Boys golf: Mid-Suburban League teams gearing up for postseason
Old Orchard Country Club will be the epicenter of Mid-Suburban League boys golf in coming days.
On Thursday, Hersey and Barrington collide in the regular-season final league dual match.
"This is about an exact repeat of last year," Hersey coach Dan Caporusso said. "If we can overcome Barrington's greatness, it will come down to a showdown between three one-loss teams at the conference tournament. It's always cold in December; Barrington is always good in golf."
The Broncos' consecutive run of conference titles in the single-division league comfortably extends into double digits.
"Our (Nos.) 2 through 6 is very interchangeable," Barrington coach Bryan Tucker said. "It's certainly a luxury to have as a coach."
Prospect could also enter the conference tournament with 10 wins with triumphs over Palatine and Buffalo Grove this week.
Barrington (9-0) has a Wednesday tune up with Rolling Meadows.
The regular-season MVP particulars will be equally intense.
Conant senior Nikko Ganas (65.75) enters the final week of conference dual play with a 4.75-point cushion over Henry Quinn, the Butler-bound Hersey senior standout.
"(Ganas') immediate strength is his knowledge of the golf swing," said Conant coach Scott Cieplik. "He's the perfect player to have as a coach. When he graduates he will immediately be the best golfer to have played at James B. Conant High School."
Ganas has been medalist six times in the Cougars' 10 conference dual meets, including a school-record 3-under 31 at Arlington Lakes in a triangular against Buffalo Grove and host Rolling Meadows.
Barrington's consistency during its league championship stranglehold has been as commonplace as the change of seasons.
Ian Bouchard, currently third in the MVP standings, is the Broncos' mainstay.
"We don't talk about individual accomplishments -- even though golf is an individual sport," Tucker said. "Our depth hurts Ian in that regard (league MVP). Ian has been our most consistent performer."
In addition to Bouchard, the Broncos feature an imposing lineup behind the junior triumvirate of Owen Naughton, Brock Dickson and Dylan Dunne; senior Matt Lee and freshman Walker Grelle are also major figures in the program.
Virtually every starter for the Broncos has been a league-match medalist this fall.
Caporusso counters with Chad Tramba and Tyler Irwin, currently sixth and seventh, respectively, in the league standings; Max Sheldon, a nationally ranked tennis player who has committed to Michigan State, is potentially a difference-maker for the Huskies as their fourth man.
"(Sheldon) walks among giants at our school," Caporusso said.
Vassilios Davis anchors sixth-place Schaumburg; the junior is No. 8 in the individual conference race.
"(Davis) is more focused on competition," Schaumburg coach Chris Zickert said. "I am also impressed with the way he has been a leader on our team."
Prospect has two athletes in the top ten: senior Cole Lannert is fourth; freshman Luke Kruger checks in at No. 10.
Vernon Hills streaking:
Owners of nine consecutive Class 2A regional championships, Vernon Hills has been a benchmark for Lake County postseason golf.
But the Cougars will enter the Central Suburban League North divisional tournament next week at Veterans Memorial -- in search of an elusive conference title -- riding high after impressive nonconference wins over Stevenson and Warren.
"That was our lowest nine-hole score this year," Vernon Hills coach Shawn Healey said of the Cougars' 152-155 triumph over Stevenson.
Dylan Josephson, AJ Kaprosy, Luke Brann and Gavin Gilford all hovered around level par in the Cougars' regular-season-defining wins against the North Suburban Conference schools with vastly superior enrollments.
"Those were some nice wins (over Stevenson and Warren) to give the kids confidence against perennially good teams," Healey said.
Naperville North soldiers on:
It has been a peculiar fall for traditional power Naperville North.
The Huskies are winless in the always rugged DuPage Valley Conference.
"I'm not making any excuses," Naperville North coach Ryan Hantek said. "Our conference record isn't very good."
But Naperville North has had its fair share of pleasant surprises in its out-of-league schedule.
The Huskies followed up a combination match- and medal-play four-team victory last weekend against Naperville Central, St. Charles North and Wheaton North with a 161-167 decision against DuKane Conference co-leader Wheaton Warrenville South on Monday.
The Huskies' late-season surge has been fueled by Ethan Kilgore, Logan Hoag, Leo Oberman, Tanner Child and Luke Mallard.
"We are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Hantek said.
For WW South, senior Ben Klimenko and his teammates will look to stay unbeaten this week in league play with its triangular date with Lake Park and fellow undefeated Geneva.
"He has a nice golf swing and that allows him to make nice golf shots," WW South coach Jimmy Selleck said of his senior sectional returnee.
Huntley duo shines:
The annual Dundee-Crown affair was strictly an all-Fox Valley Conference tournament preview last weekend as pandemic restrictions reduced the customary double-digit lineup.
CL Central denied Huntley the team crown, 317-323, but the Raiders received major consolation efforts from champion Danny Sheedy (73) and Josh Good, who was third with a 75.