A year ago, the North Branch boys golf team finished eighth of ten in the Mississippi 8 Conference after claiming top-half finishes the prior two seasons.
The Vikings return a pair of seniors, Reece Armistead and Joe Fabini. Two ninth-graders, Josh Armistead and Jeremy Iverson, played varsity last year and should contribute again this year.
“The biggest thing for us will be to get our seniors playing well, and make a run at all-conference,” head coach Ryan Meinke said. “The ninth-graders will need to step up, but they have the experience, so that’s good.”
Sophomore Braeden Scanlon is a likely contender to be in the varsity ladder. After that, Meinke says it’s a toss-up.
“I have four or five guys who played JV last year and they’re all really close, so we’ll have to see how it shakes out to finish out the varsity roster.”
Sophomore Quinten Johnson and freshman Braden Weyenberg should also contribute.
The M8 mid-season championship will take place at Bulrush in Rush City May 2, with the end-of-season tournament being hosted by Monticello May 24. In between, the Vikings will play in invitationals in Forest Lake and Cambridge.
The Vikings will contest the Section 7AAA tournament at the Grand National in Hinckley June 1 and 3. Grand Rapids, Andover, Anoka, Chisago Lakes will be among the contenders for the section title.
“There are quite few teams and individuals in the section that’ll be tough,” Meinke said. “We look forward to seeing how we shake out.”
The Vikings will test out the sectional course for the first time April 19.