The boys golf season is underway. Here are previews of teams from around the Suburban Life coverage area.
Coach: Marty Gaughan.
Top players: Quinn Shanley, sr.; Ryan Curtiss, sr.; Jack DiTrani, jr.; Ryan Dannegger, so.; Ryan Farago, jr.; Ryan Treacy, jr.
Outlook: The Redwings are shooting to repeat as conference champions (they won at both levels last year) and aiming to return to state for the third straight year. Shanley and DiTrani were on last year's state team that won a regional championship and took second at sectionals. Shanley also qualified with the team as a sophomore.
DOWNERS GROVE SOUTH
Coach: Terry Tiesman.
Top players: Tommy Staruck, sr.; Matthew Frauendorff, sr.; Ben Orozco, so.; Andrew Calek, sr.; Sean Conniff, sr.
Outlook: The Mustangs have won seven straight West Suburban Gold championships, and Tiesman said they should be strong contenders to make it eight in a row. Staruck, going into his fourth varsity season, is a three-time sectional qualifier. Frauendorff is a three-year varsity player who also advanced to sectionals last year.
"They can shoot right around par any time they tee it up," Tiesman said. "The depth of our team will determine a lot of our success this season. We hope there is a state tournament series because we think we can get one or two guys to the state finals."
Coach: Phil Yudys.
Top players: Jack Michelon, sr.; Nick Gelino, sr.; Trevor Gelino, sr.
Outlook: The Raiders, back-to-back Upstate Eight Conference champions, will be going for a three-peat this fall with three seniors back who qualified for sectionals last year. Michelon is a two-time sectional qualifier and all-conference last year, and Nick Gelino and Trevor Gelino are both returning sectional qualifiers and all-conference golfers for a Glenbard South team that took fourth at regionals.
"We look forward to another successful year with the addition of some young talent," Yudys said.
Coach: Paul Hezlett.
Top players: John Wild, jr.; Caden Pierce, jr.; Ryan Park, jr.; Adam Klimala, sr.; Jack Cavanaugh, sr.; Matthew Valdick, so.; Grant Rosich, fr.
Outlook: The Hilltoppers have a good core back from the team that won a sectional title in 2019 and took fifth place at Class 3A state. Leading the way is Wild, who tied for third at state and won a sectional championship. Pierce was all-conference, Klimala had Glenbard West's fourth-lowest score at state.
"The conference will be very strong after Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central and York all competed in the state tournament last year. LT will be very good as well," Hezlett said. "The limited schedule is disappointing but our conference is so strong that we will be pushed in every competition."
Coach: Jess Krueger.
Top players: Michael Spitzer, jr.; Drew McMillin, sr.; Jack Inabnit, jr.; Shubham Nain, sr.
Outlook: The Red Devils had their state championship streak snapped at seven last year, but figure to be a force again as several underclassmen competed for a team that took seventh at state. Spitzer and McMillin tied for Hinsdale's third-best score at state, with Inabnit and Nain right behind.
Coach: John Richerson
Top players: Billy Gneiser, jr.; Charlie Gneiser, sr.; Jelani Wilson, sr.
Outlook: The Hornets, second in the West Suburban Gold and fourth at regionals last year, are aiming to win conference and qualify for sectionals after missing by three and four strokes, respectively, the last two years. Billy Gneiser tied for 15th at Class 2A state as a sophomore and was all-conference, and qualified for the Illinois PGA Open this summer. Charlie Gneiser was a sectional qualifier and all-conference last year. Wilson is a hockey player coming out for golf as a senior and Richerson said looks very good.
IC CATHOLIC PREP
Coach: Don Sujack.
Top players: Jann Atendido, so.; Michael Hilgart, sr.; Nick Zanoni, so.; P.J. Wisnewski, so.; Kenny Jones, so.; Carl Knable, sr.; Davey Sykora, sr.; John Hilgart, jr.; Luke Tardiff, so.; Zazz Atendido, fr.
Outlook: Jann Atendido last year became the first freshman to sweep Metro Suburban Conference championships and Player of the Year honors. He is among four sophomores back from an IC Catholic Prep team that took third in regionals and advanced to a Class 1A sectional. "Jann's abilities and his demeanor make him a favorite whenever he tees it up," Sujack said.
ICCP returns six golfers total, including captain Hilgart, Zanoni, Wisnewski, Jones and Knable, all of them who placed top three in a dual last year and participated in the postseason. Zazz Atendido, Jann's younger brother, is an accomplished junior golfer who broke his collarbone a couple weeks ago but will contribute once he's healthy. Three conference teams advanced to state last year, so the Knights will have their hands full.
