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updated: 8/18/2017 10:44 PM

Boys golf: Scouting Lake County

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  • Vernon Hills player Brian Favia tees off on the first hole during the Class 2A Vernon Hills regional at White Deer Run Golf Course last season.

      Vernon Hills player Brian Favia tees off on the first hole during the Class 2A Vernon Hills regional at White Deer Run Golf Course last season.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Karl Tolentino watches a tee shot during the North Suburban Conference meet at Willow Glen last fall.

      Warren's Karl Tolentino watches a tee shot during the North Suburban Conference meet at Willow Glen last fall.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

ANTIOCH

Coach: Andrew Benton (third season)

Last season: fourth in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, seventh in Class 2A Vernon Hills regional

Returning golfers: Alex Riedel (Jr.), Tony Sertic (Jr.), Trevor Gregory (Jr.)

Newcomers: Nick Gagnon (Jr.), Connor Szwajkowski (Sr.), Sean Fleming (Sr.)

Season outlook: The Sequoits have three juniors with varsity experience and have added three newcomers. Juniors Alex Riedel and Tony Sertic have teed it up on varsity since they were freshmen. "(Assistant) Coach (Trey) Hickey and I are excited to see who is going to step up to give us our fourth score," coach Andrew Benton said. "We look forward to a fun and successful season."

CARMEL

Coach: Jim Nolan (36th season)

Last season: second in East Suburban Catholic Conference tournament, second in Class 2A Vernon Hills regional, first in St. Viator sectional, fourth in state tournament

Returning golfers: James Lentino (Sr.), Harrison Jensen (Sr.), Evan Schaefer (Sr.), Michael Pelfresne (Jr.), Colin Roos (Jr.), Ben Roberts (Jr.), James Hamlin (Sr.)

Newcomers: Evan Myer (Jr.)

Season outlook: The Corsairs' reward for winning a Class 2A sectional last year and then placing fourth in the state? They were kicked up to Class 3A this season. "We hope to make some hay," coach Jim Nolan said. The Corsairs figure to make things exciting again, despite the loss of state runner-up Tyler Anderson, who signed a letter of intent with Loyola University in June. Will Roberts and Jack Herron also graduated but back with state experience are seniors Evan Schaefer and James Lentino and junior Michael Pelfresne. "We hope to be strong," Nolan said.

GRANT

Coach: John Eiduke (18th season)

Last season: sixth in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, eighth in Class 3A Lake Forest regional

Returning golfers: Nathan Gladfelter (Jr.), Mason Hernden (Sr.), Chase Maifield (Sr.), Michael Sullivan (Sr.), Ben Truss (Jr.)

Newcomers: Harrison Goldberg (Jr.), Bryce Mandala (Jr.), Micah McClard (Jr.), Zach Schumacher (Jr.), Cody Stubner (Jr.), David Lokietko (Fr.)

Season outlook: The Bulldogs begin the season with many golfers who gained experience last year. Juniors Nathan Gladfelter and Ben Truss were both on varsity as sophomores. Coach John Eiduke has a freshman, David Lokietko, on the this season's roster. "Hopefully our returning players and our newcomers we will be able to focus on the challenges at hand, maintain that focus and take one shot at a time," Eiduke said. "If we can do that, we will make progress and have a fun season."

GRAYSLAKE CENTRAL

Coach: Jim Mazzetta (eighth season)

Last season: first in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, fifth in Class 2A Vernon Hills regional

Returning golfers: Tyler Hanson (Sr.), Alec Novak (Sr.), Michael Sisk (Sr.), Zach Wichlin (Sr.), Nate Twardock (Jr.)

Newcomers: Jack Fortmann (Sr.), Brendan Kick (Jr.), Gianni Luchessi (Fr.)

Season outlook: The Rams return a pair of sectional qualifiers in seniors Alec Novak and Tyler Hanson, while senior Michael Sisk won medalist honors in the inaugural Northern Lake County Conference tournament after shooting an 82 at Shepherd's Crook. The Rams won the NLCC championship. Sisk is playing his fourth season on varsity. "Hopefully we can continue to build on our past success," coach Jim Mazzetta said, "and achieve some of the goals the kids have set for themselves this season."

