Golfers to watchBarrington: Reena Sulkar (So), Shivani Majmudar (So.), Allie Quinn (So.), Bailee McDonald (Sr.)
Buffalo Grove: Haeri Lee (Fr.), Emily Carnes (Jr.), Stacy Mantas (Sr.), Jasmine Yi (Fr.)
Conant: Carly Bryeans (Sr.), Megan Nagorzanski (Jr.)
Elk Grove: Erin Walz (Sr.), Sarah Hartness (Sr.)
Fremd: Jaehee Hur (Jr.), Sophia Metallo (Jr), So.), Haezi Jung (Jr.), Kelly O'Sullivan (Sr.).
Hersey: Lexi Heidkamp (Jr.), Megan Kopeny (So.), Ashley Johnstone (Sr.), Becky Anderson (Sr.)
Hoffman Estates: Aashna Singh (Sr.), Haenah Kikm (Sr.), Maeve Prusnick (Sr.)
Maine West: Kasia Dzul (Sr.), Renee Adam (Jr.), Kiera Theys (Sr.)
Palatine: Jennifer Myslinsky (Fr.), Hannah Colbrook (Sr.), Julia Proctor (Sr.), Maddie Jones (Jr.), Stephanie Becker (Jr.)
Prospect: Isabella Flack (Sr.), Kacie O'Donnell (Sr),
Rolling Meadows: Lauren Hattory (Sr.)
Schaumburg: Gianna Fanelli (Sr.), Yumi Otsu (Jr.), Christina Kim (Jr.), Jennifer Capello (FR.), Trinity Corwin (Fr.)
St. Viator: Paige Patano, Susie Carlson, Madison McAteer, Micayla Shevlin
Mid-Suburban League outlook: As it looks to defend six straight Mid-Suburban league championships, Prospect returns seniors Isabella Flack and Kacie O'Donnell for their seniors seasons. Flack has played on the Knights state championship teams in 2011 and 2013 and runnerup in 2012 while O'Donnell was a member of last year's squad and the 2012 state runner-up. Last year's state title gave Prospect High School its sixth overall and Hamann's teams have the only ones for girls sports. "We had a super fun summer with our girls," said Hamann, now in his tenth season. "Everyone improved throughout and it is really fun to watch them improve on a weekly basis." After Flack and O'Donnell, Hammann said the rest of the lineup is wide open. "I am sure things will play themselves out through August and September," he said. "I am very proud of all of our players. We just need to keep having fun improving and we need to find our leaders." Hamann is confident that the girls' scores will go down throughout the season and years. "We have some new stories to write," he said. "Our graduating classes of 2012, 2013, 2014 were all dazzling stories from start to finish. We are so proud of all of our alumni and we are excited about our current and future players. The main goals of Prospect Girls Golf are to create unique opportunities and give all players the best experience possible." Buffalo Grove and Fremd have already shown they are ready to compete with invite titles in the first week. Fremd was a 10-stroke winner at the Barrington Invite on Monday. The Vikings placed second to Prospect in the MSL meet last fall and return four of their top six from that squad, including juniors Jaehee Hur, Haezi Jung and Sophia Metallo along with senior Kelly O'Sullivan. Hur's 77 at Bonnie-Dundee on Monday was a personal best. "I think we will be competitive again," said Fremd coach Christine Vlaming who took over the program in 2008. "There are a lot of great teams in our conference so we'll see how things shake out. Our girls worked hard over the summer, We have some very talented players so we'll see how well they'll do this fall." On Monday of this week, coach Matt Myer's Buffalo Grove team won its first Early Bird Invite in his eight seasons directing the program. Freshman Haeri Lee was impressive in her debut, carding a 77 to lead BG to its 339 score. Freshman Jasmine Yi then led the Bison on Tuesday with a 43 for nine holes in a dual meet win over Stevenson. Junior Emily Carnes and senior Stacy Mantas complete a solid Bison top four. Barrington Hall of Fame coach Jodi Schoeck begins her 28th season with one of her younger teams. Among her top players are three sophomores -- Reena Sulkar, Shivani Majmudar and Allie Quinn. Sulkar fired a tourney-record 68 when she earned medalist honors at the Barrington Invite on Monday. Senior Bailee McDonald also returns with experience. "It's one of my younger teams," Schoeck said. "We missed state by 1 stroke last year so the girls were motivated to put in a lot of time and hard work. There is great team chemistry and I think it will be a fun season." Schoeck was the 2009 National High School Coach of the year and has guided the Fillies to 11 MSL titles (four straight from 2004 to 2007), 12 regional crowns and nine appearances in the state finals, including third in 1996. Hersey coach Dan Vesper begins his second season with a pair of returning sectional qualifiers in junior Lexi Heidkamp and sophomore Megan Kopeny. "We are a very young team, but the girls are so talented," he said. "Lexi and Megan Kopeny will lead the way." Returning seniors Ashley Johnstone and Becky Anderson will add experience and more leadership. "There are a bunch of sophomores who are going to contribute throughout the season and over the next few years," Vesper added. "The future is bright," said Palatine coach Bill LePage who welcomes a freshman, Jennifer Myslinsky, to his varsity roster for the first time in his four seasons. Myslinsky, also a basketball and softball player, shot the Pirates' second-best score at the Early Bird Invite behind teammate Maddie Jones.
Road Warriors: Prospect will not have the services of its home course this season. The Mt. Prospect Golf Club is closed as the course gets some work done. "We are very excited about the renovations," said Knights coach Jim Hamann, whose 2013 team, led by Division I standouts Noreen Caporusso, Kiley Walsh and Ally Saccia, is among the best in state history. It won every tournament it played and shot the lowest 36-hole score at the state tourney at Hickory Point in Decatur. "Of course, we miss being there (Mt Prospect Golf Club) this season, but we know that the new MPGC is going to be fantastic. We can not wait to get back there."
Hamann said the Knights are thankful for the hospitality that golf pro Joe Bridges and his staff at Buffalo Grove Golf Club have provided.
"We are very lucky to call Buffalo Grove Golf Club home this season," Hamann said. "Prospect is also thankful for the open arms that the Buffalo Grove boys and girls golf teams have shown.
"We plan to communicate weekly about our practice plans so that we can all get done what is needed."
Prospect will play all its matches as the visiting team except when it hosts the Knights Invite at The Bridges of Poplar Creek on Saturday and the Knights JV Invite on Sept. 20.
"Head golf professional Brian Bechtold (at Poplar Creek) is a friend of mine and I asked him if we could host at his course this season," Hamann said. "Brian and the Hoffman Estates Park District are very happy to have our tournaments this season. They are always supportive of junior golf."
The Knights obviously are facing some adversity by not having a home course.
"But we have had great support from everyone to help plan a terrific fall for these girls," said the 10-year veteran Hamann, who is 96-3 in the Mid-Suburban League since taking over the program in 2005. The last MSL loss for the Knights was to Barrington in the fall of 2007. The Knights have gone 66-0 in the last six conference seasons.
St. Viator update: It's a new scenario for Lions coach Mick Drewes. After his team was led by four seniors last fall, including Illinois recruit and state qualifier Dana Gattone, this season finds some new faces picking up the slack. Paige Patano, Susie Carlson, Madison McAteer and Micayla Shevlin return with varsity experience. "We will need help from three new juniors, Nicole Bellazzini, Catherine Hafner and Gianna Parise," Drewes said. "This year we have very little experience but we are all looking forward to the challenge of getting better every day."
-- John Leusch