Boys golf: Scouting Lake County

  • Antioch's Alex Riedel, who won the Class 2A regional at Midlane last year, is back for his fourth varsity season.

    Antioch's Alex Riedel, who won the Class 2A regional at Midlane last year, is back for his fourth varsity season. Daily Herald photo

  • Stevenson's Jackson Bussell, the defending Class 3A state medalist, returns for his senior season.

      Stevenson's Jackson Bussell, the defending Class 3A state medalist, returns for his senior season. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

ANTIOCH

Coach: Andrew Benton (fourth season)

Last season: sixth in Class 2A Lakes regional

Returning golfers: Alex Riedel (Sr.), Tony Sertic (Sr.), Trevor Gregory (Sr.), Nick Gagnon (Sr.)

Newcomers: Niall Schoenfelder (Jr.), Max Palmieri (Jr.), Gavin Eldridge (Jr.), Kyle Christian (Jr.)

Season outlook: The Sequoits boast a strong senior class that includes senior Alex Riedel, who won the Class 2A Lakes regional at Midlane Country Club last fall. Riedel and Tony Sertic are four-year varsity golfers. Fellow senior Trevor Gregory is playing his third varsity campaign. "The 2018 season looks promising," coach Andrew Benton said. "Very exciting times for Antioch High School golf."

CARMEL

Coach: Jim Nolan (37th season)

Last season: first in East Suburban Catholic Conference, second in Class 3A Zion-Benton regional, fifth in Warren sectional

Returning golfers: Michael Pelfresne (Sr.), Ben Roberts (Sr.), Colin Roos (Sr.)

Newcomers: Tino Alivia (Sr.), Ryan Hogan (So.), Alex Streit (So.), Clint Bailes (So.)

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Season outlook: Led by medalist Michael Pelfresne, the Corsairs captured the ESCC tournament championship on their home course, Pine Meadow, last fall. Pelfresne also qualified for the Class 3A state tournament and returns for his senior season. Evan Myers transferred back to Glenbrook North for his senior year, after tying for eighth at state last fall. "Michael is the leader of our team and so is Ben Roberts," coach Jim Nolan said. "They both play out at Ivanhoe (Country Club). We have a tournament coming up at Ivanhoe in a couple of weeks, so hopefully they can use their local knowledge to their advantage." Pelfresne, Roberts and Colin Roos were all up as sophomores two years ago. Sophomore newcomers Ryan Hogan, Alex Streit and Clint Bailes are vying for starting spots. Joliet Catholic Academy hosts the ESCC tournament at Wedgewood Golf Course in Plainfield. "That will be a shootout, as always," Nolan said. "(St.) Viator and Benet (Academy) are always strong."

GRANT

Coach: John Eiduke (19th season)

Last season: eighth in Class 3A Zion-Benton regional

Returning golfers: Nathan Gladfelter (Sr.), David Lokietko (So.), Micah McClard (Sr.), Cody Stubner (Sr.), Ben Truss (Sr.)

Newcomers: Sam Acevedo (Sr.), Harrison Goldberg (Sr.), Bryce Mandala (Sr.), Ryan Scimeca (Sr.)

Season outlook: The Bulldogs boast many golfers who gained experience last year. Seniors Nathan Gladfelter and Ben Truss are playing their third season on varsity, and David Lokietko made the squad as a freshman last year. "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," coach John Eiduke said. "If we can do that, we will make progress and have a fun season."

GRAYSLAKE CENTRAL

Coach: Jim Mazzetta (ninth season)

Last season: first in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, third in Class 2A Lakes regional, sixth in Grayslake Central sectional

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Returning golfers: Gianni Lucchesi (So.), Brendan Kick (Sr.), Nate Twardock (Sr.)

Newcomers: Jack Bank (Jr.), Cameron Mussay (Jr.), Kollin Wardin (Jr.), Keegan Fitzgerald (So.), Brendan Whalen (Fr.)

Season outlook: The Rams earned a berth in their own Class 2A sectional last year and advanced Michael Sisk and Tyler Hanson to state. Sisk successfully defended his title in the NLCC tournament. Both Sisk and Hanson graduated, but sophomore Gianni Luchessi and senior Brendan Kick were members of the sectional-qualifying squad. "We are a very young team," coach Jim Mazzetta said, "and will strive to gain experience and improve as the season goes on."

GRAYSLAKE NORTH

Coach: Tim Hough (12th season)

Last season: eighth in Class 2A Lakes regional

Returning golfers: Adam Calhoun (Sr.), Kyle Bosshart (Sr.), Erubiel Avila (Jr.), Tommy Marshall (Jr.), Michael Harrison (Jr.)

