Scouting local boys golf teams

2012-04-01T18:00:00Z 2013-04-01T09:00:04Z Scouting local boys golf teams nwitimes.com
April 01, 2012 6:00 pm

Duneland Athletic Conference

CHESTERTON

Players to watch: Logan Krantz, Jr.; Brandon Martin, Jr.; Evan Zondor, Jr.; Jay Crots, Sr.; Austin Johnson, Sr.

Outlook: Regional qualifier Mike Marshall is one of a few players lost to graduation, but coach Kent Butler feels good about his competitive starting lineup.

Quote: "(From No. 1) to 5, they're all statistically about one or two shots from one another. Any one of these can be our medalist in a match. Consistency will be also be a big factor for us." — Butler

CROWN POINT

Players to watch: Ryan Edwards, Sr.; Pat Mudd, Jr.; Matt Mudd, Sr.; Austin Qualizza, So.

Outlook: Losing now-Indiana freshman Nick Grubnich to graduation will obviously hurt the Bulldogs, but Crown Point still has a very deep team. C.P. will expect to challenge in the DAC, where it finished third last season.

Quote: “We’re just going to do the best we can. With the DAC, you never know what’s going to happen.” — coach Del Kutemeier

LAKE CENTRAL

Players to watch: TC Cameron, Sr.; Mike Barenie, Sr.; Jon Gross, Jr.; Danny Mikrut, So.

Outlook: The Indians should remain one of the best teams in Northwest Indiana with two of the best golfers in Cameron and Barenie. The goal is to get those two down to the state meet in June.

Quote: “We have a lot of depth and lot of talent on the team this season, and that should create some internal competition which should hopefully bring out the best in everyone.” — coach Chris Rossiano

LAPORTE

Players to watch: Jordan Lenard, Jr.; Joel Collins, Sr.; Ryan Garwood, Sr.; Zach Liberatore, Sr.

Outlook: The defending regional champions return major parts of last year's lineup. Lenard, who has averaged 36.4 over his first five practice nine-hole rounds this season, is one of the top golfers in the area.

Quote: "Jordan is for real, and we have seven players fighting for three positions." — coach Bill Hart

MERRILLVILLE

Players to watch: Naim Muhammad, Jr.; Timothy Shelton, Jr.; Kenard Turner, Jr.; Taylor Bryant, Jr.

Outlook: Coach Patti Tubbs expects her team’s average to go down. Muhammad was a regional qualifier last season and should help lead the team.

Quote: “Our team is a young team with only a few students who have played a year before, but I am really amazed how well the boys are hitting the ball.” — Tubbs

MICHIGAN CITY

Players to watch: Ryan Brinckman, Jr.; Devin Gambill, Jr.; Josh Palmer, Jr.; Caleb Havelin, Sr.

Outlook: Regional qualifier Brinckman returns to a lineup that didn't lose any starters. Promising freshmen Noah Nieman and John Gesse give the team depth.

Quote: "We should be a little more competitive in the DAC. (Nieman and Gesse) are really committed golfers, and the other four can carry us through with their experience." — coach Jason Lenig

PORTAGE

Players to watch: Jordan Henson, So.; Pep Junyanid, So.; Nick Lewis, Jr.; James Brasseur, Sr.

Outlook: Only Lewis returns from last year's regional-qualifying squad, but coach Dick Kretz doesn't believe this will be a rebuilding season.

Quote: "It kind of reminds of two years ago when those sophomores took their lump with the early schedule, began competitive the next year and then hit their goals as seniors. Hopefully, we'll be able to develop some consistency and then make a push at the end of the season." — Kretz

VALPARAISO

Players to watch: Andrew Gariup, Jr.; Bobby Jacobs, Jr.; Kyle Meihofer, Jr.; Logan Bertalan, Sr.

Outlook: Bertalan, Jacobs and Meihofer already have two years of state finals experience, while Gariup was part of the starting five at The Legends of Indiana last season.

Quote: "This group has been working all winter long and is champing on my golf grips to get going. With this weather, I believe our swings are at least three weeks ahead of where we would be most years at this time." — coach Wayne Lichtenberger

 

Great Lake Athletics Conference

CLARK

Players to watch: Jeremy Rusnace, Sr.; Steven Garza, Sr.; Jon Dwyer, Sr.; Alex Sajkich, So.; Eric Danielson, Jr.

