Boys golf season preview: Glenbrook North seeks consistency after losing top talent

Glenbrook North's Luke Oberholtzer tees off during the Class 3A state tournament at The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington on Oct. 19, 2013.
Glenbrook North's Luke Oberholtzer tees off during the Class 3A state tournament at The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington on Oct. 19, 2013. | File

Glenbrook North

The Glenbrook North boys golf team has lost a state champion from last year’s roster, as well as another player who has defeated some of the best players in the world this summer.

That’s why coach Justin Gerbich said “it’s going to be an interesting year.”

“The cupboard is [barer],” he said.

Evanston

The Wildkits are coming off their best season in program history, but they graduated most of the team’s recognizable faces, such as Jake Casati, Henry Gruger, Jackson Mihevc and Evan Ter Molen. Those four helped Evanston win a regional title and reach a state tournament for the first time since the 1959-60 school year.

“It’s wide open right now,” coach Jed Curtis said.

“It’s probably been four or five years since we’ve had a situation like this. But I am excited for our team.”

New Trier

Cracking the top six for the Trevians is an accomplishment in itself.

Traditionally one of the deepest programs in the state, New Trier has the enviable problem of sometimes having to choose between good and great players.

This year should be no different.

Glenbrook South

If anybody knows what the Titans have coming through the program’s pipeline, it’s Jeff Paek.

The first-year varsity coach was in charge of the under-level team a year ago. While he didn’t discount the importance of replacing six seniors, he said he believes he has the players to make a run at the state series.

“I know we will have a big number of incoming juniors,” Paek said. “I’ve seen the names and scores this summer. It still is a pretty big unknown.”

Loyola

This could be considered a rebuilding year after losing the likes of Michael Abrahamson, a regional champion, and four other starters from last season’s sectional qualifier. Abrahamson plans to play college golf at Wisconsin this fall.

Although junior Michael Banas is the only player to return with from last year’s season-ending lineup, coach Tim Kane said he believes the Ramblers will field a competitive club.

North Shore Country Day

Not many teams can claim the same success as the Raiders over the last five years.

They’ve been to the Class 1A state tournament four of those years, finishing first in 2011 and 2012 under coach Joe Bosco. The Raiders were the runners-up last season at Prairie Vista in Bloomington.

Niles West

Skylar LeVine qualified for the Class 3A boys golf state tournament last year by playing steady, hitting fairways consistently and excelling on and around the greens.

Niles West coach Mitch Stern said the junior is bigger this year, which has made him even better. LeVine is hitting the ball farther, Stern said, which has allowed him to attack more than he did a year ago.

Notre Dame

A year ago, Notre Dame advanced to the sectional tournament as a team for the first time in program history. The Dons will look very similar at the top of their lineup this year, with David Steinle and Kyle Kolodziej both back.

The question entering the season is who will emerge by playing steady golf to pair with the senior duo.

Niles North

Niles North has a great deal of uncertainty surrounding its lineup entering the season.

“We graduated kids that were our top golfers and also leaders, so we’re looking for a lot of practice in the offseason because the whole lineup is wide open,” Niles North coach Tom Zera said. “But even more than golf on the course, we’re looking for some senior leadership.”

Maine East

Tony Montesano has been Maine East’s coach for about 10 years and he said this year’s team is the best he’s ever had. Maine East is led by Orion Yamat, who finished 31st at the Class 3A state tournament last year and figures to be one of the best golfers in the CSL as a senior.

Aside from Yamat, seniors Anthony Calderone, Andrew Fox and Evan Beierwaltes provide the Blue Demons with lots of experience.

Maine South

Anthony Celiano established himself as Maine South’s No. 1 golfer a year ago. The senior is aiming for his first state berth this season, Maine South coach Steve Scholl said, and he has the ability to shoot in the mid-70s on any given day.

The question for the Hawks entering the season is if anybody else can match Celiano.

Northridge

North Shore Country Day has been the top program in Class 1A and the Independent School League over the last three years, finishing second in the state last year and winning state titles in 2011 and 2012.

Northridge, like so many Class 1A programs, wants to knock off the Raiders this year.

Ridgewood

Eric Lasky became Ridgewood’s coach in June. He takes over for Tom Parrillo, who stepped away from the program due to his business manager internship at Ridgewood.

[Read full seasons previews at High School Cube News]

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