The South Dakota High School Golf Coaches Association is announcing its Hall of Fame selections for the Inaugural Class of 2019.
Through the support of the South Dakota Golf Association and retired Director Wade Merry, the selections for this very first year are Marvin Bohnet, Hamlin County; Daryl Fletcher, Elk Point-Jefferson; Rod Garrison, O’Gorman; Bill Scholten, Brookings; and Jim Sorensen, Beresford.
Award Presentations will take place June 4th at each high school’s state tournament’s respective site, just before the player awards ceremony.
Before graduating from South Dakota State University, Bill Scholten began his coaching career as an assistant golf coach at SDSU in 1976 at the NCAA Division II level. After graduating from South Dakota State University, Scholten started teaching and coaching in 1977 at Brookings High School and taught and headed both the boys’ and girls’ programs for 40 years – 80 seasons – until his retirement in 2017.
Eleven state championships, nine runners-up finishes, 26 Eastern South Dakota Conference titles and leading the 1998 South Dakota Sportswriters Team of the Year were just some of Coach Scholten’s accolades.
He also had a 62 percent winning percentage for girls and 47 percent for boys out of almost 2,000 meets. Scholten had eight individual medalists and many of his former players have went on to play at the highest levels collegiately, and either work or coach in the sport of golf.
Scholten was the 2003 National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s National High School Golf Coach of the Year; was selected as the SDHSCA’s Golf Coach of the year three times – 1988, 2000, and 2003 – and also coached the S.D. All-Star Golf Team in Aberdeen in 2000.
Scholten was awarded the SDSU’s Ralph Ginn Award for Coaching and is already in the Hall of Fames for the South Dakota High School Coaches Association and the Brookings HS Hall of Fame for Coaching.
His contributions to the game outside of coaching consist of working as a Manager at Brookings Country Club since 1998; has sat on the South Dakota Golf Association’s board of Directors since 2001, where he served as Vice President (2013-2014) and President (2015-2016. He also currently sits on the South Dakota Junior Golf Foundation Board of Directors, since 2001.
Additionally, Coach Scholten has served on the South Dakota High School Coaches Association Board of Directors as Golf’s Sport Executive Secretary for three years and represented Class AA Golf on the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s Advisory Board for another three years. He also was a SDHSAA Tournament Director and Rules Official for numerous state championship.
After gradutating from Black Hills State University in 1975, Bohnet returned to his home in Hazel, S.D., and immediately started teaching and coaching for Hamlin County. At the same time, Coach Bohnet took over the golf program and worked as the head boy’s and girls’ golf coach – beginning in 1975, until his retirement in 2006. All 19 years, he always had a qualifier at the state tournament.
Bohnet had always been a member of the South Dakota High School Coaches Association and because of golf’s exponential growth, he founded the South Dakota High School Golf Coaches Association in 1996; is a Charter Member; and served as Executive Director until 2005.
He was the person responsible for recognizing the Region Coach of the Year with plaques to be awarded at their respective state tournaments.
Bohnet also devised and implemented South Dakota’s All-Star Golf High School Seniors to compete in the Summer Games. He coached for the North in the 1999 inaugural event and became part of the SDHSCA Victory Club in 1999.
Coach “B” was also a member of the National High School Golf Coaches Association and served as South Dakota’s Representative from 2002-2005. He experienced another milestone by attending the National High School Golf Coaches Association’s first ever “Coaching School” in 2003.
Bohnet also served on the South Dakota High School Coach Association Board of Directors as Golf’s Executive Sports Secretary from 1992-2003. He was the SDHSCA President-Elect in 2003 and President in 2004, and continues to serve in the capacity of Past President. He also served on the SDHSAA’s Advisory Board as Class B’s Representative from 1993-1999.
Bohnet was selected by the National Federation’s Coaches Association as Boy’s High School Golf Coach of the Year for South Dakota in 2001. He was a finalist in 2006 as National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s Golf Coach of the Year. He was selected as the SDHSCA Golf Coach of the Year in 1991 and was nominated as region coach of the year several times.
During his tenure, Bohnet accumulated three state team titles (girls in 1987 and 1988; boys in 1991), along with six runners-up team titles. His teams also combined for 18 conference titles, 18 regional championships and multitudes of invitationals and duals. Individually, he coached 11 individual state champions.
But, one of Bohnet’s most impressive stats is how his girls had a streak of seven individual state champion in a row (1986-1992). His contributions to the game are simple – he dedicated his time to teaching adult education classes for golf after school in the spring and in the evenings during the summer. He was always available for kids and mentored juniors in their youth programs.
