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Andrew Walz back on course, Jays looking to improve in 2023

Andrew Walz, was the only member of the Jamestown High School boys golf team who qualified for the 2022 Class A State Golf Meet.

jhs boys golf walz from 052022.jpg
Jamestown's Andrew Walz follows through on a chip onto hole number nine on May 20, 2022, at the Country Club.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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Getting back to the Class A State Golf Tournament has not been an easy task for Andrew Walz.

Walz, a junior for the Jamestown High School boys golf team, qualified to the state tournament as an eighth-grader, but the next two years, life threw a few wrenches in his game plan.

"Last year was a really tough season as I was driving to the first tournament at Jamestown Country Club and got the call I had been quarantined," Walz, a junior for the Jamestown High School golf team, said. "I missed close to every tournament and COVID basically took another season from me."

Walz got back for the 2021 WDA tournament and had a chance to do something as the squad was just a couple of strokes off of making the state tournament as a team.

"That’s something I won’t forget," Walz said. "After that I practiced almost every day all summer long which brought my game to a good place but losing those seniors, always sticks in my head and makes me think what we could have been."

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While the Blue Jays missed out on a team berth at the state tourney back in 2021, it didn't phase him and after months of training, Walz did end up qualifying to the 2022 Class A State Meet. Walz qualified in his first meet out, shooting a seven-over-79.

The junior wrapped up his season Wednesday, shooting a two-round total of 181 at Fargo's Rose Creek Golf Course.

Walz said he didn't have the highest expectations for his junior golf season as the Blue Jays had lost a majority of the top-five players to graduation.

Up until a week before the 2022 golf season was supposed to start, the Blue Jays did not have a head coach. Shawn Taft, the general manager of the Jamestown Country Club, then stepped in and accepted the head coaching position.

Walz said having Taft as a head coach has been a great experience for him and the rest of the Blue Jay squad.

"I’ve known him every since he became to golf pro at Jamestown Country Club," Walz said of Taft. "What he knows about golf is incredible. He is such a big help. The way he knows the steps to take in developing us is great because he has a goal for us and works to progressively get us there. He will certainly be a big help for the next season as well."

Walz had all of 30 days of official competition prior to teeing off at the 2022 Class A State Golf Tournament. The Blue Jays officially kicked off competition on May 7 in Dickinson.

Play was delayed for almost all West Region teams by two weeks due to inclement weather.

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Walz's personal goals for the shortened season was to card below an 85 at every tournament he competed in. While he didn't hit his score every time, he was averaging an 86.5. His best score was a 78, which he shot at the Century-Legacy Invite on May 10.

As a team, the Jays averaged a team score of 353. The team's best score of the season came at the Mandan Invite where the five Blue Jays pulled together to earn a score of 338.

Walz said Taft's challenge to the team was to finish fifth in all of the tournaments the Blue Jays participated in. The Jays accomplished the feat all but two times.

Unfortunately for the Jays, the team's worst score of the season came at the West Region Meet where they scored a 370 to place ninth. Walz said the Jays have a great team chemistry but the balls just weren't bouncing their way at the WDA meet.

It is the top-six finishing teams who advance to the state meet.

The team accomplished a lot but we didn’t accomplish our end goal," Walz said. "We are a solid group and should get it done next year."

The winter weather certainly didn't do the Jays any favors. The original start date for practices was April 16, but Jamestown, along with the rest of the western side of the state, was hit with a blizzard on April 12-14 that delayed play by at least two days as schools were closed an no activities were allowed to practice.

"The winter lasting longer than usual messed with a lot of us being inside so much," Walz said. "My game felt really good when I went to Arizona in March but there was a delay and I never really got back to it."

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Walz said training in the early parts of the season was not very enjoyable as the Jays primarily hit birdie balls in the gym for weeks but Walz added that the time spent inside made the first day out on the course that much better.

"Easton (Romsdal) and I were crazy in school that day itching to get out there because we love golfing for fun together. The rest of the spring was pretty busy once tournaments started. Having so many (meets) a week really took from our practice time but made us get the most out of our time practicing.

"The weather made all of us adapt and take on different schedules than what we were supposed to have which I think brought our team together on the road trips so often."

While he was flying solo on the last road trip of the season, Walz said he is happy to be back at the state tournament for the first time since 2019 and hopes to have the rest of the Blue Jay team in tow next spring.

"I’m already excited to see what our team can do next year as we are all returning and know what is needed to succeed," Walz said. "The team is going to work hard this summer and get into the tournament next year."

Class A Meet, Rose Creek Golf Course, Fargo

June 7-8

Team totals (36 Holes)

1. WF Sheyenne, 294-299-593; 2. Fargo Davies, 294-305-599; 3. GF Red River, 302-313-616; 4. Fargo North, 304-318-622; 5. Century, 307-326-633; 6. Minot, 313-327-640; 7. Fargo Shanley, 325-322-647; 8. GF Central, 314-334-648; 9. Dickinson, 327-336-663; 10. Legacy, 355-346-701; 11. St. Mary's, 355-352-707; 12. Williston, 393-382-775

All-State Finishers

1. Nate Peyerl, WF Sheyenne, 142; 2. Landon Olson, Fargo North, 145; 3. Gabe Benson, Fargo Davies, 146; 4. Andrew Wilhelm, WF Sheyenne, 148; T5. Jake Skarperud, Fargo Shanley, 149; T5. Jayce Johnson, Fargo Davies, 149; T7. Trent Weimken, Fargo Daveis, 150; T7. Skyler Syverson, GF Red River, 150; T9. Evan Booth, Fargo South, 152; T9. Ben Likness, WF Sheyenne, 152.

NDHSCA Class A Boys Golf Senior Athlete of the Year
Jake Skarperud, Fargo Shanley

NDHSCA Class A Boys Golf Coach of the Year
Adam Gronaas, Fargo Davies

Related Topics: JAMESTOWN BLUE JAYSPREP SPORTSBLUE JAYS GOLFGOLF
Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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