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EAGLE -- The Beatrice boys golf team were able to sneak into state with a third place finish in the B-3 District on Tuesday.

The Orangemen finished ahead of Norris by three strokes to claim the coveted third spot in the team standings.

Beatrice finished with a team score of 357. York won the team championship with a score of 338 while Aurora finished second with a score of 350.

Beatrice Coach Dick Start said his team improved 13 strokes on the back nine, which allowed them to make up the ground they needed to. After the first nine, Beatrice not only trailed Norris, but also fifth place finishing Northwest.

"We played well on the back nine," Stuart said. "Caleb (McKernan) really came back strong with a 43 on the back nine and both Graham (Southwick) and Andrew (Paquette) really gave us a chance by shooting a 40 on the back nine."

Once again, it was Graham Southwick that led the way for Beatrice. His score of 82 was good enough for a tie for fifth place.

"Graham was pretty steady," Stuart said. "He had just one bad hole, but came back with a birdie and a par and after that, he had nothing more than bogey. With weather like we had today, the team that grinds all the way to the end will finish in the top three."

Andrew Paquette was also able to earn a top 10 finish with a score of 83.

"Andrew got off to a really good start and got himself into contention," Stuart said. "He then played well on the back. He probably had a few more shots than he wanted on the last few holes, but all and all, he had a great day, especially with him just being a sophomore."

Rounding out the Beatrice scoring was Caleb McKernan with a 95, Kaden Strubel with a 97 and Trenton Jurgens with a 100.

"Caleb played much better on the back nine after he relaxed a little," Stuart said. "After the front nine, I more or less told him it was probably time to shape up, or his high school golf career might end. I'm really proud of how he found a way to get it done."

Stuart said Strubel's 97 was big for the Orangemen.

"His three shots were the difference between us being in a playoff and qualifying for state," Stuart said. "We weren't scared of a playoff, but it's always nice when you can take care of business without a playoff."

Stuart said Jurgens had a rough time early, but also played better on the back nine.

"Even if Caden's score hadn't been what it was, we still would have been in a playoff with Trenton's score," Stuart said. "Trenton's last 11 holes were good, we just have to get him to play better the first seven."

Fairbury qualified one golfer for state. Justin Peterson's score of 81 was good enough for fourth place individually.

Norris also got one player into state. Carson Ellerbrake finished with an 85, which tied him for 10th place.

Aurora's Caleb Badura won the individual district title with a score of 76 while Seward's Tyler Welch finished second with a 76 and Yorks' Reed Malleck finished third with a 79.

The NSAA Class B State Golf Tournament is scheduled for Mady 23 and 24 at Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln.


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