Garrison started coaching golf in Clark, S.D., from 1974 to 1975, and then, became the assistant girls’ coach for Sioux Falls O’Gorman in 1984; and took the head girls’ coaching position in 1985. In 2000, while still the head girl’s coach, he became the assistant boys’ coach for two years. Finally, in 2002, Garrison became the head coach for both programs through the 2014-2015 school year, which equates into a total of 49 seasons of coaching high school golf in South Dakota.
As an alumnus of USDS, Garrison has a total of 46 years of coaching and 43 years of teaching. He also attended five national high school coaching conferences and was previously selected as The NFCAs Midwest Section Golf Coach of the Year and the NHSACA’s Golf Coach of the Year.
Garrison served on the SDHSAA’s Golf Advisory Board for two terms and was presented the SDHSAA’s Distinguished Service Award. He is a lifetime member of the SDHSCA – served as president in 2008 – and has been previously selected as the SDHSCA Golf Coach of the year and SDHSCA Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year.
Garrison also served as the Executive Director of the SDHSGCA numerous years. Coach Grizz has so many accolades they are hard to fathom – between both the boys and the girls, he has won numerous duals, 29 conference titles and 17 state championships.
He started a youth golf tour called the Sioux Empire Jr. Challenge, which he ran for 18 years and gave out over $50,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors who played in those events. He still promotes youth golf and fitness today as a charter employee of Great Life.
Garrison is already in four Hall of Fames – NHSACA, SDHSCA, South Dakota High School Football Coaches Association and O’Gorman High School.
Many of Rod’s players have found success in golf while coaching in major colleges, to playing on the tour professionally.
After graduating from Dakota State University, Daryl Fletcher started teaching and coaching at Elk Point in 1973, continued through their consolidation with Jefferson in 1994, and retired in 2007. During his thirty-four years, he coached many different sports, but he always at the helm of both the boys’ and girls’ programs.
Six state championships, four runners-up finishes and six individual titles are all attributed to Fletcher, plus over 300 duals, 15 region titles and numerous invitationals and conference wins. Many of his players went on to play collegiately or coach and work in the sport of golf.
Fletcher was selected three times as the SDHSCA Golf Coach of the Year and was nominated several other times. he was also nominated four times as the National High School Golf Coach of the Year and was a finalist in 1999. He is already in the SDHSCA Hall of Fame and the Dakota State University Hall of Fame.
Fletcher worked closely with the City of Elk Point, where he ran and directed their summer recreation program and for 28 years, he volunteered to coach junior golf. He led fundraisers for his school’s booster club, served 25 years on the Board of Directors for The Point Golf Club, and was instrumental in building their new golf center. He was also the men’s league president for several years.
“Fletch” is also a lifetime member of the SDHSCA; attended decades worth of local conventions; and was President in 1997-98. He was also a member of the SDHSGCA and was Executive Director in 1996-97.
In 1966, after graduating from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Jim Sorensen spent his first year in Franklin, Minn., as the head boys’ basketball coach. From 1967-70, he moved to Beresford, S.D., to take the head boys’ and girls’ golf position and was the assistant boys’ basketball coach.
His love for basketball took him to Tri-Valley for the head boys’ position, but Coach Sorensen returned a year later to fill both the head boys’ basketball and the head boys’ and girls’ golf program.
Sorenson continued at the helm of the Beresford program until he retired in 2005, but came out of retirement for the boys’ program in 2010 and remained head boys until 2014.
Sorensen is one of just a couple coaches to have ever coached under the one-class (1967-73), two-class (1974-2000) and three-class systems (2001-05 and 2010-15). He started coaching before girls’ golf was offered in South Dakota (1969).
Over his 44-year career, Sorenson has 12 state championships, 11 runners-up finishes, 29 Region championships, 20 conference championships, along with too many invitational and dual victories to count.
“Zorney” also had six individual state medalists and seven second-place finishes. Many of his former player have went on to play and work in the game of golf, and at one time, his son Jon coached the Watchdogs.
Sorensen was a four-time SDHSCA Coach of the Year (1979, 1980, 1995 and 2002); is a member of the SDHSCA and the NHSACA. Coach Sorensen was also selected to Coach the S.D. All-Star Golf team for the South in 2003.
He has already been inducted into the NHSCACA Golf Hall of Fame, Basketball Coaches Hall of Shrine, SDHSAA Distinguished Service Award, the SDHSCA Hall of Fame, the SDHSCA Hall of Excellence, and the Beresford High School Hall of Fame.
His contributions to the game outside of coaching consists of working closely with the The Bridge’s Board of Directors in Beresford for their new course design and their events center, which opened in 2006.
Sorenson is also a prominent player and is a former SDGA Champion. He also volunteers to coach the Beresford Summer Youth Program and has helped numerous patrons with golf instruction.
Sorenson also served as the SDHSCA for golf’s Executive Sports Secretary and as the SDHSAA Class B Representative on the Advisory Committee from 1984-1990.