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Prep newsmaker: Virginia's Sederlund leads Blue Devils to state golf meet

Andrew Sederlund will lead the Virginia boys golf team to the state tournament. (Contributed photo)

At first glance, one might think there are few similarities between a golfer and a hockey goalie.

One plays on grass, the other on ice. One tries to sink shots, the other to stop them.

But Virginia senior Andrew Sederlund said years of playing goalie have paid dividends on the golf course, helping develop his cool demeanor.

Sederlund leads the Blue Devils boys golf team into the Minnesota Class AA state tournament today and Wednesday at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, Minn.

Sederlund was an eighth-grader on Virginia’s team that took third at the 2010 state tournament.

“Andrew has progressed nicely since then. He is our leader, without a doubt,” Virginia golf coach Kerry Bidle said. “He is just completely calm. You’d never know if he had a quadruple bogey or an eagle on the previous hole. He’d have the same attitude either way. He is just very level-headed.”

Besides playing goalie, Sederlund credited his grandfather, Arnie Niemi, for his laid-back and upbeat approach. Either way, it translates well to golf.

For every time a goalie gives up a goal, he can’t get rattled and has to move on, just like a golfer can’t dwell on a bad shot.

“As soon as you start thinking about your score too much, that’s when you don’t focus like you should,” Sederlund said.

Sederlund, who works at Virginia Golf Course, has focused on his putting the past year and shot a low round of 68 earlier this season.

The Class AA field, minus a couple perennial favorites, is considered wide open. The Blue Devils believe they have as good a chance as anyone this week at Sand Creek. That is especially the case if they play the way they did on the second day of the Section 7AA meet May 29 at Pokegama Golf Course in Grand Rapids.

With the top four factoring into the team score, Virginia shot a 16-over 300 on the second day to overtake first-day leader Hermantown to win by eight strokes.

“It was a perfect day for us,” Sederlund said. “We really couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

Sederlund finished with a two-day total of 3-over-par 145 to earn medalist honors. Classmate Alex Lackner was five shots back to finish as runner-up. Seniors Louie Judnick and Cole Jensen, sophomore Anthony Ahrens and eighth-grader Jacob Peterson round out the team.

Sederlund finished 21st as an individual last year but is looking forward to having his teammates at Sand Creek this year to lend support.

“It is so much more fun to make it as a team,” Sederlund said.

Sederlund credited Dan Bidle, Kerry’s son, for showing him how to be a leader. Dan Bidle just finished his four-year playing career at NCAA Division I Western Illinois.

“Dan was the best, there wasn’t a better role model than him,” Sederlund said. “We’re still in touch. Any time you call him up, he’s always right there for you. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago when I was the eighth-grader on the team, and he was the senior captain. It goes by fast.”

Sederlund hopes to slow things down a tad this week, take his time and play the best golf of his career. While he plans on attending St. Scholastica, which doesn’t have golf, he hopes the administration can be persuaded into adding the sport. Or a strong showing this week could bring other opportunities.

Either way, he plans on approaching life the same way: on an even keel.

Andrew Sederlund file Prep status: Virginia senior

Age: 18

Sports: Golf, hockey

GPA: 3.7

School activities: Band, drumline

Family: Father, Harold; mother, Tammy; sister, Stephanie, 15

Pets: Rosie, a Golden Retriever; Princess, a cat

Plans: Attend St. Scholastica and study physical therapy