Outlook: The Pioneers could challenge Morton for the GLAC title this season. They'll look to improve on the 441 carded at last season's Lake Central Sectional.

Quote: "We're looking to be a lot more competitive in conference and we intend to move up from our eighth place finish in sectionals." — coach Denise Cordrey

GAVIT

Outlook: The Gladiators did not field a whole team last season and should concentrate on drawing interest to the program.

HAMMOND

Outlook: Brandon White takes over as coach for the Wildcats, who finished 11th at last season’s Lake Central Sectional.

MORTON

Players to watch: Ryan Robinson, Sr.; Jozef Zawacki, Sr.; Ben Lopez, Jr.; Duncan Murphy, So.

Outlook: Morton expects to compete for the GLAC title and see individual golfers succeed in the postseason.

Quote: “(One) positive aspect is how hard my more experienced players are working to coach the younger players up.” — coach Robert Hall

 

Greater South Shore Conference

BISHOP NOLL

Players to watch: Nick Skurka, Sr.; Chase McDermott, Sr.; John Mitchell, Jr.; Robert Lorenz, Jr.

Outlook: Bishop Noll fields another large team with five new golfers showing lots of potential.

Quote: “If these guys want it badly enough and are willing to let me make them better, this could be my best team yet.” — coach Dennis Koliboski

CALUMET

Outlook: The Warriors finished sixth in last season’s Lake Central Sectional. They’ll look to improve on that.

MARQUETTE

Players to watch: Jack Clancy, Jr.; Hunter Paholski, Jr.; Patrick Roder, Jr.; Alex Ganz, Sr.

Outlook: Clancy was a regional qualifier last season, while Paholski and Roder return from last year's conference championship team. The lineup is averaging in the 150s for nine holes and under 320 for 18 during qualifying.

Quote: "Jack continues to play at a very high level. Paholski and Roder are very much improved from tee to green. The team is talented, hungry and ready to get going." — coach Jordan Gallas

NORTH NEWTON

Outlook: The Spartans finished seventh in last year’s Boone Grove Sectional and should place around that this season.

RIVER FOREST

Players to watch: Brian Breese, Sr.; Brandon Dothager, Sr.; Jason Guel, So.; Allen Long, So.; Mark Long, So.

Outlook: Breese has the most significant varsity experience and will likely lead the team.

Quote: “Brian is the epitome of a student-athlete. He is the salutatorian of this year’s graduating class and has really worked hard to improve his golf game.” — coach Jason Quigg

WHEELER

Players to watch: David Sparks, So.; Brad Young, So.; Drew Heinold, Jr.; Jordan Long, Sr.

Outlook: Newcomers like freshman Nick Dooling have coach George Topoll looking forward to the beginning of the season.

Quote: "We have the potential to be Wheeler's best golf team. A great group with exceptional academics." — Topoll

WHITING

Players to watch: David Matura, Sr.; Sam Novak, Jr.

Outlook: The Oilers need to be better on the greens in order to be successful in the Greater South Shore Conference.

Quote: “My guys are excited about practice and the start of the season.” — coach Marty Furiak

 

Northwest Crossroads Conference

ANDREAN

Players to watch: Garrett Wisniewski, Sr.; Phil Paras, Sr.; Nick Schneider, Sr.; Brendan Mulshine, So.; Jack Musgrave, So.

Outlook: All five starters return for the 59ers, giving them both experience and chemistry. Andrean could be a team to look out for this season.

Quote: “The great weather this season has made scores lower and more consistent. Hopefully, that means Region golf will be more competitive as a result.” — coach Dennis Pokropinski

GRIFFITH

Players to watch: Josh Ashenbaugh, Sr.; Nick Stassin, Sr.; Mark Plawecki, So.

Outlook: The Panthers hope to advance to the LaPorte Regional as a team. Early practices have been competitive.

Quote: “We have guys fighting for spots and I think that will keep everyone focused on the present which in the long run will make us a better team.” — coach Mike Worosz

HIGHLAND

Players to watch: Kevin Schwartz, Sr.; Michael Urban, Sr.; Collin Martinez, Sr.; Nick Canham, Jr.; Nick Elish, Jr.; Tayler Pieters, So.

Outlook: The Trojans hope to improve upon their fifth-place finish at last season’s Lake Central Sectional. Canham is a returning individual regional qualifier. Highland will rotate six golfers to make up the top five.

