Golf

High school boys golf: 2019 season preview capsules

Crystal Lake South's John Lishchynsky lines up a putt on the sixth during the Class 2A Kaneland Sectional last season.
Crystal Lake South's John Lishchynsky lines up a putt on the sixth during the Class 2A Kaneland Sectional last season.

Fox Valley Conference

Cary-Grove

Coach: Chris Gotsch (sixth season)

Last season: Seventh at FVC Meet

Top returners: Cole Seeger, jr.; Trevor Beaugureau, sr.; Michael Greenhill, sr.

Key newcomers: Nate Jablonski, jr.; Joey Vitullo, jr.; Dylan Turner, jr.

Worth noting: The Trojans did not place any golfers in the Fox Tournament last season (top 17 finishers). ... C-G graduated two of its top golfers, Trevor Brandon and Patrick Tobin. Tobin and Seeger qualified for sectionals, and Beaugureau was one shot away. ... "These guys play one of the hardest courses in McHenry County at Foxford Hills and we're looking forward to seeing how they respond when the pressure is on," Gotsch said.

Crystal Lake Central

Coach: Matt LePage (first season)

Last season: Eighth at FVC Meet

Top returners: Eric Klutke, so.; Bayden Hubacher, so.; Quinn Hankins, jr.; Dominic Hooper, so.; Andrew Wilkinson, jr.; Matt Bass, sr.

Key newcomers: Ethan Bass, so.; Jackson Fleming, so.

Worth noting: The Tigers were fourth at regionals, three shots behind Huntley. ... Klutke, a Northwest Herald All-Area second-team pick, was one spot from advancing to the Class 3A state tournament, losing in a five-golfer playoff for two spots at sectionals. He was third at conference with a 72, third at regionals with a 71, and 11th at sectionals. ... Hubacher had a 77 at regionals to make a sectional appearance. He was named Boys Junior Player of the Year in the McHenry County Junior Golf Association this summer.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Curt Wadlington (14th season)

Last season: First at FVC Meet

Top returners: Will Stewart, jr.; John Lishchynsky, sr.; Ricky Falbo, jr.; Ethan Wiggs, sr.

Key newcomers: Jack Roberts, sr.; Tanner Coakley, jr.; Evan VanderSande, so.

Worth noting: The Gators advanced to state for the first time since 2002, placing 10th at the Class 2A state tournament. South completed a perfect FVC schedule, going 8-0 in duals and winning the FVC Tournament. ... The Gators took second at regionals and sectionals. ... Stewart and Lishchynsky both shot 76 at the FVC Meet and were fourth and fifth, respectively. Wiggs and graduates Casey Hunter and Griffin Coakley also made all-conference. ... Stewart was second at regionals with a 76 and tied for sixth at sectionals with Lishchynsky. ... "After the success of last year, I think we have some unfinished business," Wadlington said. "If we can focus on one goal, then we can repeat what we did last year and more." 

Dundee-Crown

Coach: Bob Sweeney (16th season)

Last season: Sixth at FVC Meet

Top returners: Matt McQuillen, sr.; Jake Zirlin, jr.; Aidan Svec, jr.; Kyle Huber, sr.; Ryan Girard, jr.; Yash Dulla, so.

Key newcomers: Jake Russell, fr.

Worth noting: Zirlin, an All-Area second-team pick, became the first golfer under Sweeney to win the FVC Tournament individual title with a 71. McQuillen was ninth at conference with a 74.... Zirlin tied for fifth at regionals with a 74, and McQuillen, an All-Area honorable mention selection, shot a 77 to earn a sectional berth. ... "I'm confident Matt and Jake will give us consistent scores that will make us competitive in every match," Sweeney said. "I am excited to watch our younger player’s progress as they play for the third and fourth positions."

Hampshire

Coach: Kevin O'Brien (first season)

Last season: Ninth at FVC Meet

Top returners: CJ Lindquist, sr.; Bobby Stephenson, sr.; Alec Korabik, sr.

Key newcomers: Payton Yee, jr.; Jake Laube, fr.

