Experience was a big factor on the All-Racine County Boys Golf team this spring.
Two members of the first team, Union Grove senior Connor Brown and St. Catherine’s senior Grant Wininger, have been four-year varsity players for their respective schools, and Waterford junior Josh Kozarek has played for three years.
The other two members of the first team, Union Grove senior Nate Koch and Case sophomore Brayden LoPiccolo, have made big improvements over the past two years.
It adds up to a solid first team that may have a familiar look to it.
All five players have been on the All-County team before — Brown, who repeated as Player of the Year, and Koszarek made the first team last year, and the other three were on the second team.
Here are capsule looks at the All-County first team:
SCHOOL: Union Grove
NOTABLE: 38.0 average for nine holes … Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin honorable mention All-State ... GCAW Academic All-State ... first-team All-Southern Lakes Conference ... won WIAA Division 1 Brookfield Central Sectional with a 72 at Wanaki Golf Course in Menomonee Falls ... he matched the 72, his season best, two other times, including at SLC Major Meet No. 3 at Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan, leading the Broncos to a school record team score of 308 ... qualified for the WIAA State Tournament for the third straight year, tying for 12th at 75-76—151 ... led Union Grove to third Racine County Invitational title in four years ... medalist with a 73 in the Chilton Invitational at the Town and Country Course in Sheboygan, a course he’s never played before … won SLC Match Play Tournament at Brighton Dale Links … Brown will attend UW-Eau Claire and try out for the golf team ... Brown holds school records for season scoring average, career average, career pars, birdies and several other records.
QUOTABLE: “Connor was outstanding once again this year,” Broncos coach Eric Swanson said. “He is an incredibly hard worker and deserves a lot of credit for taking his game to the level it is. I am glad that he is going to attempt college golf, as I think he has the talent and drive to have a great college career.”
NOTABLE: 39.1 average for nine holes ... first-team All-Southern Lakes Conference selection ... shot lifetime best 68 at Delbrook Golf Club in Delavan to win SLC Major Meet No. 3 ... finished third in SLC Tournament with a 77 at Brighton Dale Links … shot a 75 during windy conditions on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Haven to finish third at the WIAA Division 1 Sheboygan North Sectional and qualify for the WIAA State Tournament; shot 80-77—157 and tied for 32nd … at state, made a triple bogey on the 13th hole in the first round, but came back with birdie in the second round.
QUOTABLE: “Josh had an overall memorable season with many ups and downs,” said Wolverines coach Paul Koszarek, Josh’s father. “On top of playing a great regular season, he had one of the best rounds of his life at the Irish Course. His hard work paid off in a big way.”
SCHOOL: St. Catherine’s
NOTABLE: 39.4 average for nine holes; named Player of the year in the Metro Classic Conference ... medalist in Metro Classic Conference Tournament with a 1-over-par 73 at Ives Grove Golf Links in Yorkville ... shot a 75 at the WIAA Division 2 Catholic Memorial Regional at The Broadlands in North Prairie, then led Angels to a victory in a team playoff to advance the Angels to sectionals ... medalist in three of the five MCC mini-meets during the season ... won rain-shortened Racine County Invitational at Meadowbrook Country Club, beating Union Grove’s Connor Brown in a one-hole playoff.
QUOTABLE: “Grant has been a confident player throughout his high school years while maintaining his sense of humor,” Angels coach Dave Arkenberg said. “His group always seems to have the most conversation going on.”
SCHOOL: Union Grove
NOTABLE: 39.6 average for nine holes ... Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin Academic All-State ... second-team All-Southern Lakes Conference ... medalist at one SLC Major Meet ... best round of the season was a 73 at SLC Major Meet No. 3 at Delbrook Golf Club in Delavan, helping the Broncos shoot a school record team score of 308 ... shot a 78 at Brookfield Central Sectional to miss qualifying for WIAA State Tournament by two strokes ... Koch will study in the Professional Golf Management program at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.
QUOTABLE: “Nate came into high school with little golf experience and was not a full-time varsity member until his junior year,” Broncos coach Eric Swanson said. “He worked his tail off to become the player he is. His swing is one of the most perfect swings I have seen in a high school player.”
NOTABLE: 42.1 average for nine holes … earned second-team All-Southeast Conference honors … shot 80 to finish fourth at the WIAA Division 1 Marquette Sectional at Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee, missing a trip to the WIAA State Tournament by one stroke … shot 80 in Case Regional at Ives Grove Golf Links in Yorkville to help Eagles advance to the sectional … finished third in the rain-shortened Racine County Invitational at Meadowbrook Country Club with a 41 … shot 78 to finish eighth in the Waukesha West Invitational at The Legend at Merrill Hills … shot team-best 36 to finish second in SEC mini-meet at Bristol Oaks Country Club.
QUOTABLE: “Brayden was very consistent,” Eagles coach Jerry Kupper said. “He also was a team leader as he helped our younger golfers feel more relaxed and helped them improve their games so we could be competitive as a team. Brayden has the drive and work ethic to reach his goals.”