Top teams: Hinsdale Central, Naperville North, Benet, Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North, Glenbard South, Naperville Central, Metea Valley.
Top athletes: Addison Trail: Matt Piotrowski, sr.; Nick Sammarco, jr., Tom Stuhr, jr., Zack Vaca, jr.; Benet: Alex Bassetto, soph., J.J. VanEekren, sr., Frank Ferconio, sr., Joe Minik, sr.; Downers Grove North: Carter Bernier, sr., Nathan Eisenhut, sr., Tristan Leger, sr., MJ Thompson, sr.; Downers Grove South: Trent Caraher, soph., Mark Kasanoff, sr., Jack Korzon, sr., Jason Krupa, sr.; Fenton: Sebastian Dobon, jr., Mike Perry, jr., Brady Pugliese, jr., Victor Sanchez; Glenbard East: Ben Cartwright, jr., Nick Knowles, jr., Ben Symonds, jr., Nick Symonds, jr.; Glenbard North: Nick Brady, soph., Sahil Patel, fr., Ben Pauling, sr., Kyle Tintera, soph.; Glenbard South: Chris Dufort, soph., Russell Matos, soph., Kevin Uvodich, jr., Michael Wittenberg, jr.; Glenbard West: Michael Anderson, jr., Drew Carlson, sr., Will Hanson, sr., Kevin Nelson, sr.; Hinsdale Central: Brian Dolehide, jr., Grant Filer, sr., Kenneth Li, soph., Tom Olson, sr., Brendan O'Reilly, fr., Jeff Yoo., sr.; Hinsdale South: Caleb Jiles, jr., Pat Ormiston, sr., Brian Strumillo, sr., Jordan Urbanick, jr.; Immaculate Conception: Anthony Clementi, jr., Max Faut, sr., Grant Hennessy, sr.; Lake Park: Gunnar Barlund, sr., John Duggan, jr., Jack Millikan, sr., Joe Palandri, jr.; Lisle: Connor Bielat, jr., Colin Huebner, sr., Trevor Stitt, jr., George Swedie, sr.; Metea Valley: Jeremy Forbes, jr.; Connor Labedz, jr., David Lipan, jr., Jacob Peterson, sr.; Montini: Eddie Fitzgerald, sr., Alex Keefe, sr., Ryan Mullins, sr., Tommy Vivirito, sr.; Naperville Central: Ciaran Conroy, jr., Scott Dunsire, sr., Uzair Khan, jr., Sean Morris, sr.; Naperville North: Griffin Brown, jr., Michael Doherty, sr., Josh Harrington, jr., Kurt Krejci, jr.; Neuqua Valley: Anders Nelson, sr., Jimmy Roach, jr., Drew Rousches, jr., Will Van Alsburg, jr.; St. Francis: Dan Mochel, sr., Jonathan Nocek, soph., John Stolte, sr., Dan Zurawski, sr.; Waubonsie Valley: Austin Connell, sr., Conrad Esch, soph., Jason Marrs, sr., Nathan Martahan, fr., Zach Mayer, sr.; West Chicago: Ryan Orr, sr., Dino Parducci, sr., Jake Schauer, sr., Nick Tomei, sr.; Wheaton Academy: Grant Gosden, soph., Zack Spear, jr., Bobby Teevans, sr.; Wheaton North: Ben Shadid, jr., Michael Suazo, jr., Charlie Vasbinder, jr., Matt Winkelmann, jr.; Wheaton Warrenville South: Bryan Campbell, sr., Bailey Dahlquist, jr., Tommy Dale, jr., Will Denman, sr., Will Kelly, sr., Christian Westgaard, sr.; Willowbrook: Mark Fratto, sr., Matt Gasiamis, sr., Mike Malito, sr.
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Outlook: There is one stark storyline heading into the boys golf season.
