Stellan Orvick first picked up a golf club when he was 5 years old, his exposure to the sport coming through his best friend.
This month, the Washburn High School 10th-grader became the first Minneapolis Public Schools male golfer to make the Minnesota State High School League golf tournament in nine years.
Orvick took third in the Class 3, Section 6 tournament May 31 and June 4 at Ridges of Sand Creek in Jordan to earn a state-tournament berth. The Diamond Lake neighborhood resident was second out of 63 golfers after the first round of the tournament and was one of 11 golfers in the tournament to make state.
“I had a good mindset going in,” Orvick said June 6 before a practice round at Hiawatha Golf Course. “I was really confident about my swing.”
Orvick said he began playing in The First Tee of the Twin Cities program when he was about 9 years old and that he began competing in tournaments around age 12. He started playing on the Washburn team as an eighth-grader, noting that he didn’t know he could play as a seventh-grader.
Orvick said he wasn’t close to making state as an eighth- or ninth-grader but that he’s improved each year. He has won the Minneapolis City Conference championship each of the past two years and said he was confident heading into this year’s section tournament.
“I just felt my swing the whole time,'” he said.
Orvick started his first section round with three straight pars before scoring a triple bogey on his fourth hole. He rallied with a par save on his fifth hole and subsequently scored back-to-back birdies, eventually finishing the round with a 1-under-par 71.
Orvick shot a 6-over-par 78 in his second round, bogeying his final two holes but still qualifying for state. He said he’s feeling good going into the state tournament, which runs June 12–13 at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids.
Washburn coach Sean Keir, a social studies teacher at Southwest High School, said he was confident that Orvick was in a good position mentally heading into the section tournament. He noted the effort Orvick has put into practicing and the maturity and tenacity he showed to make state.
“I can’t say enough about the maturity that it takes, especially as a sophomore, to do that,” Keir said.
Orvick, who lives about a mile from Hiawatha, said his ultimate goal is to play collegiate golf. He plans on playing in multiple junior golf tournaments this summer and said he will try out for the Minnesota State Open Championship.
Orvick is the first MPS male golfer to play in the state high school league golf tournament since South’s Yarri Bryn finished tied for 11th in 2009. A Southwest High School female golfer made the tournament in 2015 and finished 27th. No MPS student has won the tournament in over 50 years.