with the tournament winnings.
All the linksters will be returning next year except Fred Haas. The linkster captain, who was medalist in the region, climaxed his career with the Raiders on Friday with his steadying influence and example for the rest of the team.
“I felt it’s been an outstanding year and I had confidence in the boys all season long,” stated Raider Coach Tor Faxvog. “This group has worked together better as a team than any other group I’ve ever coached and that’s why we managed to go all the way.”
On the way home, the team stopped and celebrated with a steak dinner, and on Saturday at noon the team was honored with a rally in Bridge Square.
Northfield High School Athletic Director Howard Peterson commended the boys for their efforts, and introduced team captain Fred Haas, who reviewed the highlights of the season.
Cook then spoke about his experience and about the team, and the celebration was topped off with a speech by Coach Faxvog. The Northfield High School pep band added the music for the rally and the team was cheered by a large crowd of loyal fans.
For the team, and for Northfield High School, it had been a memorable weekend, one that would long be talked about and remembered in the Northfield High School record book.