Worth noting: The Whip-Purs graduated their top two golfers, Craig Bracke and Mark Spitzer. Bracke earned all-conference honors, and Bracke and Spitzer were sectional qualifiers and All-Area honorable mention selections ... "We're a senior-heavy team with five of our top seven golfers being seniors," O'Brien said. "We hope that experience will lead us to a successful season."

Huntley

Coach: Collin Kalamatas (fourth season)

Last season: Second at FVC Meet

Top returners: Danny Sheedy, so.; Josh Good, so.; Trevor Book, jr.; Trevor Wolinsky, sr.

Key newcomers: Tyler Mahon, sr.; Devin Bowker, sr.; Cole Modrich, so.

Worth noting: The Red Raiders were four shots from Crystal Lake South to take second place at the FVC Tournament with a team score of 300. ... Huntley lost its top golfer, Jack Wagner, to graduation. Wagner was one of three area golfers to advance to the Class 3A state tournament. Wagner was an All-Area second-team pick, and graduate Garrett Heinke earned honorable mention. ... Huntley had four All-FVC golfers, but three of them graduated. Book took sixth at conference, shooting a 74. Heinke was ninth, Wagner was 12th, and Jake Burnquist was 15th. ... The Raiders qualified for sectionals, placing third at regionals. Good tied for the team's lowest score at regionals with a 74.

Jacobs

Coach: Gary Conrad (sixth season)

Last season: Fifth at FVC Meet

Top returners: Jordan Stone, sr.; Kyle Schutt, jr.; Andrew Rechtsteiner, sr.; Ryan Frantik, jr.; Richie Gross, sr.

Key newcomers: Jason Seaholm, so.; Justin Cunningham, so.

Worth noting: The Golden Eagles will look for a new No. 1 after graduating Garrett Tighe, the 2018 Northwest Herald Boys Golfer of the Year. Tighe, now at Iowa, made his second trip to the Class 3A state tournament, tying for fifth with a 72. He was first regionals with a 3-under 68, tied for fifth at sectionals, and finished 14th at conference. ... Jacobs won its first regional title since 2012, beating runner-up McHenry by one shot. ... Schutt was Jacobs' second-leading scorer at conference and regionals. ... "Our main focus is to get better throughout the season in time for regionals," Conrad said. "It's been nice to see some of my freshmen from last season improve and hold a varsity spot this year."

McHenry

Coach: Ryan Ellison (13th season)

Last season: Fourth at FVC Meet

Top returners: Truman Keppy, sr.; Liam Nielsen, sr.; Ryan Peters, sr.

Key newcomers: Sam Huff, so.; Will Currie, so.

Worth noting: Keppy, an All-Area first-team pick the past two years, advanced to the Class 3A state tournament for the second straight season and tied for ninth with a 73. He was 10th at conference with a 75, second at regionals with a 70, and earned one of the last two state-qualifying spots in a five-golfer playoff. ... McHenry was only one shot away from a regional title. Nielsen, Peters and James Gordon, who graduated, rounded out the scoring for the Warriors. ... "I'm really excited to see this season play out," Ellison said. "With (Keppy's) ability to go low and a solid returning core, I'm anticipating a run at the FVC title this year."

Prairie Ridge

Coach: Jonathan Powell (seventh season)

Last season: Third at FVC Meet

Top returners: Grant Klepitsch, sr.; Connor Hamilton, sr.; Eddie Winkelmann, jr.

Worth noting: Klepitsch, an All-Area honorable mention pick, was one of two state qualifiers last season, along with graduate Dominic Leli, a first-team pick. Leli was a two-time state qualifier. He tied for ninth at the Class 2A state tournament last year with a 76. Leli was runner-up at the FVC Tournament, fifth at regionals, and fourth at sectionals. ... Klepitsch finished 16th at conference and posted a 77 at sectionals. ... The Wolves took third at regionals, eight shots behind Crystal Lake South, and tied for fourth at sectionals, nine shots behind South. ... "We look forward to competing in the FVC fueled by the leadership and state-qualifying experience of Grant Klepitsch," Powell said.

Kishwaukee River Conference

Harvard

Coach: Rich Petska (11th season)

Last season: Fifth at KRC Meet

Top returners: James Crout, sr.; Hunter Gratz, sr.; Jake Chupich, jr.; Caden Scott, so.

