Bartlett-South Elgin-Streamwood co-opCoach: Bret Anderson
Top returning golfers: Senior Katie Kirby (South Elgin), junior Kristie Toondarack (Streamwood), sophomores Brynn Warrick (South Elgin), Tegan Pompa (South Elgin), Molly Mehta (South Elgin)
Outlook: Mehta returns with the lowest 9-hole average from last year, though among the five returners, the spread in averages is just more than 3 strokes. "This is a really positive group," said Anderson. "They want to get better, and they accept coaching and are willing to try the various changes I want them to make, even if they initially struggle. I'm optimistic for this season. Our core group appears to be on the verge of really 'getting it.' I think we will be much improved by the end of the year." Anderson has been impressed with Toondarack's swing, in particular. "Kristie has a technically sound/repeatable swing," he said.
Burlington CentralCoach: Thomas Davies
2013 finish: Third place Big Northern Conference
Top returning golfers: Senior Alyssa Mish (captain), juniors Josie Kurosky (captain), Melanie Cooke, sophomores Kendra Graham, Emma Pieroni
Key newcomers: Freshmen Carli Niesel, Camryn Marach
Outlook: The Rockets had one of their strongest years in program history in 2013. The team advanced to the sectional for the first time. Gone from that team is standout Jenna Kurosky, who broke many Central records, was a regional medalist and earned the program's first Division I golf scholarship. Her sister, Josie, will lead the charge this year. "Josie is primed to challenge her older sister's records," said Davies. "Josie seems primed for a solid year after narrowly missing qualifying for state the past two seasons. We're all looking forward to watching Josie's game continue to grow." The coach sees a lot of potential with this group. "From Day 1, this group has been all smiles and dedication. We've come a long way as a team in the past few years -- from a team merely gaining experience to a team expecting to compete every time we walk onto the course and that stems primarily from the girls' dedication during the summer to ready themselves for the beginning of the year. Even though we're pretty young, our potential talent is exciting. If we clean up some of the little things, we certainly could have an exciting season. Our aggregate team score, by season's end, may even be better than last year with the continued development of our young players. I'm hoping to compete all season and have at least one girl qualify for state." Davies feels the Rockets can again be a player in the BNC. "We've transitioned from one of the poorer teams in regards to performance to scratching the surface of a conference championship-caliber team," he said. "I'm hoping all the girls' hard work pays off with a conference championship in early October."
Crystal Lake Co-OpCoach: Kathy Speaker
2013 finish: Fox Valley Conference champions
Top returning golfers: Seniors Larisa Luloff (Cary-Grove), Emily Jean (Cary-Grove), junior Lauren Kalamaras (Cary-Grove)
Key newcomers: Junior Brittany Reid (Cary-Grove), sophomore Megan Selby (Crystal Lake South), freshman Rylie Schurter (Crystal Lake Central)
Outlook: The District 155 co-op team is coming off a 2013 season where it took fifth in the state and graduated standout Lexi Harkins placed 10th individually. "We would really like to return to the state tournament, but it will depend on how well we replace the four varsity seniors we lost last year," said Speaker. "I like this group's work ethic. They've played all summer. I also like their attitudes. They are enthusiastic about golf and enjoy playing whenever they can." Speaker said the squad also would like to repeat as county and conference champions." Jean and Luloff are four-year varsity veterans. "Emily and Larisa have state experience and work very hard at their game. With them, we are looking to repeat as conference champions."
Dundee-CrownCoaches: Laurie Herb, Emma Ageneau
2013 finish: Sixth place Fox Valley Conference
Top returning golfers: Seniors Madelin Hunsberger, Brooke Hayes, junior Kylie Kost, sophomores Micki Frey, Leah Anderson, Catherine Johnson
Key newcomer: Brittany Mueller
Outlook: The Chargers lost a good chunk of players from last year due to graduation. "We are rebuilding. We lost many seniors last year," said Herb. "Our outlook is to improve on last year's season." Kost, D-C's top player, last year returns, as do four-year players Hunsberger and Hayes. Herb also has been pleased with Frey's play so far. "Micki is playing very well and is one to watch this year," said Herb. Ageneau replaces longtime co-coach Robin Jeffers, who retired.
HuntleyCoach: Ann Christiansen
2013 finish: 7-1, Second place Fox Valley Conference
Top returning golfers: Senior Gillian Young, junior Lexi Lowitzki, sophomore Caroline Giorgi
Key newcomers: Sophomores Nicole Gordus, Molly Danca, freshman Katie Weidner
Outlook: While the Red Raiders lost a lot of seniors to graduation, the cupboards are far from bare. "It's sort of a rebuilding year, but we have 22 girls and we kept all of them. There is a lot of potential," said Christiansen. "I think we still can be competitive. We're a young team with a lot of depth. It's a great group that wants to improve and wants to do well. I think we will give teams a run for their money." Young shot a 39 in a MCJGA event over the summer, while Gorecki logged a top 10 finish at the recent Huntley invitational.
Jacobs-Hampshire co-opCoach: Megan Placko
2013 finish: Fourth place Fox Valley Conference
Top returning golfers: Juniors Sydney Goll (Jacobs), Julia Beaugureau (Jacobs), sophomores Nicole Durben (Jacobs), Carly Sidor (Jacobs), Jennifer LaGear (Jacobs), Stephanie Fiorentino (Jacobs).
Outlook: Goll, the team's MVP as a sophomore, was a sectional qualifier and shot a career-best number at the sectional meet. This year's team features 20 golfers (13 from Jacobs and 7 from Hampshire). "For the second year in a row we have a very large team," said Placko. "We have 20 girls, which will bring a lot of competition for playing spots." Placko has seen improvement with the group. "I am really excited to have a chance to count four scores under 50 at every meet," she said. "Some of my girls have practiced hard over the summer to improve their games. As a team, our meet goal is to count four scores under 50 and for 18-hole tournaments, count four scores under 100. We are looking to improve our conference place from a year ago. We have a bunch of girls that can step up this year and be leaders of this team."
St. EdwardCoach: Alan Anastacio
Top golfers: Senior Ryann Scully, junior Abrianna Schuers, freshman Jordan Mattas
Outlook: Anastacio is in his first season as the Green Wave's coach. He inherits a team that includes returning state qualifier Scully. "We have a young team that is working hard to get better," he said. "We should have a decent year with three girls having a chance to make it to state." Scully is a three-sport athlete at St. Edward. She also plays varsity basketball and softball. St. Edward will compete in the expanded Metro Suburban Conference. The Green Wave are one of seven new teams in the league.
Editor's note: The Elgin-Larkin co-op team failed to respond with information for this preview.