Game On - Spring 2024

lineup throughout his high school years and is looking to push through into individual contention during his senior campaign. Wilson played in the No. 5 or 6 spot for the Tigers throughout the 2023 season and saved his finest play for the final 36 holes. And both have spent plenty of time over the past 10 months improving every aspect of their games. “Zach has put in tremendous work,” Lester said. “Knowing you’ve been there and done that, sometimes it’s hard to re- peat. But with him being sixth (in the lineup in 2023), he

knows he’s got a little ways to go. “For Joey, it’s just going out and doing it. His confidence around short shots has not al- ways been there, so he’s worked a lot around the greens and he’s talked to different pros to help him out.” If every returning player can shave a stroke or two off their 2023 averages, Gilbert should be right in the thick of things again. And who will be its biggest competitors? You don’t have to look much further than right in its own backyard.

Raccoon River Conference rival ADM was right behind the Tigers at the league and state tournaments, and returns its en- tire 2023 roster intact this spring. Returning state runner- up Knoxville and sixth-place fin- isher Waverly-Shell Rock join Gilbert with five returners, and fifth-place finisher Solon brings back three players. MOC-Floyd Valley, which owned Veenker en route to the 3A team title in 2023, only re- turns one player. Also back is Washington’s Roman Roth, which claimed the individual crown by a whopping 10 strokes. Can Gilbert content with all of these talented teams toward the end of May? “I think so,” Lester said. “ADM will be tough and we’ll run into them at conference.” To prepare for the postsea- son, Gilbert has continued to ramp up its schedule. The Tigers will play a number of 18- hole tournaments on the tough- est of tracks, such as Blue Top Ridge Golf Course near River- side, and Lester’s crew should see many of the strongest teams in 3A throughout the sea- son. “Back in the day, the only 18- hole tournament we played was conference before sectionals, but I’ve tried to work our sched- ule over the last four or five years to try to give us that com-



Joey Currans

Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr.

Ian Roske

Zach Wilson Avery Dolan

Henry Gustafson

Reid Jones Eli Roske

Carter Winter Ryan Lynch Hudson White Logan Youngberg Isaac Brown Brody Hague John Hales Tyler Weber Davis Cowan Mason Griffin Kyler Grooters Tommy McGuire Easton Van Cleave Joshua Baldwin Taylor Dukes Elliott Dyche Grant Johnson Connor Mattson Nick Hock James Speck

Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Jr.

So. So. So. So. So. So. Fr. Fr.

Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr.

Cody Puck John Spiker

Mason Wibholm Landon Witek Gray Woodin


Zach Wilson, a senior, was perhaps a surprise medal winner at the 2023 state tournament. He won’t be a surprise to anyone this spring.

30 GAME ON | SPRING 2024

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