Key newcomers: Javan Rodgers, sr.; Nicholas Thurow, fr.; Myles Brincks, fr.

Worth noting: The Hornets did not qualify any golfers to sectionals last season, taking eighth at regionals. ... Harvard will bring back its entire team after having only one senior a year ago. ... "We will be looking for consistent contributions behind our senior leaders and Chupich and Scott," Petska said. "Other members will have to step up quickly to help the team succeed."

Johnsburg

Coach: Don Bentz (third season)

Last season: Sixth at KRC Meet

Top returners: Tyler Malueg, sr.; Cody Clauson, jr.;

Key newcomers: Mike Link, fr.; Mike Preston, jr.

Worth noting: One year after graduating 10 seniors, Bentz has seen an increase in numbers this season, with nine freshmen going out for the team. ... The Skyhawks didn't advance anybody to sectionals and graduated one from last year. ... Malueg is the team's top returner and a three-year varsity member. ... "We have a really good blend of experience and youth on the team this year," Bentz said.

Marengo

Coach: Rafael Martinez (third season)

Last season: Fourth at KRC Meet

Top returners: Brady Cannon, sr.; Tyler Nelsen, jr.

Key newcomers: Kyle Northcutt, fr.; Nicholas Walters, fr.

Worth noting: Cannon and Nelsen were two of the KRC's top golfers last season. Cannon and Nelsen finished fifth and seventh, respectively, at the KRC Tournament. Cannon was the team's only sectional qualifier and a four-year varsity golfer... The Indians finished seventh at regionals. ... Martinez thinks Northcutt and Walters will make a big impact as freshmen. Cannon should be in contention for the KRC individual championship, Martinez said. ... "After most of the KRC's top golfers graduated, we are in a good position to be among the top teams in conference," Martinez said.

Richmond-Burton

Coach: Brad Tichenor (13th season)

Last season: First at KRC Meet

Top returners: Jordan Grons, sr.; Ryan Eskuri, so.

Key newcomers: Alex Harrison, jr.; Connor Lesperance, fr.; Garasin Haley, jr.

Worth noting: The Rockets won their second straight KRC Tournament title behind the two top finishers. Connor Lindley and Jackson Bolman, both graduates and All-Area honorable mention selections, grabbed the top two spots. Hunter Volkmar, another graduate, took 10th and Grons was 16th. ... Lindley, Volkmar and Bolman earned sectional berths as R-B took sixth as a team. ... "We've lost a lot of top talent over the last few seasons to graduation," Tichenor said. "We're looking forward to being competitive in the KRC and building toward the future."

Woodstock North co-op

Coach: Brent Filetti (fourth season)

Last season: Second at KRC Meet

Top returners: Aidan Filetti, sr.; Brad Arnold, jr.; Tanner Hurless, jr.

Worth noting: All three of Woodstock North co-op's All-KRC golfers from last season, Evan Bridges (third place), Jack Cunningham (sixth) and Ki Norgard (ninth), have since graduated. Bridges, voted team MVP, was the team's lone sectional qualifier. ... Woodstock North co-op placed eighth at regionals.

East Suburban Catholic Conference

Marian Central

Coach: Kevin Smith (fourth season)

Last season: Ninth at ESCC Meet

Top returners: Quinton Urban, sr.; Brogan Pivnicka, sr.; Bennett Arza, sr.; Alex Gilmore, sr.; Daniel Stumpf, sr.; Sebastian Rennell, sr.; Dylan Yegge, jr.; Owen Jager, so.

Key newcomers: Ben Moscinski, sr.; Jacob Noonan, sr. Joseph Louise, jr.

Worth noting: Urban (85) was one of two sectional qualifiers for the Hurricanes last season, along with graduate Andrew Lydon. Lydon also was Marian's only All-ESCC selection for the second straight season, shooting 79. ... The Hurricanes finished fifth at regionals and will be senior heavy with six returning seniors, in addition to two seniors playing for the first time. ... Moscinski was Marian's top scorer in basketball last winter.

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