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Boys golf previews: Veteran AT, junior-led York have high hopes

Published: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 2:00 p.m. CDT
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(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
York's Connor Costello follows the ball during play at the Addison Trail Invite at Oak Meadows on Wednesday. The Dukes have several players returning to varsity this season.
Caption
(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Glenbard East's Jack Moran hits a shot during the Addison Trail Invite held at Oak Meadows on Wednesday. A senior trio is expected to lead the Rams in their first season in the Upstate Eight Conference.
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(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Willowbrook's Max Sarovich prepares to tee off during the Addison Trail Invite at Oak Meadows on Wednesday. A trio of experienced seniors will lead the way for the Warriors this season.
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(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Addison Trail's Zack Vaca chips the ball onto the green during the Addison Trail Invite at Oak Meadows on Wednesday. Vaca is one of five players returning from the Blazers' regional tournament-winning team last year.

The boys golf season has already teed off and teams are hoping to make the trek to Bloomington and Normal for the Class 1A, 2A and 3A state tournaments Oct. 17 and 18. Here's the outlook for Addison Trail, Glenbard East, Willowbrook, York and other area teams.

Addison Trail Blazers

Coach: Eric Norberg

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Dan Hartnett sr.

Nick Sammarco sr.

Tommy Stuhr sr.

Zack Vaca sr.

Joe Zucchero sr.

Outlook: The Blazers won a regional last year and return five of the six golfers that competed in that meet, including top golfer Zack Vaca.

Nick Sammarco, Dan Hartnett, Tommy Stuhr and Joe Zucchero are also part of the six-man senior class on the roster. Junior Santino Biolatta also figures to be a regular in the top six.

Eric Norberg takes over as the boys coach after leading AT's girls program last season.

Glenbard East Rams

Coach: Chris Wienke

Conference: Upstate Eight Valley

Top players

Ben Cartwright sr.

Andrew Honig jr.

Nick Knowles sr.

Ben Symonds sr.

Outlook: The season opener was Monday at Naperville Central's Bob Sterr Invite, where the Rams scored a 349.

Three seniors, Ben Cartwright, Nick Knowles and Ben Symonds, are expected to be key in the lineup. Junior Andrew Honig will also be a regular in the lineup.

Last year the Rams didn't qualify any individuals to the sectional and will be hoping to improve on that this season. East also makes the move to the Upstate Eight Conference and opens conference play August 26 at Metea Valley.

IC Catholic Knights

Coach: Don Sujack

Conference: Metro Suburban

Top players

Stone Brinkman sr.

Anthony Clementi sr.

Robert Hughes sr.

Outlook: Three seniors and a considerable youth movement have IC Catholic coach Don Sujack excited about the new season.

Senior Anthony Clementi qualified for sectionals as an individual last year. Fellow seniors Stone Brinkman and Robert Hughes will also be a big part of the lineup, but have less experience.

Sujack hyped up the younger players coming through the program, saying the team should get much better as the season progresses.

"A freshman and two sophomores are joining the varsity team," Sujack said. "We're young in spite of having three seniors.

"We're improved over last year. We had 27 kids come out for the team this year so the depth and quality of the freshmen and sophomores as they get the season under their belt will be a strong suit for us."

He said the team's goal is to make it to sectionals as a team.

Sophomore Maddie Hurt will compete with the boys in the regular season. She cracked the top 40 at state as a freshman and "should make serious noise, " according to Sujack.

Montini Broncos

Coach: Dave Lyons

Conference: N/A

Top players

Eddie Fitzgerald sr.

Adam Keefe sr.

Matt Spangler sr.

Outlook: The Montini boys golf team isn't as fortunate as the football program to have found a conference right after the dismantling of the Suburban Christian Conference. The Broncos will be an independent team this season, but still have scheduled matches teams from the Chicago Catholic League, their future home.

"It is hard to set expectations because we do not have a conference this year," coach Dave Lyons said. "We will be joining the Catholic League next year. I would say our goal is to get the team back downstate again this year."

Alex Keefe, the top golfer from last year, is back to lead that charge. Montini was 12th in state last year and Keefe took 15th individually. Fellow seniors Eddie Fitzgerald and Matt Spangler also return from that team.

"If some of my underclassmen fill the roles that my departed seniors had, we will be in the thick of a downstate trip this October," Lyons said.

Timothy Christian Trojans

Coaches: Jeff Vander Naald

Conference: Metro Suburban

Top players

Zach Child sr.

Joshua Clark sr.

Jackson Jarzombek jr.

Devin May sr.

Ryan Radandt sr.

Outlook: A deep Timothy Christian team will take to area courses this fall.

The Trojans opened the season by winning a two-man scramble Monday at Fox Valley Golf Club. Timothy edged pasted Aurora Christian 283-285.

"The guys worked very hard on their games in the offseason and their hard work has already paid off," coach Jeff Vander Naald said.

In addition, senior Peyton Pinkerton and junior Anita Duncan will be taking part in six girls matches Timothy has scheduled. Pinkerton has qualified for sectionals the past two years and is hoping to make it to state.

Willowbrook Warriors

Coaches: Gary Walker

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Mike Madrid sr.

Dominic McDonnell sr.

Henry Wallace sr.

Outlook: Seniors Mike Madrid, Dominic McDonnell and Henry Wallace are the only varsity returners on the team with 22 golfers in the program.

Coach Gary Walker talked up Wallace as a key player for this season.

"This is Henry's fourth year in the program and he has improved each season," Walker said. "His effort is always great and I'm hoping his improvement continues through regionals."

The Warriors have a number of invites throughout the season to go with the West Suburban Gold schedule. Downers Grove South and Hinsdale South appear to be the favorites in the conference along with Addison Trail returning much of a regional-winning team from a year ago.

Willowbrook will hope to crack the top half of the conference with a youth movement.

"We are very young, with only three varsity golfers returning," Walker said. "Our focus this season is to control what we can control.  If we do that, the scores will take care of themselves."

York Dukes

Coach: Jim Borel

Conference: West Suburban Silver

Top players

Will Gunst jr.

Jordan Less jr.

Frank Wheatland jr.

Outlook: Juniors Frank Wheatland, Jordan Less and Will Gunst were all sectional qualifiers last year for the Dukes and lead a veteran team.

There were just two seniors on the varsity roster last year, meaning York has plenty of players back. Seniors Riley Russell, Connor Costello and Chris Geib are slotted into the lineup for now as well.

The Dukes opened the season Wednesday at the Addison Trail Invite at Oak Meadows Golf Course and took fourth out of 20 teams with a 76 from Less and a 78 from Gunst.

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