Rob Prentiss was as blunt as usual on Monday afternoon at Bartlett Hills Golf Course.
"I think if you were to ask the guys they would say that they have not played up to their potential this year," Prentiss said.
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With the meat-and-potatoes portion of the boys golf season rapidly approaching, the North Stars picked an opportune time to win their first invitational of the fall.
Matt Samuelson fired a 4-over-par 75 in Bartlett to headline three St. Charles North players in the top eight as the North Stars edged Upstate Eight Conference crossover rival South Elgin by 4 shots.
"I played really well," said Samuelson, whose anchor score enabled St. Charles North to post a 313 team total. "I was 4-over on my first five holes and played the rest of the course at even par."
Geneva and Lake Park had identical scores on all five scorecards to share third place at 321, followed by Larkin (322), Bartlett (331), Neuqua Valley (337), West Aurora (340), Hoffman Estates (342), Dundee-Crown (369), Streamwood (388) and host Elgin, which did not have a team score.
Raghav Cherala and JT Grill fired rounds of 77 and 78 to augment Samuelson, and Anthony Butire turned in an 83 to cement the North Stars' team total.
"We kind of expect those kinds of things from Raghav, Matt and JT," Prentiss said. "We can be pretty good when those three play well."
Geneva, the Upstate Eight Conference River Division leader, was led by Alex Schreiber with a 77.
Brett Hassels' 79, an 80 from Mac Feehan and Nate Desens' 85 closed out the Vikings' scores.
West Aurora is still in search of an identity after firing a 342.
"We shot about what we usually shoot," West Aurora coach Jay Bauer said. "We're a low-to-mid-80s shooting team. We don't have anyone who is going to shoot par, or under par. I have 10 guys who pretty much shoot the same score. We're going to have a tough row to hoe (at the DuPage Valley Conference tournament and Class 3A Hinsdale South regional) the next few weeks."
The Blackhawks' four counting scores came from Mike Golich (83), Daniel Waters (83), Daniel Newsome (86) and Adam Spooner (88).
South Elgin used local knowledge to give St. Charles North a run for its money.
Devin Meredith earned medalist honors with a 3-over 74, and Andrew Dylo was a shot behind to claim third place for the Storm.
"I started off (fourth hole in the shotgun start) really hot," Meredith said. "I was 3-under through my first eight holes. I cooled off a little bit from there. I am definitely happy with this (score)."
It was the first 18-hole championship for the Storm senior.
Dylo echoed a familiar refrain in characterizing his play.
"Keeping the ball in the fairway -- that's the biggest key to (playing well on) this course."
Tyler Brown and Kevin Kenney also authored contributing scores for South Elgin.
"It's their home course," South Elgin coach Jay Bartholomew said. "They should shoot well -- and they did. It's nice to see some of your kids medal, take home some hardware."
Larkin senior Tyler Kalusa had the defining shot of the tournament.
Kalusa aced the fifth hole with a 9-iron.
"We all thought it was short (of the pin)," Kalusa said of the reaction of his playing companions. "We got up to the green, and (Hoffman Estates') David (Rohlfing) was like, 'Dude, just check the hole.' This is my second. My other was at Mill Creek last year."
"I was having a great time with my group," said Rohlfing, who led Hoffman Estates' cause with a 79.
The Kalusa ace was part of a 77-shot effort that led the Royals, who also received scoring contributions from Dan Lenz, Jack McCracken and Drew Jones.
Cody Lewis' 79 led Bartlett, while Jeremy Gregory (83), Chase Pantle (86) and Jimmy Stearns had the same respective distinction for Dundee-Crown, Streamwood and Elgin.
The host Maroons could not field a full team as six team members did not wish to miss school.
"They're better students than they are golfers," Elgin coach Andy LaScala said.
Lake Park had John Duggan as its standard-bearer with a fifth-place 77.
"I felt strong,' Duggan said. "I felt like I could do things I needed to do under the circumstances of the conditions today."
Joe Palandri claimed the final top-10 slot for the Lancers with a 79, and Lake Park also had Gunnar Barlund and Jack Milikan in its scoring mix.
Neuqua Valley had a disappointing showing as Brett Gray was the lone member of its five-player contingent to break 80.
Will VanAlsburg, Masson Rippel and Ian Langton were the other score-counting players for the Wildcats.
Hoffman Estates' Rohlfing was one of four players to card a 77 under the brilliantly clear conditions.
The senior, playing as the fifth man in the lineup, was declared sixth individually after the scorecard playoff.
"I like to be No. 5," Rohlfing said. "That (score) would be my best-ever (in an 18-hole tournament). Everything was going well."
"David is very capable of shooting that type of score on a regular basis," Hoffman coach Bob Coakley said. "It's nice to see him rewarded. He's been working really hard."
The Hawks' Jon D'Amico, Brandon Harris and Matt DeCarlo posted almost identical scores to complete the team scorecard.