"We were young last year, but getting from regionals to sectionals gave these young men a front row seat to witness what it takes to advance downstate," Sujack said. "It was a vivid lesson that the boys have taken to heart."
Coach: Brian Kopecky
Top players: Griffin Pohl, sr.; Will Caronchi, jr.; Trent Garrett, sr.; Callum Mitchell, sr.
Outlook: Pohl, a state qualifier last year who tied for third at conference and posted an 18-hole average of 76, is a three-year varsity player and anchors the Lions' lineup. He leads a group back from a Lyons team that won a regional title and took fourth at sectionals. Caronchi, medalist at regionals and all-conference with a 75 season average, and 10th at the Illinois State Junior Amateur, gives Lyons a solid one-two punch. Garrett and Mitchell are three-year varsity players; Mitchell shot a 75 at Village Links to lead Lyons in a quad with three conference opponents.
Coach: Eric Scott.
Top players: Gianni Pavlopoulos, jr; Vinny Catalano, sr.; Brendan Gaughan, sr.; Justin Monroe, sr.; Nathan Czaplicki, sr.; Ben Snukst, sr.; Nathan Nowak, jr.
Outlook: The Broncos graduated Luke Marciniak, who finished tied for 22nd at the Class 2A state tournament, and sectional qualifiers Myles Marciniak and Nick Renfro. Pavlopoulos, Catalano, Gaughan, Monroe and Czaplicki are back.
"We graduated a great senior class last year and hope to continue to get better each day with this year's team," Scott said.
Coach: Christopher Blomquist
Top players: Daniel Reiter, sr.; Naim Cobena, jr.
Outlook: Reiter and Cobena are the top returners for the Mustangs. Blomquist said he's excited about the future of the program, as Morton had seven freshmen join the team.
"The masks and other restrictions are not preventing our players from having fun on the links this fall," Blomquist said. "We want to applaud the efforts of everyone involved that are making this season possible."
Coach: Greg Baresel.
Top players: Zach Mulhearn, sr.; John Lilly, sr.; Andrew Cook, sr.; Danny Rice, jr.; Kory Carlson, jr.
Outlook: Mulhearn, medalist at regionals and all-conference, returns to lead a Spartans' team that was runner-up in conference and took third at regionals as a team to qualify for sectionals.
"We are looking forward to building off of our success from last year," Baresel said. "Everyone is returning and has the confidence to compete for the conference championship."
Coach: Frank Cyrus.
Top players: Tyler Cunningham, sr.; Hays Templeton, so.
Outlook: Cunningham, who missed state by three strokes last year and by just one stroke as a sophomore, is poised for a big season. Cyrus expects big things from him and Templeton.
Coach: Mike Pribaz.
Top players: Sam Cascella, sr.; Brendan Harris, sr.; Cole Martin, sr.; Brendan Noland, sr.; Tristan Pastore, sr.; Colin Schultz, sr.
Outlook: The Falcons graduated top scorer Sam Gerry, but have a much deeper team this year and look to improve on a 5-7 dual meet record. Harris and Pastore are both returning sectional qualifiers.
"It is obvious already that this will be a team with incredible senior leadership and experience," Pribaz said. "It will be an interesting season with mostly dual matches and few tournaments but our focus won't change. We will look to compete in a tough DuKane Conference and hope there will be a postseason."
WHEATON WARRENVILLE SOUTH
Coach: James Selleck.
Top players: Ben Klimenko, Aidan McCoyd, Kyle Scaccia, Thomas Foley, Danny Zawoyski.
Outlook: The Tigers graduated five seniors off last year's team that won DuKane Conference and regional championships and took fifth at sectionals. Klimenko, the DuKane Conference individual champion who shot WW South's low round at regionals, leads five returning golfers. McCoyd and Foley placed 10th at conference.
"We are happy to have a season, even if condensed," Selleck said. "The boys worked hard this summer. We have hopes of doing well."
Coach: Jim Borel
Top players: Joe Bonellli, sr.; Connor Polomsky, sr.; Sam Bartolone, sr.; Zach Sutter, sr.
Outlook: Joshua LaBounty and Matthew Buckley, who tied for third and sixth, respectively, at state have graduated, but a good nucleus remains from a team that took fourth in the Class 3A team finish. Polomsky and Bonelli had York's third and fourth-best scores at state. Bartolone earlier this month made the cut at the Illinois State Junior Amateur Championship.