The area produced the two best teams at the rain-shortened Class 3A tournament last year. Hinsdale Central captured its first team state title in more than 50 years as five-time defending DuPage Valley Conference champion Naperville North settled for runner-up.
There could not be more contrasting differences the two programs this season.
Hinsdale Central, in a case of the rich becoming wealthier, not only welcomes four state-hardened veterans but also has one of the most promising freshman in recent memory in O'Reilly, who won the Illinois state amateur last summer as an eighth-grader.
Naperville North, which has won 34 consecutive dual matches in the DuPage Valley, lost five seniors last season. Doherty is the lone member to return this fall. But there is no need to feel sorry for the Huskies.
"The (new guys on varsity) are looking to put their stamp on the program," Naperville North coach Ryan Hantak said. "They are waiting for their swings."
Hinsdale Central coach Jess Krueger has an entirely different agenda this fall.
"They can't get complacent," Kruger said of the treacherous pitfalls that await the Devils in the nails-tough West Suburban Silver.
"They can compete with anybody," Krueger said of two-time top-three and league rival Lyons Twp. "I'm going to move (O'Reilly) around in the lineup. When (O'Reilly) gets to the end of the season, he will be at the top. He and Theo (Lederhausen) are the best freshmen I have ever had."
Neuqua Valley is in a similar mode to Naperville North. Like their neighboring school, the Wildcats are a returning state qualifier with a single returning varsity member. Bart Carbonneau takes over for Spike Grosshuesch, the only coach in program history.
"We were very solid at the frosh-soph level last year," Carbonneau said. "(Jimmy Roach, the one returning state qualifier) is the most veteran player on our team by far. I think a conference title is a realistic goal."
Sister-school Waubonsie Valley presents a formidable roadblock in the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division. The Warriors will look to senior Marrs to lead their program.
The DuPage Valley, on the other hand, has many contenders nipping at Naperville North. Wheaton Warrenville South broke 300 earlier this week in winning the 21-team Geneva Invitational, and Wheaton North coach Mike Pribaz has 11 juniors on his squad.
"Naperville North is still the team to beat (in the DVC)," Pribaz said.
The league will welcome Lake Park as its newest member this fall.
"We're just going from one competitive golf conference to another competitive golf conference," Lake Park coach Dan Batka said. "It's going to be a challenge. We're going to have to score well in order to compete."
In the murderous West Suburban divisions, Hinsdale South, behind returning state qualifier Strumillo, looks to add its recent success against longtime power Downers South.
In the Silver, Glenbard West coach Paul Hezlett has a senior-dominated lineup to knock heads with Hinsdale Central and Lyons Twp. Fenton and Glenbard South are two of the more intriguing local possibilities in the Metro Suburban.
Dobon made the state field for the Bison in their first year as a Class 3A program, while the Raiders have three returning starters from a Class 2A qualifier from last season. Glenbard South will attempt a return trip to Bloomington behind sophomore Matos, whose under-par performance Thursday at Geneva led the Raiders to an exceptional 300 team score.
Wheaton Academy has its own pedigree in the middle division of the three-class state tournament, and the Warriors, with St. Francis not far behind, should vie with Marmion for supremacy in the Suburban Christian Conference.
Among returning state qualifiers, DuPage Valley Conference members Dunsire (Naperville Central) and Suazo (Wheaton North) are top contenders for central Illinois come October. WW South senior Kelly has the proper bloodlines as he is the younger sibling of multiple state qualifier Tee-K, now playing in the Big Ten at Ohio State.
Key dates: Aug. 31, Buffalo Grove Invite; Aug. 31, Fenton Invite; Aug. 31. St. Viator Invite; Sept. 7, Batavia Invite; Sept. 14, Providence Catholic Invite; Sept. 18, Aurora City Tournament; Sept. 21, Wheeling Invite; Sept. 28, Hinsdale Central Invite; Week of Sept. 30, Conference championships; Oct. 5, Lake Park Invite.
-- Kevin McGavin