Boys’ golf preview

Andover

2012 finish: Won Northwest Suburban Conference, second place at sections and had two state meet entrants.

Coach: John Anderson, third year at Andover, 11th season coaching golf.

Key returning players: Senior Luke Herda and juniors Sam Steinwand, Seth Lawrence and Brad Williams.

Outlook: The reigning Northwest Suburban Conference champions won their first-ever conference title last season, had the lowest section team score (299) in program history and won four team events with an all-time season low team score of 320 strokes. Andover graduated AJ Oster and Davis Tollette, but Anderson believes Herda and Steinwand have a chance to continue the team’s success along with Lawrence and Williams. “We should still be competitive but will need [Herda] and [Steinwand] in particular to step up and play well for the Huskies. In addition we’ll need [Lawrence] and [Williams] to build on the progress they made last year.”

Steinwand enters his third varsity season and narrowly missed out on making the state meet in 2012.

Legacy senior Aaron Hrudek

Legacy senior Aaron Hrudek

Anoka

2012 finish: no state entrants.

Coach: Doug Orr, 16th season.

Key returning players: Junior Max Savini.

Outlook: The Tornadoes will once again be very young with no seniors and two juniors, including Savini, who missed all of the 2012 season with an injury. “So our success will rest on the young guys stepping up and their ability to compete,” Orr said.

Blaine

2012 finish: Fifth place in the NWSC.

Coach: Kevin Overgaard.

Key returning players: The Bengals return three all-conference honorees – sophomore NWSC medalist Dakota Krech, senior Frank Lundquist and junior Joe Manthis.

Outlook: Krech and Lundquist each averaged 78 strokes last season and Manthis brings back the success of a fourth-place finish in the Section 5AA meet in 2011. Overgaard pointed to the marked improvement last season posting a fifth-place finish in the conference after placing 10th in 2011.

Coon Rapids

Coach: Larry Overskei.

Key returning players: Seniors Sam Naegele, Nick Podkopacz, Nate Julkowski, Lucas Pedersen and Kyle Fleury. Juniors Sam Marquis, Dylan Brovick and Derek Lynch.

Outlook: Nothing received from the coach.

Legacy Christian

2012 finish: Class A state team champions, two top-14 individuals in now-graduated Luke Peterson and Luke Yaeger.

Coach: Mark Yaeger.

Key returning players: Seniors Trent Anderson (tied 33rd) and Aaron Hudak (tied 38th) and sophomores Caleb Johnson (49th) and Jake Hoscheid (tied 56th) return with state meet experience from the Class A tournament played at Pebble Creek in Becker.

Outlook: Look for the Lions to continue to produce at a high-level this season after graduating the program’s all-time leading golfer in Peterson and all-state golfer Luke Yaeger. Legacy Christian should be among the leaders in the MCAA and Section 4A once again this spring.

Spring Lake Park

2012 finish: North Suburban Conference champions; fifth place in Section 5AAA; one state entrant in Nick Auman (graduated).

Coach: Will Wackman, seventh season.

Key returning players: Senior captain Charlie Glasser, juniors Tanner Ylvisaker, Nick Turnquist and Jack Hiemenz.

Newcomers: Defending North Suburban Conference medalist Pete Sienko returns to the Panthers after two seasons at Totino-Grace. He played at Spring Lake Park in seventh- and eighth-grade, making the state tournament as an eighth-grader.

Outlook: Spring Lake Park returns match experience after graduating two of the top golfers in the state in Auman and Brandon Jones. “These two anchored our team for the past four seasons,” Wackman said. “They were a major reason our team has improved in the conference and section. We need to develop some new leaders and with the experience we have returning and the addition of Sienko, I hope we will be able to do that.”

St. Francis

2012 finish: Seventh place in the North Suburban Conference.

Coach: Andy LaHoud, first season. The 2003 Anoka graduate and St. Cloud State graduate served as assistant coach for both boys’ and girls’ golf last spring and completed his fifth season as assistant boys’ hockey coach.

Key returning players: Seniors Andrew Cullen (captain), Brett Aldrich and Mitchell Zebro.

Outlook: The Saints finished seventh last spring and will be led by a group of seniors challenged by a driven group of underclassmen.

Jason Olson is at jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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