Boys Golf | Herald-News

High school boys golf: 2022 Herald-News season preview capsules

SouthWest Suburban Conference

Bolingbrook

Coach: Jeff Allen (ninth season)

Top returner: Ryan Johnson, sr.

Key newcomers: Anthony Jablonski, so.; Dylan Hoag, so.

Worth noting: “Ryan will be looking to build on strong sophomore and junior seasons, and as our team captain, he has great leadership qualities both on and off the course,” Allen said. “I look forward to seeing how much he improves over the course of this season.”

Lincoln-Way Central

Coach: Ryan Pohlmann (eighth season, 23rd overall)

Last season’s record: 8-2

Top returners: Jacob Stoetzel, sr.; Jack Herget, sr.

Key newcomers: Nolan Vrabec, sr.; Nolan Pickert, sr.; James Bozzi, sr.; Ben Howey, jr.

Worth noting: While the Knights, SWSC Red champions, lost Juney Bai (third in state last year) to graduation, all-conference selections Jacob Stoetzel and Jack Herget return and are ready to fill the void with games that hover around par. “We will have a contingency of seniors that will fill out the lineup for us and junior Ben Howey.” Pohlmann said. “We feel that the depth of our lineup has increased from last season. There are some dynamic teams in our conference and area this year, so hopefully we can compete and hang. It is sometimes a fun roll to be the underdog.”

Lincoln-Way East

Coach: Jim Nair (sixth season, 20th overall)

Last season’s record: 8-0

Top returners: Dylan Drogemuller, sr.; Colin Jungels, sr.; Lincoln Haberkorn, sr.; Anthony Sambo, sr.; Tanner Leonard, jr.

Key newcomers: Joey Glennon, sr.; Will Schultz, sr.; Jake Krstulovich, sr.; Luka Krstulovich, sr.; Liam Shannon, jr.

Worth noting: The Griffins return 10 players from last year’s squad that won conference and regional titles with a solid seventh-place finish at the state finals. Leonard placed in the top 10 individually at state and was the league’s champion, while Drogemuller and Haberkorn earned all-conference honors. “Drogemuller and Leonard will lead the team, but multiple guys scored well last season,” Nair said. “They all put in countless hours of work and gained tournament experience over the summer. We hope to build on their exceptional season from 2021.”

Lincoln-Way West

Coach: Dan Szablewski (fourth season, 11th overall)

Last season’s record: 7-4

Top returner: Will Pluskota, sr.

Worth noting: Pluskota is a returning all-conference selection who also claimed a spot in sectionals as a junior. “Our team goals this season are to win the SWSC Red [Division] and also qualify as a team for the sectional by finishing in the top three as a team at the regional,” Szablewski said.

Lockport

Coach: Matt Eber (11th season)

Last season’s record: 8-5, 2-2

Top returners: Nate Kwiatkowski, jr.; Nick Barry, sr.; Joey Sluzas, jr.; Kyle Kuhn, sr.; Logan Beissel, sr.; Jacob Stoch, sr.

Key newcomers: Braeden DeBlecourt, jr.; Nick Wood, sr.

Worth noting: Lockport returns four players from last year’s squad that finished third as a team at regional, won sectional and finished tied for ninth at the state finals. “We expect good things from Kwiatkowski, who returns to the team as our top finisher at the state tournament and looks to be the team scoring leader with his early great start,” Eber said. “We will also be relying on Barry, Sluzas, Kuhn, Beissel and Stoch, plus a handful of newcomers for strong play. We should be very competitive in our conference and in our schedule of tournaments to be in contention to take home some titles and compete again for a spot at the state tournament with hopes of improving on last year’s finish.”

Southwest Prairie Conference

Joliet Township

Coach: Ed Larson (17th season)

Top returners: Lincoln Chizmark, jr.; Thomas Fellows, jr.; Brayden Walsh, sr.; Alejandro Montes, sr.; Parker Sloan, jr.; Casey Tyrell, jr.

Key newcomers: Carson Trax, jr.; Zach Taylor, jr.; Mitchell Fulayter, so.

Worth noting: Chizmark advanced to the state finals last season, while Fellows and Walsh were sectional participants. “Our team was loaded with sophomores last year, so going into this season we have high expectations to advance deep in the IHSA tournaments,” Larson said. “With the maturity of our younger players and the hard work they’ve accomplished over the winter/summer as well as the addition of Carson and Zach, we’re looking to advance as a team to the state finals this season.”

