Western Dubuque’s 2019 golf team: front from left, Tomas Nadermann, Jacob Kronlage, Brayden Staner, Kaden Crowley, Nathan Besler, Peyton Kennedy, Nathan Vaske; second row, Davis Stelzer, Aiden Lukes, Cole Bergfeld, Hunter McDermott, Curtis McGrane, Isaac Lenstra, Jax Stelzer; third row, Ben Fett, Masyn Ingles, Carson Siegert, Nolan Vaske, Nathan Althaus, Max Weland, Jude Ludwig, Ashton Pitts; back row, coach Ben Wilson, Carson Schute, Jayden Siegert, Max Naumann, Karson Skrtich, Michael Kraft, Mason Mettert, Casey Perrenoud and assistant coach Josh Lucas.

Western Dubuque, in its second year in the rugged Mississippi Valley Conference, returns seven lettermen for the 2019 season and features two of the top players in the league — brothers Jax and Davis Stelzer.

Jax Stelzer averaged 77.89 per 18-holes as a sophomore last season, and qualified individually for the Class 4A State Tournament where he finished 27th in the rain-shortened event. Davis Stelzer had an outstanding freshman year, and averaged 79 per round.

Coach Ben Wilson, in his sixth year at the helm, looks for his Bobcats to be in the thick of the MVC title chase.

“With two first-team all-MVC players returning, the top of our lineup will be very strong and will compete against the best the state has to offer,” he said. “We will need other guys to step up if we are going to win team events on a regular basis.”

Those other guys are seniors Casey Perrenoud (92.14 average), Nathan Vaske (96.6), and Curtis McGrane (106), plus juniors Max Nauman (89.0) and Karson Skritch (93.83).

Wilson and his players know what it takes to compete at the 4A level and the MVC, and after averaging 331 strokes as a team in 2018, appear ready to take it to the next level.

“With a lot of the most talented players in the league graduating, we should have a chance to be one of the best teams in the league this year,” Wilson said. “We have quite a few guys with good varsity experience and will be ready to compete for league championships.”