Newcomers: Ray Larson (Sr.), Jimmy Straten (Sr.), Garrett Zaba (Sr.)

Season outlook: The Knights are due a Member's bounce or two. "We lost several matches last year by 1 stroke so we are hoping to pull out some of those close matches this year," coach Tim Hough said. "We do have players with varsity experience this year so hopefully that will help us in those close matches."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

LAKES

Coach: Kyle Naughton (sixth season)

Last season: second in Northern Lake County Conference tournament, fifth in Class 2A Lakes regional

Returning golfers: Brad Bies (Sr.), Jayden Medina (Jr.), Chance Andell (Jr.)

Newcomers: Evan Bendall (Jr.), Easton Wiechert (Jr.)

Season outlook: The Eagles bring back two sectional qualifiers in Chance Andell and Brad Bies. Bies, a senior, missed the sectional cut by 1 stroke his sophomore year. "Brad played a full IJGA schedule this summer and has been putting in a lot of work on his wedges, so he will definitely be the guy who sets the tone for us this year," coach Kyle Naughton said. Like Andell, Jayden Medina returns for his junior season. "Jayden also put a lot of time in this summer as well," Naughton said. "At summer camp it looked like he added about 15 yards to every club. We certainly have potential, but there's a lot of parity in the conference. (Grayslake) Central is always tough. Antioch has a good senior class as well. But even our matches against Wauconda and (Grayslake) North last year came down to one or two strokes. Ultimately, it seems like our success is going to come down to our varsity (Nos.) 5 and 6 this year. We will be searching for that fourth score."

LAKE ZURICH

Coach: Terry Geoghegan (12th season)

Last season: fourth in North Suburban Conference tournament, eighth in Class 3A Fremd regional

Returning golfers: Jason Czabaj (Sr.), Alec Rosenbaum (Sr.)

Newcomers: Evan Bajerski (Jr.), Gavin Consdorf (Jr.), Ryan Selby (Jr.), Jake Michalak (Fr.)

Season outlook: Coach Terry Geoghegan says the Bears have experience, talent and great leadership at the top of their lineup. "I will be leaning on (seniors) Alec (Rosenbaum) and Jason (Czabaj) to help nurture the rest of the squad and provide the day-to-day leadership during practice to lift our squad's game to the next level," said Geoghegan, whose Bears graduated state-qualifier Konnor Kininmonth. "The rest of the team conversely can see the type of commitment that Jason and Alec have put in over the last 10 months and the positive influence it has had on their play. If the rest of the team can see the benefits of the commitment in their own game, our growth as a team will parallel that commitment."

LIBERTYVILLE

Coach: Sean Matthews (14th season)

Last season: fifth in North Suburban Conference tournament, fifth in the Class 3A Zion-Benton regional

Returning golfers: Derek Calamari (Sr.), Carson Darnall (Jr.), James Schmidt (Jr.), Bruce Jahanke (Jr.)

Newcomers: Danny Keating (So.), Jason Ross (Jr.), Scott Johnston (Jr.)

Season outlook: Senior Derek Calamari and junior Carson Darnall are playing their third season on varsity. "We're hoping for a good season from them," coach Sean Matthews said. Calamari and junior Bruce Jahanke both qualified for the sectional last fall. It was the second sectional berth for Calamari, who went to state as a sophomore. "Both James (Schmidt) and Bruce (Jahanke) have the potential to go low, and with our newcomers playing well, we could have a team that could win many matches this season," Matthews said. The Wildcats opened the season with a quad at Willow Glen against Vernon Hills, Warren and Loyola. Sophomore newcomer Danny Keating was the medalist with a 73, and Darnall came in fourth with a 77.

MUNDELEIN

Coach: Todd Parola

Last season: third in North Suburban Conference tournament, third in the Class 3A Zion-Benton regional, fourth in Warren sectional

Returning golfers: Josh Peterson (Sr.), Trevor Neumaier (Sr.), Colin Wade (Jr.), Tanner Anderson (Jr.)

Newcomers: Parker Geary (Jr.), Nate Worcester (Sr.), Anthony Heelan (Jr.), Jaden Robinson (Jr.), Justin Park (Jr.)

Season outlook: The Mustangs appeared in rebuild mode last year after qualifying for state in 2016, but a young squad finished fourth in the sectional and produced a pair of state qualifiers in Christian Loar and Josh Peterson. Loar graduated, but Peterson returns for his senior season. Also back after teeing it up in the regional last year are Colin Wade, Tanner Anderson, Trevor Neumaier and Parker Geary. Peterson and Wade were members of the Mustangs' sectional-winning squad two years ago. "We improved quite a bit last year," coach Todd Parola said. "We hope to keep improving so we can be competitive in a tough NSC."

