Fox Valley Conference
Coach: Thomas Davies (seventh season)
Last season: Eighth at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Tyson Malak, sr.; Chaz Rutke, sr.; Tyler Haines, sr.; Aric Beaman, sr.
Key newcomers: Cody Leon, sr.; Ivan Larson, jr.; Matthew Lemon, jr.
Worth noting: Malak, who earned a state berth as a sophomore in 2019, was a Northwest Herald All-Area honorable mention pick and fired a 77 at regionals to earn a sectional berth. Rutke led the Rockets with an 83 at the FVC tournament. Malak was a shot behind with an 84. … Davies is excited to see what Malak can do his senior year. Malak shot a 79 in the 10-team Crystal Lake South Invitational on Thursday, made up of all FVC teams, and tied for the fourth lowest score. “He has the potential to put together a magical season and not only be all-conference, but No. 1 in a very competitive conference,” Davies said. … Davies likes the depth of his team this season. ... “We are extremely junior and senior heavy, and we have plenty of depth,” Davies said. “This is a year that I expect to contend for conference and hopefully make some noise during the postseason.”
Coach: Chris Gotsch (eighth season)
Last season: Sixth at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Tom Fornelli, sr.; Maddux Tarasievich, jr.
Key newcomers: Erik Pietrzyk, so.; Rannin Gruen, sr.
Worth noting: Fornelli paced the Trojans at the FVC tournament with an 80. … C-G was sixth at regionals but did not advance anybody to the sectional tournament. … Tarasievich won the McHenry County Junior Golf Association’s Boys Junior Player of the Year after a standout summer, capturing five tournaments and placing top 3 in 12 of 15 events played. … “Excited to get this season underway,” Gotsch said. “We have a great group of players, led by last year’s MVP Tom Fornelli. Our junior, Maddux Tarasievich, has spent all summer on the golf course.”
Crystal Lake Central
Coach: Matt LePage (third season)
Last season: FVC Tournament champions, Class 3A regional champions
Top returners: Eric Klutke, sr.; Bayden Hubacher, sr.; Christian Wakeford, sr.; Ethan Bass, sr.; Dominic Hooper, sr.
Key newcomer: Jake Kenefick, so.; Charles Polash, fr.
Worth noting: The Tigers won the FVC title by 12 shots over Crystal Lake South and claimed their first regional title since 2013, led by Northwest Herald Boys Golfer of the Year Eric Klutke. Klutke was first at both conference and regionals with matching 68s and took runner-up at at sectionals with a 72, falling to Barrington’s Ian Bouchard in a playoff. … Hubacher, an All-Area first-team selection, took third at the FVC tournament with a 75. He took seventh at regionals (81) and 17th at sectionals (80). Wakeford was All-Area honorable mention. Wakeford and Bass both shot 86 and regionals and 89 at sectionals. … The Tigers won the season-opening Crystal Lake South Invite with a 322, led by Klutke (75), Hubacher (79) and Wakeford (81). … “We are looking forward to playing a full season with a solid returning core and adding in some young players to help with team depth,” LePage said. “We’re looking forward to a competitive season.”
Crystal Lake South
Coach: Curt Wadlington (16th season)
Last season: FVC Tournament runners-up
Top returners: Nate Stewart, jr.; Bryce Sturm, sr.
Worth noting: Graduate Will Stewart, a finalist for Northwest Herald Boys Golfer of the Year, fired a 73 to take runner-up at the FVC tournament. He earned the FVC points championship and went on to capture regional and sectional individual championships to end his stellar career. Stewart had a 73 at regionals and 72 at sectionals as South secured its second straight regional title as a team. ... Ricky Falbo and Nate Stewart both were All-Area second-team picks. … Nate Stewart posted an 84 at the FVC tournament and opened the 2021 season Thursday with a first-place finish at the Crystal Lake South Invite at Boulder Ridge with a 2-over-par 74. ... In addition to Nate Stewart and Falbo, the Gators lost Tanner Coakley and Spencer Shireman to graduation.
Coach: Bob Sweeney (18th season)
Last season: Seventh at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Chris Przybylak, sr.; Yash Dulla, sr.; Jake Russell, jr.; Jason Huber, sr.; Blake Hernandez, sr.; Gavin Doughery, jr.; Mason Morowski, jr.
Worth noting: The Chargers took seventh at the FVC tournament for the second straight year. The team’s No. 1 golfer, Aidan Svec, graduated, but D-C has a senior and junior heavy lineup with four seniors and three juniors coming back. Przybylak, Dulla and Russell have the most experience of those returning. … “Our main focus this year is to be shooting our best individual and team scores during the conference tournament and postseason play,” Sweeney said.
