Fall preview: Peotone looks to keep good performances going
A solid nucleus from a strong 2015 team will be at the forefront for Peotone in its 2016 boys' golf season.
The Blue Devils have three All-Interstate 8 Conference performers returning -- including individual regular-season and tourney champion Jake Nietfeldt -- from a team that went 18-2 and won the conference team title.
Nietfeldt, a senior, averaged a team-best 40.3 strokes per nine holes last season, while senior Thomas Rodriguez and junior Paul Douglas -- both of whom earned all-conference honors -- were at 44 and 44.6, respectively. Nietfeldt and Douglas were sectional qualifiers last season, as well.
“When playing their game, our top three can compete with everyone on our schedule,” coach Kurt Johnson said. “Finding a solid fourth score will be the determining factor for how far we will go as a team.”
Varsity newcomers include senior Lee Merigold, junior Adam Maves, and sophomores John Schubbe and Mitchell Janik.
Two returning varsity golfers are looking to get to the state tournament for Bishop McNamara this season.
Sophomores Dominik Koziol and Keegan Adamson are expected to shine for the Irish and trade off on being the team’s top scorer.
“Both were individual sectional qualifiers in 2015, with sights set on the October state tournament,” coach Patrick Kennedy said.
Also for the Irish, junior Ben Demack enters his third season with the program and will compete for the third varsity spot with sophomore Jared Born.
“Born, too, has been playing extensively this summer, making the transition from 100-plus rounds of golf to high-80s,” Kennedy said.
Rounding out the roster are junior Blake Ryan, and freshmen Michael Laney and Tre Trevino.
Bishop McNamara finished fourth in the six-team Irish Invitational on Aug. 29. BMCS had a team score of 389, with St. Francis first at 325.
Individually, Adamson finished in a five-way tie for second overall with an 82.
Senior Tyler Guertin, last season’s All-City individual champion, returns for the Boilermakers after averaging 45.6 strokes per nine holes -- good for second-best on the team. Mitchell Huston, a junior, was third at 46.1.
After the first week of this season, Huston topped the team in scoring average, while Guertin came in second.
“Both guys have worked hard in the offseason to improve their games,” coach Bill Breeden said in an email interview. “I expect both to compete for the All-City individual title and All-Southwest Suburban Conference honors.”
Sophomore Zach LaFollett has started the season well, according to Breeden. Other seniors on the team are Jimmy Anders, Jackson Sheputis, Max Pinski and Wes Gallagher. Zach White is the team’s other junior.
This year’s Boilermakers are looking to reverse last season’s results. BBCHS went 1-9 in dual matches in 2015 and was fifth in the Red Division conference tournament. The team was young, which may pay dividends this year.
“I was pleased with how our younger players developed during the season,” Breeden said.
Note: Not all information requests for this preview were returned by press time.
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