Minooka

Coach: Jeff Petrovic (17th season)

Top returners: Brydon North, sr.; Carter Stephenson, jr.; Brett Widlowski, jr.; Grant Gould, jr.; TJ Quinn, so.; Michael Kuchar, so.

Worth noting: Minooka returns all six of its top golfers. North, Stephenson, Quinn and Widlowski were sectional qualifiers last season with the former trio also earning all-conference honors. “This is a great group of kids that work really hard all year round,” Petrovic said. “We have depth through our first six players, and I suspect that it will be a really good year for us.”

Plainfield East

Coach: Joe Young (ninth season)

Last season’s record: 8-4, 6-4

Top returners: Brent Cudal, sr.; Jack Hebreard, sr.; Josh Winterroth, so.

Key newcomers: Griffin Mailhoit, jr.; Cole Buettner, jr.

Worth noting: The Bengals will be missing two-time all-conference pick in senior Brady Louck but will have returning top talent led by three-time all-league senior Cudal, as well as Hebreard and Winterroth. “The team will look to juniors Mailhoit and Buettner as well as promising talent at the freshman level to keep them in the upper half of the SPC,” Young said. “We are hoping to have success late in the season with a goal of repeating as a team sectional qualifier.”

Plainfield North

Coach: Mike Kneip (eighth season)

Last year: 10-1, 10-0

Top returners: Tanner Daugherty, sr.; Drew Czarnik, sr.; Ryan Nelson, sr.; Lou Muscarnero, sr.; Jackson Floros, jr.

Key newcomers: Evan Czarnik, jr.; Brian Leigh, jr.; Luke Harmon, jr.; Ethan Clark, jr.; Luke Hasan, jr.; Colin Doyle, jr.

Worth noting: The Tigers return SPC MVP Daugherty (three-year all-conference) and Czarnik, a two-time all-conference honoree, from a squad that qualified for sectionals for a four consecutive season last fall. Nelson and Floros also will be counted on to be key contributors. “Overall, we lack experience, with many juniors playing varsity golf for the first time,” Kneip said. “We will be looking to see which players improve throughout the year and lock their spot in the lineup. Our goals are to compete for the SPC championship and an IHSA regional championship.”

Plainfield South

Coach: Tim Boe (19th season)

Last season’s record: 2-8

Top returners: Aiden O’Sullivan, jr.; Jake Kottmeyer, sr.

Key newcomers: Henry Thies, so.; Jonah Powell, fr.; Junior Kyle Gryzbowski, jr.; Brady Quinn, fr.; Vince Farbo, fr.; Aaron Chaplin, fr.

Worth noting: Boe said O’Sullivan, who qualified for sectionals last season, and Kottmeyer will be asked to lead the Cougars with “balanced experience and youthful exuberance.”

Romeoville

Coach: Jeff Bambule (10th season)

Last season’s record: 1-8, 1-8

Top returners: Joey Crowley, sr.; Danny Myers, jr.; Logan Repetowski, sr.; Rex Devries, sr.; Ryan Forney, sr.

Key Newcomers: Luke Laushot, jr.; Ryan Uscila, so.; Tyler Noe, jr.; AJ Burnett, sr.; Harrison Kolze, jr.

Worth noting: “Crowley had a tremendous year last year,” Bambule said. “He was an all-conference member and a sectional qualifier – the first sectional qualifier in 20 years for the us. Myers was also on the cusp of qualifying. This year’s roster looks to be very competitive with each other and hopefully that leads to more team and individual success.”

East Suburban Catholic Conference

Joliet Catholic

Coach: David Mondrella (fourth season)

Last season’s record: 3-8, 1-3

Top returners: Alex Gonzalez, sr.; Dwayne Killian, sr.; Thomas Superits, sr.; Michael Tuman, sr.; Connor Neville, jr.; Jake Gimbel, jr.; Quinn Swienton, so.

Key newcomer: Mario Gonzalez, so.

Worth noting: Swienton (39 for a nine-hole average, 82 for 18) was an all-conference selection last fall and, along with Alex Gonzalez (42 and 85), qualified for sectionals for the Hilltoppers – the pair falling one and two strokes respectively short of advancing to the state tournament. “Quinn and Alex both got a taste last year, just missing advancing to state,” Mondrella said. “They have both worked extremely hard on their game this winter and summer and the goal is a state finals appearance.”

