Boys golf: Scouting Fox Valley area
Editor's note: We're scouting the 2021 Fox Valley boys golf season today. Repeated attempts were made to reach every school in our coverage area.
Bob Sweeney starts his 17th season at Dundee-Crown. He'll have seniors Chris Pryzbylak, Yash Dulla, Jason Huber and Blake Hernandez back along with juniors Jake Russell, Gavin Doughery and Mason Morowski.
"Our main focus this year is to be shooting our best individual and team scores during the conference tournament and postseason play," Sweeney said.
Junior Jake Laube is the top returner at Hampshire. The Whip-Purs have two promising newcomers, sophomore Eric Brown and freshman Seth Gillie. Brown had a lot of success in the MCJGA this summer, finishing second in total points for the 12-15 age division and winning the MCJGA Tournament of Champions for his age group.
Jason Seaholm and Kyle Schutt advanced to sectionals for Jacobs last year. Seaholm, a senior who also made all-conference, is back and joined on the varsity by senior Justin Cunningham, senior Ben Glockner, freshman Barrett Rennall and sophomore Own Zaja.
"Our goal this year is to get an individual down to the state tournament," coach Gary Conrad said. "Our second goal is to win a conference and regional title. Our philosophy as a program is to improve as the year progresses and peak at the right time. Plus enjoy being outside playing golf."
Huntley has a pair of four-year varsity players, Danny Sheedy and Josh Good, to anchor its roster. Both made all-conference last year.
"Both guys are capable of scoring low any given night," coach Collin Kalamatas said.
"This is as good of a chance as we have had at contending for an FVC title in seven years. We're excited and ready for an the opportunity to compete."
Seniors Tyson Malak and Chaz Rutke lead Burlington Central. Coach Thomas Davies called Malak "the anchor of the team," while Rutke might have made the largest strides of any player in the past year, according to Davies.
"That final plateau of breaking 80 consistently is toughest, and he's (Rutke) put himself there with so much hard work," Davies said.
"Our team is as deep as it's been in many years. We have nine guys on varsity who could all contribute and bring in a top four score. We play in a highly competitive conference, but I expect these guys to be right there at the end. This group has an excellent chance to make a deep run during the postseason as well."
Batavia went 4-3 last year and brings back junior Gavin Newkirk, the DuKane Conference Player of the Year.
Seniors Myles Prodoehl and Brady Krol, junior Tanner Gawlik and sophomores Drew Freedlund and Jimmy Huag also return to Batavia's lineup. Coach Tim Debruycker said junior Henry Saul is a newcomer to watch.
"With six of my top eight back from last year and a great front-runner with Gavin, we feel we can make a good run in the DuKane Conference," Debruycker said.
St. Charles North came on strong at the end of the 2020 season, shooting a 309 to win the DuKane Tournament after a 4-8 dual record.
The North Stars return sophomore Clay Heilman, junior Mason Siegfried and seniors Nick Francesconi and Aidan O'Connell.
"Clay and Mason are very good players that are among the top in the Tri-Cities area," coach Justin Moriaty said.
Streamwood returns two all-conference golfers, Corey Cecille and Jake Zolnierczyk.
Those two will be joined by junior Austin Barousse and newcomers Nick Weaver, a junior, and freshmen Austin Paskewic and Dillon Barousse.
"I'm just expecting the players to improve throughout the season and be competitive," Sabres coach Rob Wise said.
Kaneland comes into the season following a near perfect 2020 -- the Knights won the Marmion invitational, DeKalb invite, took first in conference, then won regional and sectional championships. It was the first sectional crown in school history.
Seniors Josh Pehl, Cody Ganzon and Hagan Rank all return from that team.
"We hope to have a successful season and match some of the accomplishments of 2020," Kaneland coach Mark Meyer said. "If we play well at the right time, we hope to advance to the state finals as a team."
Harvest Christian finished second in the conference last year behind three all-conference players, John Tatum, Grant Harrison and Luke Boldog.
Harrison, a junior, and Boldog, a senior, are back along with sophomores Dietrich Bethge and Caleb Callahan.
"I am excited for the team this year. We have a good balance of leadership and young talent," said ninth-year coach Jeff Boldog. "Several of our players have committed to improving their game this past year. Look for them to make big strides this season."
Charlie McQueeny, a four-year varsity player and 2020 sectional qualifier, leads the returnees at St. Edward. Sophomore Evan Sperling started last season on varsity as a freshman and also qualified for sectionals.
Seniors Ryan Mamrot and Kyle West and junior Drew Pemberton also return while varsity newcomers for coach Bill Genz include senior Jack Heffelfinger and juniors Cole Wiedmaier and Mike Cozzi.
Lou Solarte is the new coach at Marmion. Charlie Burke in the No. 1 spot is a four-year varsity player, and the Cadets also are counting on Jude Bohr and a strong freshman class led by Regan Konen and Evan Paganelis.
West Aurora coach John Proczko said juniors Kyle Haynes and Andrew Bacarella and senior captain Evan Wicks are the team leaders. The Blackhawks only graduated one senior from last year's squad.
"The team is full of quality individuals," Proczko said. "I'm very excited to see how this group uses its team chemistry and friendships to make this season a success. Golf is such a unique sport that allows these kids to mature into young men. This group is as close-knit as I've had, and the support and enthusiasm they have for each other's successes is a joy to be a part of."
Only five players went out for golf at Aurora Christian. Coach Andy Zorger said Wil McCracken will be the team leader as a sophomore.