June 10, 2024 at 12:40 p.m.


By John Dalton

The fourth time was a charm for Mineral Point as the Point golf team returned to the State Tournament and won its first-ever State Tournament in Division 3 by twenty strokes over Chetek-Weyerhaeuser at Blackwolf Run playing the par 72 Meadow Valley course.  

The two-day, 36-hole event was shortened to 27 holes as rain hampered Monday’s round and only nine holes could be played.  Drew Aschliman led the Pointers shooting a 27-hole total of 118.  He also placed in the top six of the top individuals.  Logan Weissinger of Durand-Arkansaw was Medalist shooting a 113. 

Alex Ross was one stroke behind Aschliman shooting 119, Eli Lindsey shot 121, Reid Acherman 125, and senior Spencer Workman shot 136.  

The weather was a factor on both days.  Players were called off the course at 2:00 p.m. Monday after most had just teed off.  After an over two-hour rain delay, the WIAA decided to shorten Monday’s round to nine holes.  When they resumed those nine holes at 4:30 p.m., they played in a steady rain.  But Mineral Point looked at the forecast and was prepared.

“I saw Saturday was going to be a downpour so I told the kids we were going out to hit balls in the rain.  They each just hit a bucket of balls, but I told the guys to get used to it as there is a potential weather issue up here on Monday,” said Head Coach Cory Sokol following the tournament.  “I don’t want to be the team that blames it on the weather.  There’s always going to be an outside factor in golf, and the little things of how to keep things dry, slowing things down a little bit, it played a huge part in us getting out to a 12-stroke lead after day one.”

Tuesday conditions were just the opposite of Monday with humid conditions, temperatures were in the mid-70s and the wind picked up considerably throughout the day.  Players started on the back nine of the Meadows course and finished on the front nine.  

Mineral Point had an 18-stroke lead midway through that back nine start but on the par-3, 15th hole, Ross, playing in the number two role, quadrupled the hole, and right behind him on the par-4, 14th hole, Lindsey, playing in the number one role, doubled the hole and the lead was back to only twelve.   But what these golfers have done all year, they did not panic.  Ross birdied the next hole and Lindsey parred and all was back to normal.  

Said Sokol, “The only inkling I had when it could have gone south was when Alex made that 7 on fifteen.  Things felt like they were rolling along pretty well.  We were sticking to our game plan.  I said if we can average 41 on the back nine that’s a 164 and a really good score for any division.  It’s the hardest nine out here.  Which is why they use it to host all their USGA events.  So when he hit that 7 and Eli doubled at the same time, we went from being up 18 to only up 12 strokes.  So I was a little worried, but this team has done a great job of forgetting about the last shot.”

For three of these team members, Ross, Lindsey, and Aschliman, the victory was ultra-sweet as these three were on the Mineral Point basketball team that won the Division 3 state title back in March at the Kohl Center.  

For Ross, a senior on the team, he said, “The whole year just seems unreal.  To do this with Drew and Eli who were also on the basketball team, we all just think this is awesome.”  Ross will be attending The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point next year to play golf.  

Aschliman, who is only a sophomore, said, “It feels great to win two gold balls already, and now hopefully adding to it the next couple of years.  Eli and Alex are good leaders and it worked out for us.”

Said Lindsey, a junior, “It’s definitely a great feeling, and we’re going to be chasing two more state titles next year.  Just trying to savor the moment right now.  But this is great, not only for us but for the whole town of Mineral Point.  I’ll remember this year for a long time!”

And according to Sokol, he expects to be back in the state tournament consistently.  “We’re striving to win a state title every year.  We’re fortunate enough to be coming here the last four years and now it’s time to take it over the top and look forward to the future.”

For an emotional Sokol, today was not only his Mom’s birthday but also his wedding anniversary.  “I can’t forget my wife’s anniversary today.  I love her and we have two of the best kids and she allows me to take all this time off to coach.  I called her this morning and wished her a happy anniversary and I told her I hoped the time was worth it, and it was,” he said.  

For sights, sounds, interviews, and images of Mineral Point’s state tournament, check out The Democrat or The Chronicle's Facebook page.