2019 Boys golf preview
Nathan Potthoff had a super sophomore season for the St. Bede Bruins, named as the reigning BCR Boys Golfer of the Year.
Potthoff was the lone area golfer to crack a 40 average with a 39.0 clip. He was a three-time meet medalist, named First Team Three Rivers All-Conference and qualified for sectionals.
When asked about this year’s edition of the Bruins golf team, St. Bede coach Rich Cummings said, “Well, we have a Potthoff. That is always a good start.”
Here is a look at the Bruins and other area boys golf teams heading into the 2019 campaign.
Along with Potthoff, classmate Owen Espel returns for his third year of varsity golf. Cummings looks for senior Eric Dudek and junior Matthew Rich, who has some varsity experience, to fill bigger roles this season.
Other returning golfers for the Bruins are juniors Frederick Fess and Nick Pearse, and sophomores Brady Flanagan, Logan Humpage, Stephen Shaw, Trenton Acuncius and Andrew Goddard.
Junior Zach Roebuck is out for the first time, joining freshmen Johnathon Hackney and Thomas Makransky as newcomers to the squad.
The Bruins will be road warriors to open their season with 11 straight dates, including Monday’s season opener at Hidden Lakes Golf Club in Sheffield with host Bureau Valley, before playing at home at Spring Creek for the first time Sept. 19.
“That’s just the way golf is with tournaments and how the conference sets up with triangles. You just expect it. I remember a few years ago, we had more matches at Baker Park (in Kewanee) than Spring Creek,” Cummings said.
No matter where they play, Cummings said, “You still got to hit the ball straight and chip and put.”
The Storm will lean heavily on Trent DeVenney, their lone senior, for his experience and leadership. He was Second Team All Conference and All-BCR and a sectional qualifier last year. He shot a team-high 41 in Friday’s season-opening 197-218 win over Midland.
Other returning varsity players are juniors Jackson Lind and Johnah Johnson, and sophomore Bryson Smith. Juniors Dane DeSplinter and Nick Bosch, sophomores Mathew Berry, Tristan Lafferty and Jaden Michlig, and freshmen Seth Spratt, Derrick Peck and Parker Stier are all vying for varsity spots.
The Tigers return five golfers who received All-BCR accolades last year, including first-teamers Caleb Alter and Dylan Gross, each of whom has made significant improvements to their overall game, PHS coach Will Gross said.
Alter, a senior, was a five-team meet medalist, a 10-time team leader and top four medalist in all invites a year ago. The southpaw swinger averaged 40.8.
The junior Gross led the Tigers with a 40.3 average as a sophomore. He was a three-time meet medalist, 11-time team leader, and just missed the cut to advance to 2A sectionals.
Both Alter and Gross received Second Team Three Rivers All-Conference honors a year ago.
Other returning starters are juniors Nolan Scott (46.4), Eli Strawn (46.7) and Trent Kloepping (47.1), who each received BCR Honorable Mention honors.
Also returning are senior Jordan Eggers, juniors Nolan Doran and Adam Vigars, and sophomores Logan Arkels, Jack Bauer and Nolan Mallery.
PHS has gained senior newcomer Kobe Reynolds, junior Jamie Reinhardt, sophomore Preston DeBates and freshmen Brayden Briddick, Jarrett Carr, Jaden Eggers, Kyle Jaeger, Brennon Mills, Kai Morris and Karter Patterson.
The Tigers will have a new home this year, playing all their home matches at Wyaton Hills, including their showcase meet, the PIT, on Sept. 21.
“I look for us to compete in every match and believe that we are suited for an opportunity to place high in the conference and be competitive as team come postseason,” coach Gross said.
Monday’s season opener finds the Tigers traveling to Mendota along with Putnam County.
Senior Nathaniel Mrowicki will be joined in the Red Devils’ top five by sophomores Nicholas Arrate and Rivers Jordan, and freshmen Grant Plym and Josh Scheri.
Senior Luke Volkert is the only other returner, with Hall gaining freshmen Reid Sartain and Mick Pienta.
“We definitely have a young team this year, but also a solid core to build around so that we’ll be competitive in a year or two. Development will absolutely be more important than wins and losses,” Hall coach Mason Kimberly said.
The Red Devils will open the season Monday at Geneseo, making its home opener Wednesday at Spring Creek vs. Bureau Valley.
The Clippers co-op includes Ohio junior Michael Zaller and sophomore Garett Ringenberg.
The Panthers have one returning state qualifier and one returning sectional qualifier. PC senior Ian Roach went to state, tying for 10th place last year. Classmate Ben Cyr was the second individual sectional qualifier out of the Panthers’ own regional.
Girls coach Chelsea Straughn will also be coaching the boys team this year with assistance from retired PC coach John Keener.
The Panthers will join Princeton at Mendota Monday.