Boys golf: Barrington will try to maintain recent success
Yes, the Barrington boys golf team is coming off a 2018 season where it won the Mid-Suburban League title and took eighth place at the Class 3A state tournament.
But coach Bryan Tucker knows the Broncos cannot ride the coattails of past accomplishments.
"Our conference should be very competitive," he said. "There are a lot of talented players returning from last year across the conference. These players will have to be consistent and play to their ability if they hope to duplicate last year's success."
Barrington returns all-MSL performers in seniors Dominic Scaletta and Sean Markham, along with junior Matt Lee. Scaletta was a top-15 state finisher a year ago (tied for 13th) and is a two-time all-MSL pick, as are Markham and Lee. "Dominic and Sean are two seniors with a lot of experience and have had a lot of success," said Tucker.
•Prospect won the MSL East and took second overall in the conference, plus qualified its team for a Class 3A sectional. Sam Ergastolo, Cole Lannert and Vinny Mineli are returning sectional qualifiers.
Of note, Ergastolo shot 5-under on the front nine of an IJGA summer tournament and went 3-under to win a qualifier. "Sam will be one of the top golfers in the area," Knights coach James Hamann said.
•Hersey, which hosts a regional this year, has top-10 MSL finishers in juniors Henry Quinn and Tyler Irwin back this season. Both qualified this summer for the match-play competition (top 16 juniors) in the Chick Evans Junior Amateur. Junior Max Sheldon, the boys' state tennis singles runner-up, plays golf as well.
"We have depth with a lot of talented golfers that will make it difficult to identify a starting six," Huskies coach Don Caporusso said.
•Fremd ended up third in the MSL and sent two players to state last year, but has no returning sectional or state qualifiers. Coach Ryan Moreau is excited about seniors Ryan Higgins (captain), Varun Kompala and Sean Warner. "All great leaders, class acts and they will break 40/80 often," he said.
•Conant was fourth a year ago in the MSL and returns sectional qualifiers in Sunny Sivarathri, Nikko Ganas, Matt McColaugh and Rohan Patel. Ganas was the team MVP a year ago. "We have an experienced group returning this year," coach Scott Cieplik said.
•Rolling Meadows qualified for the sectional a year ago and has seniors Chris Cho and John Freiburger, along with junior Luke Duffer back from that team. Cho and Duffer were all-MSL performers on a Mustangs team that took fifth in the loop.
•Elk Grove has three returning starters in seniors Jason Gamez, Noah Morton and junior Dean Carlson from a team that took eighth in the MSL regular season. Gamez is a three-time sectional qualifier. "We will be competitive by staying consistent from scoring from 150 yards and in," Elk Grove coach Brian Bucciarelli said.
•Palatine is led by returning sectional qualifier Joey Guss, along with Conrad Bloom and Eric Lambke.
•Buffalo Grove, seventh in the MSL last year, is paced by a pair of talented sophomores in Dori Lee and Ryen Beerheide. Both were all-conference and Lee is a returning sectional qualifier.
•Schaumburg is led by senior Justin Bany, along with sophomores Vassilios Davis and Gavin Serra. Hoffman Estates will be paced by seniors Jeremy Weidner and Darshan Desai, along with junior Nathan Meister.
•Senior Jack Cesek, junior Joe Plasencia and sophomore J.J. Kasper lead the way for Wheeling.
•The Northwest suburbs' other team state qualifier from a year ago is St. Viator, which won a conference title for the 20th time in school history and a sectional for a seventh time before finishing fifth in the state in Class 2A. Co-captains Ryan O'Grady and RJ Hart return for the Lions and will be joined by juniors Jack Lynch, Benny Wozniak and Billy Durkin. Lynch and Wozniak were co-MVPs of the frosh-soph team last year.
"The season is full of question marks, but if the team is able to play within themselves, it will surprise when the state tournament series comes around in October, providing there is a lack of snow this year," veteran St. Viator coach Jack Halpin said.
•Maine South won a Class 3A regional title last year with Brennan Dombro, Nicholas Dombro and Myles La Hart being the three non-seniors on that regional team. Maine West is led by seniors Riley Griffin and Jack Hernandez. "Our players need to work really hard this season to gain experience and that level of confidence needed to play at the varsity level and within the tough CSL conference," Maine West coach Mike Godlewski said.
Northwest suburbs boys golf at a glance
Top teams: Barrington, Conant, Hersey, Prospect, Maine South, St. Viator
Top returning players: Ryen Beerheide, Buffalo Grove, Soph., Chris Cho, Rolling Meadows, Sr.,
Luke Duffer, Rolling Meadows, Jr., Nicholas Dombro, Maine South, Soph., Sam Ergastolo, Prospect, Sr., John Freiburger, Rolling Meadows, Sr., Jason Gamez, Elk Grove, Sr., Nikko Ganas, Conant, Jr., Joey Guss, Palatine, Sr., RJ Hart, St. Viator, Sr., Tyler Irwin, Hersey, Jr., Cole Lannert, Prospect, Sr., Dori Lee, Buffalo Grove, Soph., Matt Lee, Barrington, Jr., Sean Markham, Barrington, Sr., Vinny Mineli, Prospect, Sr., Ryan O'Grady, St. Viator, Sr., Dominic Scaletta, Barrington, Sr., Sunny Sivarathri, Conant, Sr., Henry Quinn, Hersey, Jr.
Season skinny: Look for another competitive Mid-Suburban League season with returning team state qualifier Barrington as the preseason favorite and squads such as Conant, Hersey and Prospect returning significant pieces. Individually, the conference is filled with returning decorated players. Nikko Ganas (Conant, 2nd), Chris Cho (Rolling Meadows, 3rd), Tyler Irwin (Hersey, 4th), Henry Quinn (Hersey, 7th) and Dori Lee (Buffalo Grove, 8th) all finished in the MSL top-10 points race last season and earned regular-season all-conference honors, while Barrington's Dominic Scaletta (1st), Sean Markham (tie 4th) and Matt Lee (8th), Buffalo Grove's Ryan Beerheide (tie 4th), Conant's Sunny Sivarthi (tie 4th) and Matt McColaugh (tie 10th), Prospect's Sam Ergastolo (tie 10th) and Rolling Meadows' Luke Duffer (tie 10th) earned all-conference honors at the MSL tournament. In other words, the conference is loaded. In Class 2A, St. Viator lost all components from its conference and sectional title, and fifth-place state team to graduation, but the Lions, under the tutelage of veteran coach Jack Halpin, can never be counted out.