South Suburban Conference

Lemont

Coach: Mark Hollatz (28th season, 31st overall)

Last season’s record: 12-0

Top returners: Eddie Scott, jr.; Jack Crispo, sr.; Dan Stood, sr.

Key newcomers: Robby Politza, jr.; Joey Scott, fr.

Worth noting: Lemont won its 19th consecutive conference title and finished fourth at state last season. Two-time state qualifier Scott (37 average for nine holes), Crispo (38) and Stood (42) were selected to the all-conference team. “We should have a strong team with the hope of continuing the conference dominance and the hope of building off last year’s IHSA state finish,” Hollatz said. “It’s a great group of players with strong upper-class leadership. Collectively, the hardest and most dedicated group I’ve been around. They have high standards set and high goals for the year.”

Illinois Central Eight

Coal City

Coach: Harlan Kennell (seventh season)

Last season’s record: 4-6, 4-2

Top returners: Ryne Phelan, sr.; Ryland Megyeri, jr.; Dylan Brown, jr.; Jack Varnak, jr.

Key newcomers: Ethan Bach, jr.; Nolan Eddy, sr.; Culen Lindemuth, so.; Blaine Doss, so.

Worth noting: Coal City returns several upperclassmen who have proven abilities on the course, including returning sectional qualifiers in Megyeri and Brown. “We have three experienced upperclassmen that have worked on their game all summer and improved tremendously,” Kennell said. “I look for Ryne Phelan to lead our varsity golfers this year in most matches. I am very excited to have eight players that have the potential to contribute at the varsity level as well. We should be able to compete with the top teams in the conference.”

Reed-Custer

Coach: Nick Arndt (third season)

Last season’s record: 1-8

Top returner: Makayla Wilkins, sr.

Key newcomers: Eli Nagel, sr.; Kyle Highland, so.

Worth noting: “Our two newcomers should be able to put up some good scores this season, and Makayla Wilkins should also stand out in the conference while also hopefully advance deep into the postseason,” Arndt said. “The kids are excited about this year and are looking to get better every day. We would like to win a few more matches this year.”

Wilmington

Coach: Mike Wilson (19th season)

Last season’s record: 2-10, 0-8

Top returners: Aaron Burkey, jr.; Channing Sexton, Claire Lenart, Emily Geiss

Key newcomers: Shawn James, so.; Ryan Ketteman, fr.; Caius Drown, fr.; Joey Lewsader, fr.; Tony Johnston, fr.; Mark Gable, fr.; Nate McKendrick, fr.; Ava Cupples, jr.

Worth noting: “We are working hard, and I am looking forward to this season,” Wilson said. “We are young, and our future looks bright. This season my goal is for our young players to gain experience and improve as the season progresses.”

Interstate 8 Conference

Morris

Coach: Mike Muntz (fourth season, sixth overall)

Last season’s record: 10-4, 4-3

Top returners: Drew Larsen, sr.; Joey Lanahan, jr.; Liam Eber, so.

Key newcomers: Chris Harris, sr.; Aden Delahera, jr.; Bennett Ammer, jr.

Worth noting: Morris had a successful 2021 season. It had double-digit wins and qualified as a team for sectionals for the first time since 2017. Lanahan looks to fill the void of the top spot that was lost to graduation, while Eber and Larsen are strong returning golfers. Delahera, Harris, and Ammer split time between the varsity and JV squads last year and will look to make a splash as full-time varsity members this season. “We are very young experience-wise on the varsity level again this year,” Muntz said. “However, I do believe that we have the potential to qualify for sectionals for a second straight year.”

Tri-County Conference

Seneca

Coach: Bryan Erickson (12th season)

Last season’s record: 19-1, 7-0

Top returnees: Kaleb Powell, sr.; Grant Siegel, so.

Key newcomers: Dalton DeGrush, sr.; Brett Marques, sr.; Ryker Terry, so.; Grayson Sobkowich, so.; Keegan Murphy, so.

Worth noting: Seneca posted a stellar overall and league dual mark last fall but lost the top four players from that squad to graduation. “With the loss of those guys, we are looking for Kaleb Powell to step into the No. 1 position and be the leader of the team,” Erickson said. “We will definitely go through some growing pains this year, but with a solid top four, I still think we can be fairly competitive.”