Fox Valley Conference
CL Central co-op
(with Cary-Grove and CL South)
Coach: Kathy Speaker (9th season)
Top returnees:Larisa Luloff, sr., Emily Jean, sr., Lauren Kalamaras, jr.
Key newcomers:Brittany Reid, jr.
Worth noting:Speaker lost six seniors to graduation, including the 2013 Northwest Herald Girls Golfer of the Year, Lexi Harkins, but returns a group of 11 with an eye on a return to state. Luloff and Jean each recorded top-50 finishes at Class AA state last season, and the Tigers won the FVC and county meets.
“We should be very competitve this year,” Speaker said. “I’m not sure what some of the other teams have right now, but I know we’re very strong with our top three.”
Coach:Laurie Herb (8th season)
Top returnees: Kylie Kost, jr., Brooke Hayes, sr., Madeline Hunsberger, sr.
Key newcomers:Mikki Frye, so., Leah Anderson, so., Cathryn Johnsen, so.
Worth noting: The Chargers lost two seniors to graduation and are down from 16 players to eight. Kost is motivated and worked hard to improve her game over the the summer, Herb said.
“We’re in a growth period right now,” Herb said. “The FVC is a tough conference, and we’re going to go out, compete and give it our best.”
Coach:Ann Christiansen (6th season)
Top returnees:Gillian Young, sr., Leah Virzi, sr., Lexi Lowitzki, jr., Gabriella Veljkovic, jr., Caroline Giorgi, so.
Key newcomers:Nicole Gordus, so., Molly Danca, so.
Worth noting:The Red Raiders finished second in the FVC and advanced to sectionals last season. Huntley lost four seniors to graduation and two more to transfer but return Young, who won the McHenry County Junior Golf Association’s Tournament of Champions this summer.
“This group has a lot of potential,” Christiansen said. “We are a fairly young team with upside.”
Coach: Sean Sterner (2nd season)
Top returnees:Maddie Ogden, so., Hannah Ogden, so., Abby Ross, sr., Lok Yan Fick, sr.
Key newcomer: Sammi Lindgren, jr.
Worth noting: The Ogden sisters and Fick spent the summer near the top of the McHenry County Junior Golf Association leaderboards. Maddie Ogden won the junior girls division.
“I really look forward to coaching a group that is serious about getting better every day but at the same time still wants to enjoy the process and come together as a team,” Sterner said.
Coach:Pattie Hie (13th season)
Top returnees:Erin Wing, sr., Tess Sabatini, sr., Anne Schulz, sr., Ellie Gunwall, so.
Key newcomers: Tori Kucharski, fr., Makenna Schmetz, jr.
Worth noting: The Wolves have never finished worse than third in the FVC but lost two seniors to graduation, including sectional qualifier Brooke Johnson.
“Our goal every year is to finish in the top half of the conference,” Hie said.
Big Northern Conference
Coach:Doug Sijersen (6th season)
Top returnees: Kayleigh Isonhart, sr., Marley Smith, sr., Elizabeth Wright, so., Sarah Brookner, jr.
Worth noting: The Hornets will again carry a small team after fielding a roster of five last season. Isonhart was Harvard’s only sectional qualifier.
“I’m looking to see improvement from all my golfers,” Sijersen said. “I want them to take it to the next level.”
Coach: Chris O’Niel (6th season)
Top returnees: Emma Johnson, jr., Madelyn Schroeder, sr., Natalie Flynn, so., Jenna Seaver, jr.
Key newcomer: Maddie Hauck, so.
Worth noting: The Skyhawks return four of their top five golfers from a year ago and look to build on a fourth-place finish in regionals. Johnson qualified for sectionals last season.
“I’m excited for the upcoming season,” O’Niel said. “We are looking to finish in the top half of the very competitive BNC.”
Coach: Nate Wright (7th season)
Top returnees: Monica Millard, sr., C.J. Weber, jr.
Key newcomer:Jessica Ruelius, so.
Worth noting: Wright said the Indians are looking to finish in the top half of the BNC East Division this year.
“We have a lot of questoon marks right now, but I hope we show improvement as the year goes on,” Wright said.
Coach:Brandon Creason (6th season)
Top returnees: Blake Betke, sr., Mackenzie Hahn, so., Kat Cummings, sr.
Worth noting: The Rockets set the bar high with an undefeated season in 2013, claiming conference, regional and sectional championships and finishing ninth at Class A state. The Rockets return their entire team from a year ago.
“It will be hard to top last year, but this group is up for the challenge,” Creason said.
East Suburban Catholic Conference
Coach: Paula Watson (4th season)
Top returnees: Sophia Archos, so., Kenzie Mocogni, sr., Emily Johnson, sr.
Key newcomer: Maria Mercurio, fr.
Worth noting: Nine freshmen tried out for the team this year, Watson said. Archos and Johnson qualified for sectionals last season.
“We hope to get one or two individual qualifiers to the state tournament,” Watson said.
– Alex Kantecki