Boys’ golf preview: Returning players spell promising 2013

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.

Returning: Senior Luke Herda and juniors Sam Steinwand, Seth Lawrence and Brad Williams.

Outlook: The reigning Northwest Suburban Conference champions won its first-ever conference title last season, had its 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 senior Luke Herda and junior Sam Steinwand have a chance to continue the team’s success along with juniors Seth Lawrence and Brad 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 upon the progress they made last year.”

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

 

Blaine’s Mitch Thurner follows through on a chip shot last season.  File photo

Blaine’s Mitch Thurner follows through on a chip shot last season. File photo

Anoka

2012 finish: no state entrants

Coach: Doug Orr, 16th season

Returning: Junior Max Savini

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

Blaine

2012 finish: Fifth place in the NWSC

Coach: Kevin Overgaard

Returning: The Bengals return three all-conference honorees including 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 in 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, 42nd season

Returning: Seniors Sam Naegele, Nick Podkopacz and Kyle Fleury.

 

Coon Rapids senior Lucas Pedersen lines up a putt last spring. File photo

Coon Rapids senior Lucas Pedersen lines up a putt last spring. File photo

Outlook: Look for the Cardinals to build on off-season and preseason workouts put in at the Bunker Hills simulator as the season was slow to start. Overskei said a group of freshman has a chance to compete in what will be a competitive Northwest Suburban Conference. “We have several freshmen that will make an impact in the future. The kids have worked very hard, they’re all great kids and are improving,” Overskei said.

Look for Dylan Brovick and Sam Marquis to emerge once the season begins.

Legacy Christian

2012 finish: Class A State Team Champions, two top-14 individuals in now-graduates Luke Peterson and Luke Yaeger.

Coach: Mark Yaeger

Returning: Seniors Trent Anderson (t33rd) and Aaron Hudak (t38th) and sophomores Caleb Johnson (49th) and Jake Hoscheid (t56th) return with state-meet experience from the Class A meet 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 Luke 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

Returning: 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 Nick 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. A 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.

Returning: 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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