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Boys golf previews: LT chases team success again

Sectional qualifiers return for Fenwick, Naz, Morton, RB

Practice balls near the chipping area at Oak Brook Golf Club await a golfer. Nazareth's boys team plays at the course Thursday against Timothy Christian.
Practice balls near the chipping area at Oak Brook Golf Club await a golfer. Nazareth's boys team plays at the course Thursday against Timothy Christian.

The golf season has already teed off and teams are hoping to make the trek Oct. 17 and 18 to Bloomington and Normal for the Class 1A, 2A and 3A state tournaments. Here’s the outlook for a few area teams.

Fenwick Friars

Coach: Jerry Kribs

Conference: Chicago Catholic League

Top players

Christian Early, junior

Ben Kisla, junior

Jack Mortell, sophomore

Outlook: Sectional qualifiers Christian Early and Jack Mortell return for the Friars, and junior Ben Kisla looks to be another top golfer this fall.

Coach Jerry Kribs said the team’s goal is to win the Chicago Catholic League and qualify for the state meet. A year ago Fenwick was third in the CCL and fifth in the Glenbrook North regional, two spots short of advancing to the sectional.

Lyons Township Lions

Coach: Brian Kopecky

Conference: West Suburban Silver

Top players

Mike Caplice, senior

Jon Hudson, senior

Jason Miller, junior

Billy Spartz, senior

Matt Walsh, senior

Outlook: Kansas freshman Dan Hudson may be gone, but five of the top six golfers from 2013 are back for the Lions.

Senior Jon Hudson is the only golfer with state experience, having qualified the past two seasons. Despite that, fellow returners Matt Walsh, Mike Caplice, Billy Spartz and Jason Miller have kept the expectations high for LT.

“I think we can get on the radar screen [at state],” coach Brian Kopecky said. “That was our goal last year and we just had a bad day at the sectional.

“Try to be consistent, and at the regional and sectional our goal is to be first, second or third. If you get down [to state] anything can happen.”

Senior Alex Wenstrup, junior Mike Devries, sophomore Joey Larson and freshmen Max Campbell and Patrick Akaniroj fill out the varsity roster.

Morton Mustangs

Coach: Chris Blomquist

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Mike Kadela, senior

Jeremy Nadolski, senior

Thomas Skenandore, junior

Outlook: Returning sectional qualifier Thomas Skenandore leads the Mustangs this season. Skenandore advanced out of the Brother Rice regional as a sophomore.

Seniors Mike Kadela and Jeremy Nadolski should be the leading seniors on the roster.

Junior girl Chloe Maietta will compete with the boys squad during the regular season and then compete as an individual for girls conference and regionals.

Nazareth Roadrunners

Coaches: Jim Danko and Mike Morris

Conference: East Suburban Catholic

Top players

Matthew Clark, junior

Michael Johannes, senior

Matt Mara, senior

Robin Mata, senior

Outlook: The Roadrunners return three of the top six that helped them advance to sectionals in 2013, including top scorer Matthew Clark.

“Matthew Clark has won several tournaments this summer and we believe will be a solid contender for a state individual medal this fall,” said coach Mike Morris, who is co-head coach along with Jim Danko.

Clark will try to follow up on Andrew Dobis’ 10th place finish in Class 2A last year. Dobis became the first Roadrunner to place as an individual at the state meet.

Five other juniors, Jake Hasan, Connor Knoelke, Quinn Newman, Andrew Radford, and Aiden Smith are on the roster.

Riverside Brookfield Bulldogs

Coach: Larry Rocco

Conference: Metro Suburban

Top players

Mike Gruber, junior

Aleks Penaherrera, junior

Outlook: The Bulldogs just missed out on advancing to sectionals in 2013, but two current juniors, Aleks Penaherrera and Mike Gruber, qualified as individuals and are back this fall.

New conference opponents await the Bulldogs this fall in the expanded Metro Suburban Conference.

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