STEVENSON

Coach: John Rueth (18th season)

Last season: second in North Suburban Conference tournament, third in Class 3A Fremd regional, tied for first in Warren sectional, third in state tournament

Returning golfers: Jackson Bussell (Sr.), Mark Noonan (Sr.), Alex Kim (Sr.), Conan Pan (So.), Billy Fishbein (So.)

Newcomers: Andrew Babbo (Jr.)

Season outlook: For the first time in their history, the Patriots enter a season with the reigning state medalist. Jackson Bussell became the first boys golf state champion in Stevenson history last fall, leading the Patriots to a third-place finish in the Class 3A tournament at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington. Bussell, who's back for his senior season, fired a two-day total of 3-under 141 for a one-shot win over Neuqua Valley' Jack Vercautren. Stevenson (602) finish behind only state champ Hinsdale Central (593) and Lake Forest (595). Like last season, Bussell is not the Patriots' only golfer who can shoot low. Also back from the state team are seniors Mark Noonan and Alex Kim and sophomore Conan Pan. The Patriots opened the season by shooting a 315 in the Rolling Green invite in Arlington Heights. Noonan led the way with a 75 (10th). Bussell, Kim and Pan all shot 80. The Patriots graduated 2017 NSC medalist Matt Schawel, Brett Ekenberg and Philippe Kim, each of whom teed it up at state.

VERNON HILLS

Coach: Shawn Healey (19th season)

Last season: first in Class 2A Lakes regional, third in Grayslake Central sectional, 10th in state tournament

Returning golfers: Sujay Voleti (Sr.), Joey Levitan (Sr.), Brendan Wise (Sr.), Greg Tow (Sr.), Rohan Vasudeva (Jr.), Gavin Gilfand (So.)

Newcomers: Thomas Florian (Sr.), Russell Swansen (Jr.)

Season outlook: The Cougars graduated four-year varsity player Brian Favia to the Professional Golf Management program at Florida Gulf Coast University. But they return six members of last year's team that placed 10th in the Class 2A state tournament after winning its seventh straight regional championship and third sectional title in a row. Returning golfers who teed it up at state last fall are Sujay Voleti, Joey Levitan, Brendan Wise, Rohan Vasudeva and Greg Tow. Voleti, Levitan Wise and Vasudeva also played at state two years ago for a Cougars team that finished third. "The boys have worked extremely hard over the summer and hope for a fifth straight trip to ISU in October," coach Shawn Healey said. "As usual, the CSL North is loaded. Glenbrook North, Highland Park and Deerfield should all be very strong."

WARREN

Coach: Dave Zaban (first season)

Last season: sixth in North Suburban Conference tournament, fourth in Class 3A Zion-Benton regional

Returning golfers: Steffen Nerheim (Jr.), Kevin Borbath (Jr.), Reid Calvert (Sr.), Grant Maresca (Sr.), Brett Baun (Sr.), Zach Levy (Sr.)

Newcomers: Garrett Porter (Jr.), Luke Behrens (Jr.), Jacob Horne (Jr.)

Season outlook: The Blue Devils graduated the best golfer in school history in Karl Tolentino, who was a four-year varsity team member and state qualifier as a sophomore, but new coach Dave Zaban has confidence that his squad can post low scores again this season. Steffen Nerheim and Reid Calvert return after advancing to the sectional last year. "We have a strong group of juniors and seniors ready to step up," said Zaban, who replaces longtime coach Mike Wittes. "We are excited about our team and plan on being competitive all season against the great competition in our conference. Our goal is to qualify for sectionals as a team for the third time in the past four years. With a strong group of juniors, we are excited to see their growth in the next two seasons."

WAUCONDA

Coach: Tim Bartusch (first season)

Last season: seventh in Class 2A Lakes regional

Returning golfers: Matt Szmajda (Sr.), Josh Chapnick (Sr.), Joe Hutson (Jr.), Dominick Valice (Jr.), Jarrett Williams (Jr.), Michael Herbst (So.), Caitlin Hriljac (So.), Jake Miller (So.), Jack Proeschel (So.), Bryce Sims (So.), Collin Smith (So.)

Newcomers: Colden Applegate (Fr.), Owen Soltis (Fr.), Drew Storz (Fr.)

Season outlook: Former Wauconda girls basketball coach Tim Bartusch takes over a team that returns only two seniors, including Matt Szmajda, who led the Bulldogs last year by scoring in every dual match. Joe Hutson advanced to the sectional and returns for his junior season. "Jarrett Williams has a year of varsity experience and is looking to be more consistent this season," Bartusch said. "We are looking to be competitive in the NLCC this season."

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