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Golf: Calverley, Bomber boys break through

The Barnum boys golf team won the boys team brought home the Section 7A runner-up trophy, from left: senior Sam Godbout, senior Lucas Koecher, senior Trevor Houck, junior Brandon Calverley, freshman Isaac Konu and sophomore Dawson Collelo. Photo courtesy Brent Donaldson

Brandon Calverley has always been a good golfer, but this spring, the Barnum junior had a little extra motivation.

That's because Calverley's uncle, Bob Calverley, died over the winter after a long battle with leukemia.

"He dedicated his golf season to him," said Barnum coach Brent Donaldson, now in his second year.

And not only did Calverley qualify for his first Class A state meet, but he helped pace the Barnum boys to Section 7A runners-up Thursday, May 24, at a soggy Virginia Golf Course — the highest finish for the Bombers since their program resurrected from the early 1980s back in 2012.

"I can't tell you how happy I am for Brandon," Donaldson said. "I know his uncle would be extremely proud."

Calverley scored a two-day total of 178 — good for 11th overall and the fifth individual state-qualifying spot.

The Bombers posted a dual-day team total of 746 — 108 strokes behind 7A champion North Woods at a blistering 638.

"After the first nine holes on day one, it was party over," Donaldson admitted. "All of us coaches looked at each other and said we were playing for second."

And it wasn't easy.

Barnum led by just seven strokes after Wednesday, May 23, and after an almost three-hour rain delay to begin Thursday, May 24, held just a two-stroke advantage at the turn on day two, with only nine holes remaining.

The Bombers flexed their muscle on the back nine — despite another 45-minute rain delay — staving off third-place Braham by 11 strokes, at 757.

Despite the wet weather, no rain could dampen the moment that ensued, as the team received their runner-up plaque.

Donaldson noted for his three seniors — Lucas Koecher, Trevor Houck and Sam Godbout — the moment was special.

"I was so happy for them to put a trophy in the trophy case," said Donaldson, whose team's home course is 29 Pines in Mahtowa. "I'm blessed to be able to coach these kids."

The state tournament is June 11-13 at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.