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Boys golf: Scouting Northwest.

Byline: Bill Esbrook Daily Herald Correspondent

Mid-Suburban League

Buffalo Grove: Bison coach Peter Duffer says his team "lost some close MSL matches that I hope we can win this year. We have to get four good scores to compete in the Mid-Suburban League, and last year we had many matches where we had two or three players score well." Clutch returning players for BG this year will be seniors Kyle Richards, Michael Speer, and Mike Mandrell. "If we manage the course(s) better," said Duffer, "and find ways to improve from 100 yards in, we will be competitive. We have to compete daily to move up the MSL standings, and that includes practice. Smart shots off the tee and an improved short game will take us a long way this year." Rounding out the roster will be Michael Coduti, Nicky Jones, Jacob Gazda, Joey Morain, Dori Lee, Ryan Bierheide, Tyler Ehret, Sean Ouimet and Tyler Fricke.

Elk Grove: New coach Brian Bucciarelli has five starters returning, all with conference experience. "We're looking to break 175 consistently in competition," said Bucciarelli. "by relying on our ability from 150 and in. We hope to push more golfers through to the IHSA series come October." Top golfers for the Grens will include seniors Ryley Rathman and Joe Montag, junior Jason Gamez and sophomore Dean Carlson.

Hersey: Coming off a runner-up placement in the MSL East last season, there's every reason to think the Huskies will again be in the thick of things as Dan Caporusso begins his 34th year of coaching. The varsity returners are seniors Ryan Kreie, Derek Cho, Colin Mizwicki and brothers Josh and Jake Perkins. Key newcomers include sophomores Tyler Irwin and Henry Quinn, who have scored well in the early meets, and junior Seth Heidkamp. Caporusso also expects contributions from juniors Sam Sobchek, Anthony Carlson, Michael Zolna, Tyler Haas and Dylan Hodshire. Caporusso's says developing consistency with a reliable short game along with solid course strategy and strong swing fundamentals, will be central to the program achieving some lofty goals, which include advancing to the sectional championship and winning the MSL East.

Prospect: Last year's accomplishments from the Knights included an MSL conference championship and a second-place finish at regionals in the postseason. John Cantieri and Charlie Busch were both individual state qualifiers. Now Busch and Cantieri are two of the essential returnees this year, along with Jack Knott, Jack Moeller, Luke Ninness, Reid Wagner and Tyler Preissing. "This is really a fine group of young men," said Prospect coach Tom Martindale. "The players have worked hard over the summer and are a group that likes to compete every day." Newcomers will include Sam Ergastolo, Dylan Norton, Vinnie Minelli, Doug Poy, Jack Schwall, Ben Hitesman and Brian Dini, and Martindale adds that the key to the team's success this season will be "consistent play, teamwork, and being connected to a team."

Rolling Meadows: Junior Chris Cho (a sectional qualifier last year), and sophomore Luke Duffer will pace the Mustangs' effort this campaign. "We're looking for more consistency," says RM coach Joseph Szabo. "We didn't have a lot of varsity experience last year, and with a full season under most of their belts, now we are hoping to improve our conference record from last year. We are hoping to take the momentum from winning the Leyden Invite into the season."

Wheeling: Long-time Wildcats coach Mark Menich, in his 18th year as head coach, says the goal for his team in 2018 is to be "competitive on a consistent basis and move up in the standings." Menich will be relying on returnees Jared Moser, Eric Konrath, Spencer Nowak and Jack Cesek, but will also be counting on a couple of sophomores, Jimmy Leonard and Joe Plascencia, to "put up some competitive scores themselves."

Barrington: The Broncos shared the Mid-Suburban League championship in 2017. Now coach Mike Kallenbach said his team is returning some key players with varsity experience, such as seniors Bobby Beaubien, Brandon Dorans, Will Mogler and Mitch Mogler. "All of our players have improved their games respectively over the summer," said Kallenbach. "The experience they gained last year will be a huge benefit this season, and I believe the entire team is looking forward to the challenge the current season has in store. It will be a fun year." Juniors Sean Markham, Nathan Holler, Aiden Jackson, John Stojka and Will Slott will compete for the Broncos, as will sophomore Matt Lee.