Coach: Kevin O’Brien (third season)
Last season: 10th at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Jake Laube, jr.
Key newcomers: Eric Brown, so.; Seth Gillie, fr.
Worth noting: Brown was runner-up for MCJGA Boys Junior Player of the Year and won the Tournament of Champions at Woodstock Country Club. He led the team with an 82 at the season-opening Crystal Lake South Invite … The Whip-Purs had a fairly young lineup last year and will bring back a good amount of experience, but their top scorer at conference (Payton Yee) graduated. ... Hampshire was 10th at the FVC tournament for the second year in a row. … “We have been a very young team over the past few seasons,” O’Brien said. “We look forward to bringing back some experience to compete in the FVC this season.”
Coach: Collin Kalamatas (sixth season)
Last season: Fifth at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Danny Sheedy, sr.; Josh Good, sr.; Cole Modrich, sr.
Key newcomers: Jackson Locascio, sr.; Brendan Busky, jr.
Worth noting: Sheedy and Good qualified for sectionals last year. Sheedy shot a 79 and Good added an 80 at regionals. Sheedy led the way at conference with an 80 and had an 85 at sectionals. … The Raiders should be among the top contenders in the FVC this year. At the 10-team Crystal Lake South Invite, they were runner-up and 11 shots behind Crystal Lake Central. Good had a 76 and Sheedy added an 80. … Huntley graduated three of its top golfers in Evan Bendis, Trevor Book and Cole Frederick. … “We are returning quite a bit of varsity golf experience,” Kalamatas said. “Danny Sheedy and Josh Good are four-year varsity contributors and Cole Modrich is entering his third year. We have some solid veteran leadership with some depth in our younger players, as well. We are excited to compete in a very talented FVC field, and our guys are chomping at the bit for an opportunity to advance in the state series. I can’t say enough about the competitiveness of this group.”
Coach: Gary Conrad (eighth season)
Last season: Fourth at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Justin Cunningham, sr.; Jason Seaholm, sr.
Key newcomers: Ben Glockner, sr.; Barrett Rennall, fr.; Own Zaja, so.
Worth noting: The Golden Eagles return a strong No. 1 and 2 in Seaholm and Cunningham. Seaholm shot a 86 and Cunningham added an 88 at the Crystal Lake South Invite to open the season. Seaholm was a sectional qualifier last year, shooting a 79 at regionals. He was 19th at sectionals, poating an 81 to end a solid junior year. … Jacobs was only four shots behind the second and final team to qualify for sectionals. The Eagles graduated two of their top golfers in Ryan Frantik and Kyle Schutt. Schutt also qualified for sectionals. … Jacobs has state aspirations. ... “The goal this year is to get an individual down to the state tournament,” 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.”
Coach: Ryan Ellison (15th season)
Last season: Ninth at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Ethan Jensen, sr.; Sam Huff, sr.; Will Currie, sr.
Key newcomers: Brody Glauser, so.
Worth noting: Huff won the MCJGA Boys Senior Player of the Year and the Tournament of Champions. He took first in three events over the summer, holding off Prairie Ridge’s Joe Pokonosky for Player of the Year. … Huff and Jensen shot 80 and 82, respectively, at the Crystal Lake South Invite to open the year. McHenry took fifth out of the 10 FVC teams competing. “We’ve got a solid core of seniors this year and I’m excited to see how they’ve developed their game throughout the past year,” Ellison said. “I’m hoping that the core can come in with consistent numbers and we’ll be helped out by some of our younger guys every once in awhile. Ethan Jensen is one of those players who can make a lot of birdies because of his length.”
Coach: John Powell (ninth season)
Last season: Third at FVC Tournament
Top returners: Charlie Pettrone, so.; Danny Saville, jr.; Joe Pokonosky, sr.; Jacob Friedman, sr.
Worth noting: The Wolves took second at regionals, only three shots behind champion Crystal Lake South and was led by graduate Eddie Winklelmann, who took fourth at the FVC Tournament with a 76 and placed runner-up to Stewart at the regional, falling two shots short with a 75. Winkelmann, an All-Area first-team pick, shot an 83 at sectional, tying for 21st. The Wolves finished third in their sectional. … Pettrone was All-Area honorable mention. Friedman and Pettrone had the best individual finish at sectionals, tying for 13th with matching 81s. … Prairie Ridge opened the season with a fourth-place finish at the Crystal Lake South Invite with a 335, two shots behind runner-up Huntley. ... “We are eager to compete in a full season and continue to facilitate the value system of our golf program,” Powell said.
