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It’s tee time for DGN, DGS, Westmont boys golfers

Published: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 9:08 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 9:30 a.m. CST
Caption
(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Westmont's Joey Virzi tees off during a practice round at Twin Lakes Golf Course in Westmont on Thursday. Virzi, a freshman, is part of a young group of golfers for the Sentinels.
Caption
(Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com)
Downers Grove South's Peter Hamot stares down his tee shot during a preseason practice round at Village Greens of Woodridge on Thursday. The senior is one of several returning varsity players for the Mustangs.

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 area teams.

Benet Redwings

Coach: Marty Gaughan

Conference: East Suburban Catholic

Top players

Alex Bassetto, senior

George Carroll, senior

Ben Johnson, senior

Nick Schantzer, sophomore

Outlook: Former Redwings basketball coach Marty Gaughan takes over the team from Dan Nagis, who retired after 33 years at the helm, which included a fifth place team finish last fall.

Gaughan inherits a team that returns three players from the state team. Junior Alex Bassetto carded a 154 over 36 holes at the Class 3A state tournament in 2013, while seniors George Carroll (163) and Ben Johnson (167) were also part of the state team.

Benet, which won four invites and ESCC and regional championship last season, will be looking for more of the same against a tough schedule that includes Naperville North, Waubonsie Valley and the Hinsdale Central Red Devil Invite.

Downers Grove North Trojans

Coach: Anthony Calderone

Conference: West Suburban Silver

Top players

Kevin Aguayo, senior

Bryan Eckmann, junior

Bowen Marks, junior

Colin Michels, senior

Outlook: As Anthony Calderone gets set to take over the team from Jeff Naruszewicz, he does so with a solid group of varsity returners. Kevin Aguayo, Bowen Marks, Colin Michels, senior James Graham and junior Gytis Blinstrubas were all members of the varsity last season. Bryan Eckmann has already established himself as a consistent scorer and will add to the Trojans’ depth.

By the time the postseason rolls around in early October, the Trojans should be well prepared for the rigors of the postseason tournaments. Duals against defending state champ Hinsdale Central, Lyons Township, Benet and Wheaton Warrenville South as well as a tournament schedule that includes Batavia (Sept. 6) will pit North against some of the top teams and players in the state.

Downers Grove South Mustangs

Coach: Terry Tiesman

Conference: West Suburban Gold

Top players

Sean Burk, senior

Trent Caraher, junior

Ben Ficht, senior

Peter Hamot, senior

Jon Krupa, senior

Patrick Reeg, junior

Matt Rekstad, senior

Joe Vath, senior

Corey Vondra, junior

Justin Zuidema, junior

Outlook: Trent Caraher and Joe Vath were two of four Mustang golfers to move on from last year’s regional tournament to the sectional, and Caraher went on to the state tourney, where he carded a two-day score of 156 to finish in a tie for 31st place. Peter Hamot, Jon Krupa and Matt Rekstad also are varsity returners.

South’s tournament slate includes six dates started with Monday’s Naperville Central invite. The squad has other tough tourney tests at Providence (Sept. 13) and Lemont (Oct. 4) before the postseason begins.

Westmont Sentinels

Coach: Frank Cyrus

Conference: Interstate Eight

Top players

Matt Conneely, sophomore

Patrick Egan, freshman

Dan Fredericks, sophomore

Joe Gomez, junior

Michael Kokoszka, freshman

Wes Jagielo, freshman

Gage Maciejewski, freshman

Joey Virzi, freshman

Outlook: It will be a new-look Sentinels’ squad this season as slew of seniors have graduated, and the current group will be tested right off the bat against tough competition.

“It’s going to be a rebuilding year, no doubt about it,” head coach Frank Cyrus said.

Westmont also will be tested against larger schools like Riverside Brookfield, Ridgewood and Elmwood Park ahead of the postseason, which begins with the Interstate Eight Conference tournament Westmont is hosting on Sept. 29 at Willowcrest Golf Club.

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