Conant: "Staying healthy is important (for us this season)," said Cougars coach Scott Cieplik. "We have a couple of injuries to our two main players, and hope they come back soon." Key newcomers for Conant this season are Patrick Ortwerth and David Kim. They'll be joined by returnees Kyle Lejman and Eric Bradley (seniors), Sunny Sivarathri and Matt McColaugh (juniors) and Nikko Ganas (a sophomore). "Outside of winning," added Cieplik, "I'd like to give my players more experience so I added more invitationals (to the schedule), to allow more players to participate. The main goal is to see gradual improvement from my younger players." Also competing for the Cougars will be Brian Burke, Brian Wilton, Alex Giuliano, Liam Harrison, Jack Lucarz, and Tyler Ryan.

Fremd: Though the team didn't advance beyond the regional tourney last year, the Vikings had individual players qualify for sectionals. Colin Robinson, returning this year for his senior season, advanced all the way to state and finished in the top 12. Now this year coach Ryan Moreau says the team "has some extremely talented seniors" and "is excited for what their skill, experience and leadership will bring. If our supporting cast can rise to the occasion and continue to improve, we could be looking at a great season." Others joining Robinson on the roster will include seniors Nate Schmidt and Bill Gao, and juniors Ryan Higgins, Varun Kompala, and Griffin Arbour.

Hoffman Estates: The Hawks enjoyed a good season in 2017 but coach Todd Meador says "we lost two key seniors from that team, Alex Harrison and Alex Mayani." Hoffman had four players advance all the way to sectionals last year in Harrison, Mayani, Jonatham Lim, and Tom Curcio. Now Lim returns for his senior season along with teammate Nathan Meister (a sophomore) , and Meador says that "our team will be led by Jonathan and Nathan, with a few other guys working very hard to earn the remaining spots on the team. So far they have been great to work with and truly enjoy the game of golf." Also joining the fray for the Hawks will be senior James Kliver, and juniors Darshan Desai and Jeremy Weidner.

Palatine: The Pirates will not have a lot of experience in 2018 as they graduated their six top players. But coach Mark Johnson says the team will continue to a factor in the Mid-Suburban League, as well as in tourneys. "We look to continue to be competitive in the MSL and also have a nice showing in our 18-hole events," said Johnson. "The kids have been working hard on their games and are continuing to grow and develop. We will need to get some experience early to make sure we stay in the MSL race." Seniors in the lineup this year will include Nick Oswald, Ben Rinella, Mike Messineo, Kaden Kane and Evan Waller.

Schaumburg: Saxons coach Christopher Zickert is looking to rebound from what he calls a "bit of a disappointing season" in 2017. Senior Dan Meister will be the team leader, and Zickert says that "we are looking to fill in behind him -- we have a deep and talented sophomore class and a good group of freshman. We're looking for them to contribute to the success of our season." Key golfers for Schaumburg in 2018 will senior Vince Giglio, senior Kazuki Sakei, and junior Alex Flowers.

West Suburban Gold

Leyden: The Eagles will go into battle with a very experienced team, having lost only one senior to graduation. "We'll be looking to be more competitive in conference," said coach Steven Siekierski. "We'll also be looking to advance out of regionals as a team -- and possibly send a golfer downstate." Sutape Chantapim, Marco Diaz and Jared Hankins will pace the Leyden effort in 2018.

Central Suburban North

Maine West: The Warriors boasted a winning record last year along with 2 sectional qualifiers, Chase Stephen and Luke Rothweiler. "We're very excited now for another season and look for continued improvement from all of our golfers," says West coach Mike Godlewski. "We're inexperienced at the varsity level, but do bring back Luke (Rothweiler) and a couple of others who played some varsity matches." The roster will include Peter Langridge, Riley Griffin, Jack Hernandez, Danny Rice and Nick Hernandez.

East Suburban Catholic

Saint Viator: Lions coach Jack Halpin, whose team took seocnd in the Class 2A state tourney last year, says his squad "will play one of the strongest schedules in the state," highlighted by tourneys at Ridgemoor, Biltmore, Twin Orchard and Park Ridge. Viator already won tournament No. 1 on the year, the Rolling Green Invite -- where Timmy Crawford, Nolan Doherty, EJ Reisinger, Ryan O'Grady and RJ Hart excelled. "Timmy and Nolan are not only the top players this year," said Halpin, "but they have been the best players for the last two years."

-- Bill Esbrook
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Esbrook, By Bill
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Aug 18, 2018
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