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Boys golfers driving toward state finals

Get to know the boys teams around Kane County

Geneva's Tyler Isenhart watches his ball sail down the 9th fairway during his first round at the Illinois High School Association state golf tournament on Oct. 13, 2017 in Bloomington.
Geneva's Tyler Isenhart watches his ball sail down the 9th fairway during his first round at the Illinois High School Association state golf tournament on Oct. 13, 2017 in Bloomington.

Batavia Bulldogs

Coach: Tim DeBruycker

2017 record: 4-3

Top players

Name Year

Will Huber sr.

Griffin Unterberg sr.

Ari Fragen jr.

Outlook: Batavia placed third in regionals last season, but lost some talent in Justin Schutt, Keegan Thompson and Jack Bohr to graduation. Huber figures to be the name to watch after his strong junior season.

“We are going to do our best to be competitive in the new DuKane Conference,” DeBruycker said via text.

Burlington Central Rockets

Coach: Thomas Davies

2017 record: 3-4

Top players

Name Year

Michael Sernett sr.

Jack Oller sr.

Tyler DiDomenico soph.

Outlook: Central did not qualify as a team for sectionals for the first time in eight seasons last year, instead advancing four players, Davis said via email. The Rockets will be light on senior experience having graduated Anthony DiBartolo, who just missed the cut to qualify for state last year.

“In order to find more success as a team, we need more golfers to embody his work ethic,” Davies said. “With only two returning seniors, we certainly will have a young team this year. I’m already projecting one or two freshmen in our varsity lineup.”

Geneva Vikings

Coach: Eric Hatczel

2017 record: 6-1

Top players

Name Year

Tyler Isenhart sr.

Jack McDonald sr.

Joe Novak jr.

Outlook: Geneva should be the team to beat this year. After a 6-1 record in duals, a first-place showing in conference, a regional title, third place at sectionals and their fourth state berth, it’s hard to argue with the Vikings’ recent success. Armed with perennial top finishers in Isenhart and McDonald, Geneva should be poised to lead the charge.

“We are very proud of the teams and culture that we have been building the last few years,” Hatczel said in an email. “The team will look to Tyler and Jack to continue to lead the program as they have been the last few years.”

Kaneland Knights

Coach: Mark Meyer

2017 record: 6-2

Top players

Name Year

Will Marshall sr.

Ryan Milton soph.

Outlook: Fresh off a fourth-place finish at the Class 2A state tournament, Marshall is a definite headliner, while Milton will not be sneaking past anyone’s radar this year. Last season, Milton finished the state tournament as the top-placing freshman, posting 149 over the two days.

“Kaneland golf is gearing up for an exciting season,” Meyer wrote in an email. “We have a solid core of top golfers, along with a group of players who will be competing for spots in the varsity lineup. We hope to challenge for a conference title and to advance to the state tournament as a team.”

Marmion Academy Cadets

Coach: Russ Huggins

2017 record: 3-2

Top players

Name Year

Peter Thayer sr.

Will Barnhart sr.

Jack Barnhart sr.

Outlook: The Cadets are coming off a first-place finish in the West Aurora Regional, and lost just one player from the starting lineup. Thayer, who shot a 76 in advancing in the regional last year, headlines a talented group that figures to push for further postseason success.

“We’re encouraged to see how we can progress in a tough 3A environment with many returning players,” Huggins said in an email. “Our captain, Peter Thayer, will lead the charge as we look to improve our performance at the conference tournament and to advance beyond the sectional level in October.”

St. Charles North North Stars

Coach: Justin Moriarty

2017 record: 6-2

Top players

Name Year

Tanay Abichandani sr.

Ethan Ring jr.

Brandon Seymour sr.

Outlook: The North Stars have a bit of returning experience in Abichandani and Ring, who both played at sectionals.

Abichandani will be the team’s lowest returning average for both nine holes (44) and 18 holes (88).

“This season will be a new challenge for us as we move into the DuKane Conference and add the likes of Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North and Lake Park,” Moriarty said in an email. “Competing regularly against these quality programs, as well as the familiar faces of Geneva, St. Charles East and Batavia, will only get us better in the long run.”

St. Charles East Saints

Coach: John Stock

Top players

Name Year

Jacob Navarro sr.

Ryan Kelly sr.

Chris Petri soph.

Outlook: The Saints lost top performers Connor King and Mason Meadows to graduation from an experienced team. East finished second in regionals and fifth at sectionals last season, advancing King and Meadows to state. The Saints should be able to continue last season’s success in the new DuKane Conference.

Stock could not be reached for comment.

St. Francis Spartans

Coach: Greg Baresel

Top players

Name Year

Nick Armbrust sr.

Ben Bougadis sr.

Adam Cook sr.

Outlook: St. Francis had a terrific 2017-18 season that included a Class 2A sectional championship and seventh-place finish in state.

The Spartans will be headlined by Bradley University commit Armbrust, who finished 12th at state.

“We lost two key seniors from last year’s state team in Luke Armbrust and Ryan Keefe. This year our team is well-experienced with a squad full of returning seniors with a ton of experience,” Baresel said in an email. “We are looking to compete in the Metro Suburban and have the ultimate goal of returning to state.”

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