GRAYSLAKE NORTH

Coach: Tim Hough (11th season)

Last season: second in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, sixth in Class 3A Lake Forest regional

Returning golfers: Lane Getka (Sr.), Brian Szramek (Sr.), Dylan Rowder (Sr.)

Newcomers: Chris Ambrose (Sr.), Adam Calhoun (Jr.), Kyle Bosshart (Jr.), Michael Harrison (So.)

Season outlook: The Knights lost four of their top five golfers from a season ago, and only three Knights -- seniors Lane Getka, Brian Szramek and Dylan Rowder -- come into this season with any varsity experience. Said coach Tim Hough: "It is a hardworking group that is looking to improve their individual games."

LAKES

Coach: Kyle Naughton (fifth season)

Last season: fifth in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, sixth in Class 2A Vernon Hills regional

Returning golfers: Brad Bies (Jr.), Adam Nuxoll (Sr.), Logan McCann (Sr.), Jayden Medina (So.)

Newcomers: Chance Andell (So.)

Season outlook: The Eagles have three guys who can "go pretty low," coach Kyle Naughton said. Senior Adam Nuxoll has been working hard since March, Naughton added, and advanced to sectionals last fall. Junior Brad Bies missed the sectional cut by one stroke, leaving a putt on the edge on No. 18. "Adam and Brad worked really hard all summer long," Naughton said. "They were great about bringing out other guys from the team. They played in quite a few tournaments as well. (Senior Logan) McCann is going to be a key player for us as well. In terms of expectations, we want to see everybody's scoring averages drop and their putting averages to drop. Most of our goals are really process-based and not really outcome-based. There's a lot of parity for golf in the NLCC, so we know it's going to boil down to who is working harder."

LAKE ZURICH

Coach: Terry Geoghegan (11th season)

Last season: fourth in North Suburban Conference tournament, seventh in Class 3A Barrington regional

Returning golfers: Konnor Kininmonth (Sr.)

Newcomers: Ryan Czabaj (Jr.), Alex Rosenbaum (Jr.)

Season outlook: The Bears lost quite a few seniors, so they're looking for juniors and seniors to step up and fill the void, coach Terry Geoghegan said. "To be competitive this year, we will need to improve our consistency," Geoghegan said. "We have the talent to play well and put up some low scores. The issue is whether we can do it with consistency. We have good leadership that can build a tight group and support each other during the up and downs of the long season."

LIBERTYVILLE

Coach: Sean Matthews (13th season)

Last season: sixth in North Suburban Conference tournament, fourth in Class 3A Lake Forest regional

Returning golfers: Mitch Kenston (Sr.), Derek Calamari (Jr.), Carson Darnell (So.)

Newcomers: Nate Sanderson (Sr.), John Richardson (Sr.), Steve Suk (Sr.), Bruce Jahncke (So.), James Schmidt (So.)

Season outlook: Senior Mitch Kenston, junior Derek Calamari and sophomore Carson Darnell all qualified for sectionals last fall, and Calamari along with the since-graduated Michael Watt made it to state. "We have a very close group of players that seem to get along extremely well," coach Sean Matthews said. "They have high/positive expectations of themselves and the team. ... I'm looking forward to a great season and, as coaches, we're hoping for good weather."

MUNDELEIN

Coach: Todd Parola

Last season: third in North Suburban Conference tournament, second in Class 3A Lake Forest regional, first in Machesney Park Harlem sectional, 11th in state tournament

Returning golfers: Josh Peterson (Jr.), Colin Wade (So.), Colin Geary (Sr.), Christian Loar (Sr.)

Newcomers: Tanner Anderson (So.), Parker Geary (So.), Trevor Neumaier (Jr.)

Season outlook: Coming off their first appearance at state, the Mustangs are in rebuild mode. They graduated Ryan Magee (Loyola University), Tyler White, Zach Zentz and Brett Parola. Magee, White and Parola were all four-year varsity golfers, while Zentz teed it up on varsity for three seasons. Junior Josh Peterson and sophomore Colin Wade contributed on the Mustangs' sectional-winning team last fall. Said coach Todd Parola: "Very young team looking to improve and be playing our best at the end of the year."

