Coach: Dan Wheeler, first year
Last year: third place in Northern Illinois Big 12, one state qualifier
Keep an eye on: Nathan Cohn is a senior. Wheeler said Cohn strikes the ball well and is getting better at minimizing mistakes.
Also: Sam Faulhaber, jr.; Thomas Fischer, jr.; Iain Purdom, sr.
Wheeler’s comments: “I’m really excited how competitive each golfer is with each other, but how also how they want to help one another and be the best team we can be.”
The lowdown: The Spartans begin the season in a new conference: the Interstate Eight. Wheeler believes his team will continue its winning streak from last year.
“Our goals include competing for a conference championship in the new Interstate Eight Conference. Advancing to the sectional would be a good goal for us and returning at least one to the state tournament this year,” Wheeler said.
One of the greatest strengths for the team this year is its depth.
“We have a lot of freshmen/sophomores that are competing for varsity time,” Wheeler said. “Every day at practice, eight or 10 people are competing to play in the next tournament. I think that’s really helping us with just the competition,” said Wheeler.
Coach: Mark Meyer, 15th year
Last year: 8-1 in dual matches, 4-1 in Northern Big 12
Keep an eye on: Ryan Milton is a junior. Meyer said he’s solid, consistent and even-tempered. He can be counted on every round, Meyer said.
Also: Bryce Stair, sr.; Josh Pehl, soph.
Meyer’s comments: “We had the most successful year ever last year and we want to rebuild on that success.”
The lowdown: The Knights have a younger team this year. After finishing high in the state tournament last season, their focus is to do well in the Northern Big 12 Conference and do well at regionals and sectionals.
“The goal is to make it to state as a team as we did last year,” Meyer said. “Hopefully, we can play well at the right time.”
Coach: Mike Lauer, 10th year
Last year: Eighth place in conference.
Keep an eye on: Trevor Pierce is a junior All-Conference player. “Trevor is our No. 1 [player]. He’s put in the time and dedication. He played in some tournaments in the summer,” Lauer said.
Also: Vinny Giorno, sr.; Alec Golembiewski, soph.; Jack Johnson, jr.; Evan Skarzynski, sr.
Lauer’s comments: “We’ve got a lot of kids back. Our goal is really to continue what we did last year.”
The lowdown: Even with a young team, the Cogs improved significantly since last year. Nathan Cohn especially has excelled.
“It’s fun to watch a high school kid grow in golfing and in life, and that’s him,” Lauer said. “He’s improved his golf game by dedication.”
Lauer hopes to do well at conference and in the postseason.
“At the end of the year, you always want to compete at regionals,” Lauer said. “We have to improve week by week and keep trying to be better each day.”
Hinckley-Big Rock Royals
Coach: Matt Olsen, first year
Last year: 12-4 overall, won conference
Keep an eye on: Ryan Behrens is a junior and Elliott McGuire is a sophomore. “Ryan and Elliott are a one, two punch,” Olsen said.
Also: Dylan Whitt, sr.
Olsen’s comments: “We are hitting the ball well. We just need to get out there and play,” Olsen said.
The lowdown: The Royals are a young team this year. They lost a lot of seniors to graduation, but Behrens, McGuire and Dylan Whitt learned from these seniors. They take this experience out on the course with them this season. “We’ve had some really strong practices,” Olsen said.
Hinckley-Big Rock would like to repeat the success it had last year and go far in the Little Ten Conference and regionals. “We’re looking to be competitive in the conference and to continue to get better every single day. We want to take advantage of opportunities,” Olsen said. It is a busy week for the team coming up. “We hope to be peaking at the right times,” Olsen said.
Coach: Kyle Carbone, second year
Last year: 2-9 overall record, ninth in conference.
Keep an eye on: Hannah Mueller is a senior. After an injury at regionals last year, she hopes to have a great season and advance in regionals and sectionals.
Also: Ashlynn Grismer, jr.; Amber Fellows, jr.; Ella Hensley, fr.; Taylor Rhodes, fr.; Jewel Sanders, sr.; Cortlyn Tetzloff, fr.; Sarah Walter, fr.
Carbone’s comments: “[I want] to help newcomers improve their golf games. [I] also [hope] to get the regional qualifiers from last season to get to sectionals and beyond.
The lowdown: The Cogs had some injuries to overcome last season. Carbone hopes to keep his team injury free this year. With many new players, the Cogs are a young team. They will work hard to develop their games by working out at new facilities at Genoa-Kingston High School. The team wants to improve upon its record from last year.
Hinckley-Big Rock Royals
Coach: Greg Jourdan, 10th year
Last year: 12-4 overall, first place in the Little Ten Conference
Keep an eye on: Izzy Cleaveland is a junior. “This is going to be her first opportunity to be on the varsity platform for tournaments,” Jourdan said. “She’s ready for it. She’s had great mentors.”
Also: Cassie Seaney, sr.; Ella McGuire, soph.
Jourdan’s comments: “We are young and enthusiastic this year. We sent a great group of girls off. They did a great job of mentoring the team I have now. We have new girls. It’s an exciting year for us.”
The lowdown: The Royals have only four home meets and 12 away meets. They will get to see a lot of new golf courses this season.
“We have a different schedule,” Jourdan said. “We are going to be strangers in strange lands. It will be a great year for the team to experience new golf courses and experience Class A golf competitions.”