The boys golf season tees off this week. Here are previews of area teams.
OSWEGO: Senior Ryan Prusak and junior Patrick Hranka will lead a young Panthers team. Both players qualified for sectionals last year, and both were on JV teams that won the Southwest Prairie Conference title.
"Each player is capable of shooting in the low 70s each time out," Oswego coach Chad Pohlmann said. "We're expecting some good things from those two. They will be our anchors. Both have the ability to be all-conference players and have a shot to make it to state."
Senior Andrew Agesen is another returning player who showed flashes as a junior, breaking 40 several times.
"He has worked hard at his game, and we expect him to be in the top four," Pohlmann said.
Juniors Blake Ginn, Ethan Albaugh, Nikolai Sardo,Lucas Ingram, Reese Paravola and Ryan Dunham were key contributors on the JV SPC championship team last year. Pohlmann looks for Albaugh, Ginn and Sardo to be solid contributors to the varsity this year. Senior Brad Cool and junior Kevin Reppar will round out the roster.
"We expect to be in the top half of our league and be competitive at regionals," Pohlmann said.
OSWEGO EAST: The Wolves graduated their low four averages, a group led by Sam Behnke, so Oswego East will be very young. Seniors Jack Walsh and Ethan Lindblad, the latter a returning sectional qualifier, are the only returning players with varsity regional and conference tournament experience.
Gavin Hjelle, a freshman, led the way in tryouts with the lowest total for three days. Other newcomers to watch include junior Max Woods, sophomore Blake Lipscomb and junior Ryan Blanco.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how [Hjelle] does as he starts his varsity career," Wolves coach James Vera said.
Woods, Lipscomb and Blanco were part of a fresh-soph team that finished second in conference last year.
The Norsemen, two-time defending Little Ten Conference champs in their co-op with Serena, will return a wealth of talent including four seniors, five juniors and two sophomores who will comprise a varsity squad after having no seniors on its roster in 2017.
Seniors Brett Myre, Corey Jacobson, and Wyatt Snyder along with top-scoring junior Connor Baker give the Norsemen a solid foursome with the ability to post low totals. Add to that the fine mix of juniors Tanner Kunkel, Porter Arneson, Nate Burns and Jack Rogers as well as sophomores Lane Stegman and Trent Johnson, providing the Norsemen some talented depth.
“We didn’t play very well in the regional last season, but we had a great year in which we lost only a couple of matches,” Baker said. “We won the Little Ten Conference championship for the second straight season, and I think we can do it again. Our goal is to advance out of the regional as a group and see what happens at sectionals.
“We’ve got some very talented golfers coming back, and I’m very excited about this season.”
SANDWICH: The Indians, who graduated all-conference golfer Andrew Murphy as well as Hayden Isham and Spencer Anderson, will be young with just two players returning. In addition, senior Andrew Gipe suffered a hand injury this summer and will miss most of the season. Tyler Bols is the only returning varsity letter winner with four new players in the program.
"We have seen a lot of good things so far in practice, but we still have a long way to go," Sandwich coach Mike Butler said. "With such a young team we will have our ups and downs, but the boys are working really hard and I look forward to watching them develop as a team.