Boys golf previews: Dukes turn to solid sophomore duo

Published: Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 3:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 3:13 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Will Gunst competes in an invite at Oak Meadows Golf Club Wednesday. The York sophomore is expected to be one of the Dukes' leading scorers this season.
Caption
(Photo provided)
Montini golfer Eddie Fitzgerald celebrates his hole-in-one on August 13 at Gleneagles Country Club in Lemont on the second hole white course 180-yard par three. He hit a three hybrid.
Caption
(Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Glenbard East's Ben Symonds competes in an invite held at Oak Meadows Golf Club Wednesday. The junior is expected to be a mainstay in the Rams' lineup this season.

The 2013 boys golf season is underway and as teams across the area tee it up, the ultimate destination is the Bloomington-Normal area Oct. 18 to 19 for the state championship tournaments.

York Dukes

Conference: West Suburban Silver

Home course: Maple Meadows Golf Course, 272 S. Addison Road, Wood Dale

2012 results: 3rd in regional, 6th in sectional

Coach: Jim Borel

Top golfers:

Connor Costello, jr.

Will Gunst, so.

Max Holmes, sr.

Jordan Less, so.

R.J. Lewis, sr.

Riley Russell, jr.

What to watch:

After graduating five seniors, the York golf team is hoping to rebuild quickly. Leading the youth movement will be sophomores Will Gunst and Jordan Less.

“Will and Jordan are two of the top sophomores in the state,” coach Jim Borel said.

The rest of the Dukes’ squad is low on varsity experience, with a number of seniors and juniors vying for spots in the lineup. Max Holmes and R.J. Lewis have been named senior captains.

York placed fourth out of 20 teams at the Addison Trail Invite on Wednesday. Less and Riley Russell each shot a 76 to tie for sixth place.

IC Catholic Knights

Conference: Suburban Christian

Home course: Fresh Meadow Golf Course, 2144 S. Wolf Road, Hillside

2012 results: 10th in regional

Coach: Don Sujack

Top golfers:

Anthony Clementi, jr.

Max Faut, sr.

Grant Hennessy, sr.

Mark Noftz, sr.

Nick Tumminaro, sr.

Frank Vasquez, sr.

What to watch:

Six varsity returners give the Knights high expectations for the season. Five of those six are seniors, but the lone junior, Anthony Clementi, had the best scoring average on the team.

“Clementi has already played two full seasons on varsity, and I’m anxious to see him perform this season,” coach Don Sujack said. “Anthony is very competitive, and coupled with the natural progression of being a junior and competing in his third year with the program, he is poised to accomplish much.”

Coach Don Sujack mentioned Grant Hennessy, who held the second best scoring average last year, and Max Faut as potential breakout players after putting in extra time during the offseason.

Timothy Christian Trojans

Conference: Metro Suburban

Home course: Oak Brook Golf Course, 2606 York Road, Oak Brook

2012 results: 3rd in regional, 6th in sectional

Coach: Jeff Vander Naald

Top golfers:

Jimmy Brush so.

Logan Byrne sr.

Connor Loughead jr.

Sean McNamara sr.

Ryan Radandt jr.

What to watch:

Five of the six players that competed for Timothy at the Montini regional last year and helped the team qualify for sectionals last fall graduated.

The lone returner from that group is senior Logan Byrne. A number of golfers that competed for the JV team last season will need to fill in the other spots. Sophomore Jimmy Brush showed good potential as one of the top scorers as a freshman.

Montini Broncos

Conference: Suburban Christian

Home course: Willow Crest Golf Club, 3500 Midwest Road, Oak Brook

2012 results: 7-5 dual meet record, 5th in regional

Coach: Dave Lyons

Top golfers:

Eddie Fitzgerald jr.

Ryan Mullins sr.

What to watch:

State qualifier Seth Maack is gone, but sectional qualifier Ryan Mullins is back for his senior year.

Mullins was an all-conference performer for the Broncos last season. Junior Eddie Fitzgerald was an academic all-conference golfer. That duo will lead a Montini team looking to replace the quality talent it lost.

Fitzgerald recently made a hole-in-one on the second hole at the Gleneagles Country Club white course, a 180-yard par three.

Glenbard East Rams

Conference: DuPage Valley

Home course: Glendale Lakes Golf Club, 1550 President St., Glendale Heights

2012 results: 9th in regional

Coach: Chris Weinke

Top golfers:

Nick Knowles jr.

Nick Symonds jr.

Ben Symonds jr.

What to watch:

The Rams’ roster isn’t filled with seniors, but the juniors in the varsity lineup have some experience.

Junior Nick Knowles was described as the team leader by coach Chris Weinke. Fellow juniors Nick and Ben Symonds are also expected to be a big part of the team.

East moved its home course from Village Links in Glen Ellyn to Glendale Lakes in Glendale Heights.

“That should hopefully create a home course advantage,” Weinke said.

Addison Trail Blazers

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Home course: Maple Meadows Golf Club, 272 S. Addison Road, Wood Dale

2012 results: 6-3 dual meet record, 3rd in regional, 11th in sectional

Coach: Tom Hubner

Top golfers:

Dan Hartnett jr.

Matt Piotrowski sr.

Nick Sammarco jr.

Tom Stuhr jr.

Zack Vaca jr.

What to watch:

A pair of all-conference returners, Matt Piotrowski and Tom Stuhr, highlight the roster. Nick Sammarco, Dan Hartnett and Zack Vaca are also returners that give the Blazers a veteran lineup.

After placing third in both the West Suburban Gold and the Lake Park regional last year, the experienced group will be aiming for more.

“The outlook should be positive, we return seven varsity players,” said coach Tom Hubner. “Our goals are always to win tournaments, win conference, a regional and get to state.”

Willowbrook Warriors

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Home course: Sugar Creek Golf Course, 500 E. Van Buren St., Villa Park

2012 results: 3-6 dual meet record, 8th in regional

Coach: Gary Walker

Top golfers:

Mark Fratto sr.

Mike Malito sr.

Dominick McDonnell jr.

Henry Wallace jr.

What to watch:

Three golfers just missed out on qualifying for sectionals last fall, but the Warriors are hoping for some breakthroughs in the postseason with eight returners.

Coach Gary Walker said the team is well-balanced throughout its top nine golfers, but senior Mark Fratto could break away and be a standout if he shows he can perform in the clutch.

“He definitely has the ability to shoot in the mid 70s,” Walker said. “The question remains will you do it on that specific day of sectionals.”

Mike Malito is hoping for a big improvement after playing in several summer tournaments. He should also see tough competition during the high school season with the Warriors competing in nine invites.

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