Kishwaukee River Conference
Coach: Rich Petska (13th season)
Last season: Fifth at KRC Tournament
Top returners: Myles Brincks, jr.; Andrew Dudley, sr.; Logan Garafol, so.; Justin Lehmann, so.; Connor Pedersen, jr.; Aaron Saucedo, so.; Caden Scott, sr.; Nick Thurow, jr.
Key newcomers: Omar Alva, sr.; Jacob Finfrock, fr.; Carter Flores, fr.; Connor Flores, sr.; Erik Hay, fr.
Worth noting: The Hornets only lost one varsity starter to graduation (Jake Chupich) and will be led by their top two golfers in Garafol and Brincks. … Saucedo is out to begin the season because of ACL surgery but could return, Petska said. … Garafol was runner-up at the KRC tournament with an 86, two shots behind Richmond-Burton’s Ryan Eskuri (84). … Brincks also earned a spot on the All-KRC team. … “After losing one starter to graduation, the Hornets are looking to build on last year’s growth,” Petska said. “The team will have to overcome the loss of Saucedo to ACL surgery, but has the depth to do that until he returns. Brincks and Garafol will look to establish themselves as top golfers in the [KRC].”
Coach: Don Bentz (fifth season)
Last season: Fourth at KRC Tournament
Top returners: Mike Link, jr.; Nick Thill, sr.; Nick Grons, so.; Cole Nuzzo, sr.; Mason Diedrich, jr.; Ethan Stahl, jr.
Key newcomers: Noah Hagen, so.; Tommy Oeffling, sr.
Worth noting: The Skyhawks improved from fifth to fourth at the KRC tournament, defeating Harvard by two shots. ... Link had Johnsburg’s best individual finish at the conference meet with 93 to place 10th. … “Hopefully we can continue [our growth] from last year,” Bentz said. “Our scores were very competitive.”
Coach: Brad Tichenor (15th season)
Last season: KRC Tournament runners-up
Top returners: Ryan Eskuri, sr.; Jeff Lehn, so.; Colten Miller, so.
Key newcomers: Joe Ferrero, sr.; Kenny Busch, sr.
Worth noting: Richmond-Burton’s Ryan Eskuri earned the top spot at the KRC tournament with an 84, becoming the second in his family to earn the top spot at the KRC Tournament. His brother, Matt, won the individual title in 2018 as a senior. … The Rockets finished second in the KRC for the second straight year, six shots behind champion Woodstock North co-op. ... Lehn and Miller both counted in the Rockets’ team scoring at conference. ... “We have a good core of returning golfers this year that will keep us competitive,” Tichenor said.
Woodstock North co-op
Coach: Brent Filetti (sixth season)
Last season: KRC Tournament champions
Top returners: Luke Trewyn, sr.; Jake Murray, sr.; Sam Berry, sr.; Aidan Sivore, jr.; Brady Heeren, jr.;
Key newcomer: Frank Ferru, jr.
Worth noting: The Woodstock North co-op team repeated as KRC champions with a six-shot win over runner-up Richmond-Burton and took four of the top seven individual spots. Berry finished third with an 87, Sivore and Trewyn each had 89s, and graduate Brad Arnold added a 91. The Thunder also finished without a loss in KRC play for the second year in a row, going 8-0 in duals. … Trewyn was named KRC Boys Golfer of the Year and joined by Sivore, Berry, Arnold and Heeran as all-KRC golfers. Trewyn and Sivore were All-Area honorable mention selections. … ”We are looking forward to a positive successful season,” Filetti said.
East Suburban Catholic Conference
Coach: Tom Kruse (first season)
Last season: Ninth at ESCC Tournament
Top returners: Owen Jager, sr.; Matthew Cotting, sr.
Key newcomers: Declan Pivnicka, jr.; Michael Jablonski, jr.; Tyson Jakubowicz, so.
Worth noting: Jager qualified for sectionals as a junior, firing an 82 at regionals. … The Hurricanes went 0-3 in conference duals and finished five shots out of eighth at the ESCC tournament. … Marian will be young but Kruse likes the direction of the program, with more interest at the lower levels. ... “We will have a young team with a core group of upperclassmen,” Kruse said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the young group of freshmen coming in. We have some good initial interest in the program, and we’re excited to see how the year plays out.”