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updated: 9/3/2014 8:35 PM

Gavin, Kavanagh power a Prospect win

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By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent

Dave Krzepicki, a staff member at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club, said recent renovations at the course have made it "in great shape for optimal scoring."

Prospect seniors Grant Gavin and Jack Kavanagh would almost assuredly agree.

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The Knights teammates both fired 38 Wednesday as Prospect (160) outpointed Buffalo Grove (172) and Conant (173) in an extremely competitive early Mid-Suburban League match.

"I like the way our team has been playing," said Gavin. "A lot of people have been stepping up and taking on their roles."

Prospect, MSL champions and state tournament qualifiers last year, improved to 5-1 on the conference season.

"It was tough today the way the pins were set up," added Gavin, "and it was pretty windy. I didn't feel like I played my best, but my teammates played very well."

Another golfer who wasn't intimidated by the Hoffman Estates layout was freshman Kevin Andjulis of the host Cougars, who shot 44.

Andjulis competed in "about 15" IJGA tourneys over the summer, and also stated that he played Poplar Creek "every day for a week" leading up to Conant tryouts this year.

"Kevin's short game is exceptional," said Cougars coach Marty Kulak, "and he's getting stronger off the tee, but what I'm most impressed about is his work ethic. He's going to be an incredible golfer."

Andjulis got his first set of clubs just three short years ago, but has made great strides in a short time, especially during the summer when he says he "improved a ton."

Being a frosh, he's also had to spend time learning the ropes of high school life in addition to fitting in on the golf team.

"It's been great so far," said Andjulis, who also wrestles and plays baseball. "It's been a little difficult to adjust because all of the homework I'm getting makes it tough to get practice time in, but I love high school and I'm very happy I made the team."

BG was able to take one win on the day thanks to the efforts of Mike De Salvo, who carded a 39.

De Salvo, who helped the Bison become co-MSL East champs in 2013 and also qualified for sectionals, said that he likes the look of his team again this year.

"We lost a few great seniors (to graduation)," said De Salvo, "but we've got some good players this year who are ready to step in. With the competition we have on this team I feel like we could finish top two in conference."

Connor Burhop (41), Brendan Ward (45) and Josh Lehrfeld (47) scored for BG, which improved to 3-3 in the league, while junior Chris Blaha excelled for Conant by shooting 40.

TJ Swan shot 42 for the winning Knights, while Jon Branch, Johnny Bruno and Joey Dellanina all contributed with 44s for a team that is "building off of last year's state appearance," according to Kavanagh.

Prospect finished 7th in state in 2013.

"It was so much fun down there (in Bloomington) last season," said Kavanagh. "We definitely want to get back this year. I spent a lot of time over the summer playing to try to impress college coaches, but now that the high school season has started I'm back to what I love – playing high school golf."

"When you're having fun on the course," added Gavin, "you know things are going well."

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