Quote: “We play a challenging schedule, and we’re looking forward to that because I think we’ll be more competitive.” — coach Dan Richardson

HOBART

Players to watch: Gary Cauley, Sr.; Matt Cooper, Sr.; Alec Garcia, Sr.; Alex Metz, Jr.

Outlook: The Brickies lost Garrett Bianchi to graduation. While it may be a rebuilding season, the lack of a sure-fire ace has created intra-team competition in practice.

Quote: “Our leadership and attitude are better than any other year. The sky is the limit for that.” — coach Brent Vermeulen

KANKAKEE VALLEY

Players to watch: Ryan Berre, Jr.; Skylar Davis, Jr.; Tyler Dehaan, Jr.; Sam Jonkman, Jr.; Cody Snowden, So.; Brandon Gass, Fr.

Outlook: Berre will be the No. 1 golfer, but the other positions are up in the air. New coach Ron Stanton hopes to shape the Kougars into a competitive team by the middle of the season.

Quote: “(We’re) looking for consistency before sectionals. I expect us to finish in the middle of the conference.” — Stanton

LOWELL

Players to watch: Jared Cottingham, So.; Tim Mize, So.; Kyle Snyder, Jr.; Reid Mitsch, Jr.; Matt Edwards, Sr.

Outlook: Lowell returns most of its players from last year, and coach John Harris had them play in many tournaments over the summer. Harris figures to have the Red Devils improve about 10 shots as a team from last season.

Quote: “We’re really just looking at what we can do to improve every day.” — Harris

MUNSTER

Players to watch: Nikola Tatic, Sr.; Aj Gauthier, Jr.; Matt Specht, So.

Outlook: Munster hopes to be competitive in the NCC, but may be a little down. The top three are set, but the Mustangs will need to find fourth and fifth scorers.

Quote: “We have a young team that competes very hard at practice and each day we look forward to the opportunity to get better.” — coach Bill Smitka

 

Porter County Conference

BOONE GROVE

Players to watch: Jeremy Schaffer, So.; Drake Devereux, Sr.; Tony Spalla, Sr.; Zach Hoskins, Sr.

Outlook: Gary King has said this will be his 12th and final season as head coach of the Wolves. IPFW recruit Devereux and Schaffer are parts of a talented group who might help end King's career on a high note with a second-consecutive berth into the state finals.

Quote: "I feel that we'll be pretty solid through our top-four guys. Jeremy looks to be our next rising star, and he'll be challenging for the No. 2 or 3 spot." — King

HANOVER CENTRAL

Players to watch: Dan Kubiak, Jr.; Trever Thoms, Sr.; Dan Novitski, Sr.

Outlook: Even though the Wildcats lost a lot of talent from last year’s regional qualifying team, they’ll look to their current players to carry them in the postseason. The top three have shot around 40 on nine holes.

Quote: “They’ve been surprising in practice lately. We’ll be solid at 1-2-3.” — coach Jerry Kienzle

MORGAN TOWNSHIP

Players to watch: Ty Balon, So.; Aiden Heinold, So.; Garrett Finn, Jr.; Braden Hirstein, Jr.

Outlook: The Cherokees lost their starting five to graduation. Freshman Ty Abbett and sophomore Zach Pedersen could push four returning players for starting time this season.

Quote: "We lost a leadership, but this group of guys have shown that they are willing to work hard and anxious to compete." — coach Gary Cauley

SOUTH CENTRAL

Players to watch: Chris Babjak, Jr.; Ben Gibbs, Jr.

Outlook: Freshmen Austin Howell and Ben Denecho round out the lineup for the Satellites, who are in a rebuilding mode.

Quote: "We have good attitudes all around and the desire to improve." — coach Jim Daubenheyer.

 

Others

E.C. CENTRAL

Outlook: The Cardinals placed last at the 2011 Lake Central Sectional. Improvement will be a priority.

RENSSELAER

Outlook: The Bombers made it past the ultra-competitive Chesterton Sectional last season but lost a plethora of talent to graduation, including individual state qualifier Bo Culp. They’ll have to find a way to rebound to advance as a team this season.

WESTVILLE

Players to watch: Nick Woloszyn, Jr.; Corey Bartow, Sr.; David Pilarski, Sr.; Christian Porter, Sr.

Outlook: Coach John Marshall is pleased that 22 students came out for the team, including 12 seniors.

Quote: "I was very excited with our sectional play last year, and we hope to improve even more this year." — Marshall

— Times writers Jim Hunsley and Matt Douthett.

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