Northwest/ Boys golf season preview

Updated 8/19/2011 6:09 PM
  • All-conference returnee J.P. Talbot has Barrington poised for another big Mid-Suburban League season.

      All-conference returnee J.P. Talbot has Barrington poised for another big Mid-Suburban League season. Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Senior Mike Stathakis is another of Barrington's all-conference returnees.

      Senior Mike Stathakis is another of Barrington's all-conference returnees. Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

By Bill Esbrook

Daily Herald Correspondent

Here's a look at area boys golf teams for the 2011 season, which began at Monday's kickoff Rolling Green Invitational in Arlington Heights, and continues all the way through Oct. 14-15, where the year will conclude with the state tournament in Bloomington.

Mid-Suburban East

Prospect was the East champion in 2010, and looks to continue its success behind senior Ryan Kowalski, who placed third at the MSL tournament last year and also qualified as an individual for sectionals. The Knights also have all-conference junior Jeff Blethen, who just missed a sectional berth last year after falling in a four-man regional playoff. Elk Grove is counting on junior Ryan White (sectional qualifier) and strong seniors Dan Guido and Michael Fox. Hersey has already been a model of consistency this season, as seniors Ryan Krebs, Kyle Magnuson and Jake Wendell, and juniors Grant Manno, Matt Hausmann and Nick Starkman all shot in the low 80s at the challenging Rolling Green course.

Dan Wojtowicz, a talented junior who has a great shot at advancing to state, and senior Travis Reents will lead Rolling Meadows to some low scores. Buffalo Grove will be without Doug Ghim, who finished third in state as a freshman in 2010 but chose not to play prep golf this season. The Bison still return experienced players in seniors Ari Kazan, Alex Padilla, Joey Byrne, Brad Kazmierczak and Aaron Feld. Wheeling is poised to have one of its finest seasons as senior Michael Taylor (two-time all conference winner) and juniors Jack Ferguson (state qualifier as a freshman) and Zack Nauert (all conference as a frosh) return.

Mid-Suburban West

It should be another in a string of successful seasons for Barrington, which was undefeated in the MSL last season and won the overall league title. All MSL-selections in seniors Michael Stathakis, JP Talbot and Taylor Ganzer and junior Greg Conrad return for the Broncos, who won seven tournaments in 2010. Schaumburg will be competitive with Nick Brandt, a senior who finished second at last year's regional, and Matt Kozlowski, another upperclassman who excelled in the postseason. Hoffman Estates looks for an improved campaign behind seniors Gabe Alvelo, Kevin Clemment, Chris Thimm and Jack Fabbrini.

Fremd boasts perhaps two of the state's top golfers in junior Zach Isoda and sophomore Josh Rosenzweig. The Vikings were the only local team to advance to last season's state tournament and they also won the Dundee-Crown invitational. Palatine looks for continued success with seniors Kyle Chisholm and Joe DeSario leading the way and expects good things from juniors Matt Lynch and Will Baumgartner and freshman Tom Broders. Conant, which advanced a team to sectionals for the first time in 20 years in 2010, lost a great group of players to graduation but looks to excel behind seniors Josh Yoo, Kyle Weiner, and Ben Suchomski and juniors Ryan Bailey, Ryan Curran and Zach Piepho.

East Suburban Catholic

St. Viator surprisingly did not advance to state in 2010 after an incredible three-year state championship run but is already off to a strong start this year, taking home the third-place trophy at Rolling Green led by a medal-winning 75 by senior Frank Travaglio. Four-year varsity player and team captain Pat Scheutz (team captain) will also make a big contribution.

Central Suburban North

Maine West comes in to this year's campaign off a school-record 13 wins, led by 2010 individual sectional qualifiers in junior Tom Kukec and seniors Kyle O'Connell and Tim Burchard.

West Suburban Gold:

Leyden looks for a move up the division ranks with three stellar returning juniors in Patrick Barnett, Kyle Acevedo, and Cody Hankins.

What the coaches are saying

"We believe our depth is our strength this year and any of our top five players are capable of sub-70 tournament rounds." -- Fremd coach Josh Teschner.

"It's our goal to continue to get better each week, compete with the top half of our conference, qualify as a team for sectionals or have

multiple individual qualifiers." -- Maine West coach Michael Godlewski.

"We finished fifth as a team in the MSL last season, and I'm excited for this season. I expect us to at least maintain that position or possibly move up into the top three." -- Palatine coach Mark Johnson.