STEVENSON

Coach: John Rueth (17th season)

Last season: second in North Suburban Conference tournament, first in Class 3A Barrington regional, fifth in Machesney Park Harlem sectional

Returning golfers: Jackson Bussell (Jr.), Mark Noonan (Jr.), Alex Kim (Jr.)

Newcomers: Conan Pan (Fr.), Billy Fishbein (Fr.)

Season outlook: With the junior trio of Jackson Bussell, Mark Noonan and Alex Kim, coach John Rueth says he knows his Patriots can "contend at a high level in every event." Bussell was a member of the Patriots team that advanced downstate in 2015. The Patriots graduated James Dvorak and Kevin Chin. "Our expectation is to continue to improve our mental capabilities and handle pressure situations throughout the season," Rueth said. "Also, another goal is to grow as a team and learn to enjoy the process of getting better as a team together. Without question, our main goal is to qualify for the state finals in Bloomington."

VERNON HILLS

Coach: Shawn Healey (18th season)

Last season: first in Class 2A Vernon Hills regional, second in St. Viator sectional, third in state tournament

Returning golfers: Brian Favia (Sr.), Joey Levitan (Jr.), Sujay Voleti (Jr.), Brendan Wise (Jr.), Rohan Vasudeva (So.)

Newcomers: Greg Tow (Jr.), Gavin Gilfand (Fr.)

Season outlook: Coming off a third-place finish in Class 2A, the Cougars graduated only one senior, but Justin Park was a big loss as he took fourth at state. Senior Brian Favia has been a varsity starter since his freshman year. Favia (27th place), junior Brendan Wise, sophomore Rohan Vasudeva, junior Sujay Voleti and junior Joey Levitan all teed it up at state last year. "The boys have worked tirelessly over the spring and summer," said coach Shawn Healey, whose Cougars took fourth in the state in 2015 and ninth in 2014. "We hope to be competitive in the always challenging CSL North and are looking forward to another chance to advance to the state tournament."

WARREN

Coach: Mike Wittes (20th season)

Last season: fifth in North Suburban Conference tournament, third in Class 3A Lake Forest regional, eighth in Machesney Park Harlem sectional

Returning golfers: Karl Tolentino (Sr.), Ray Cordova (Sr.), Blake Leeper (Sr.), Clark Anderson (Sr.), Tanner Steffy (Sr.)

Newcomers: Reid Calvert (Jr.), Kevin Borbath (So.), Steffen Nerhiem (So.)

Season outlook: The Blue Devils welcome back seniors Ray Cordova and Karl Tolentino off last year's sectional-qualifying squad. Tolentino has been on varsity since his freshman year, while Cordova is playing his third season on varsity. "Looking to improve during the year and be competitive in each match," coach Mike Wittes said. "Hope to compete for a sectional berth at regionals."

WAUCONDA

Coach: Sara Flanigan (first season)

Last season: third in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, eighth in Class 2A Vernon Hills regional

Returning golfers: Matt O'Brien (Sr.), Matt Szmajda (Jr.)

Newcomers: Joshua Chapnick (Jr.), Michael Herbst (Fr.), Caitlin Hriljac (Fr.), Joe Hutson (So.), Jake Miller (Fr.), Maxwell Poduch (Sr.), Jack Proeschel (Fr.), Bryce Sims (Fr.), Collin Smith (Fr.), Domenick Valice (So.), Jarrett Williams (So.)

Season outlook: Sara Flanigan, who's in her 11th season in the program, is filling the head-coaching position this fall while longtime coach Lee Oler takes a leave of absence. Tim Bartusch will assist her. "We are a young team," Flanigan said of a squad that consists of 2 seniors, 2 juniors, 2 sophomores and 7 freshmen. Senior Matt O'Brien and junior Matt Szmajda are the Bulldogs' top returning golfers. Szmajda earned a sectional berth last season along with John Herbst, who graduated. "Team goals are to improve from week to week," Flanigan said, "shaving a few strokes from their personal scores at each match."

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